Rhode Island Department of Transportation Proposal Slashes Bicycle and Pedestrian Project Funding Statewide (Jan 26, 2019) The “Major Amendment to the State Transportation Improvement Plan” presented by RIDOT to the State Transportation Advisory Committee on January 24th includes 33% cut to the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) over four years. TAP is the primary source of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects statewide. According to a press release from the RI Bicycle Coalition: “While RIDOT asserts that shortfalls from the General Assembly’s Capital Budget, delays in constructing toll infrastructure, and deteriorating bridges are the cause of the amendment, very little of the proposed change will fund bridge work. Instead, one new $28.8 million highway project in western Cranston is one of the biggest proposed changes, along with large allocations to build toll gantries ($61.6 million) and ‘Headquarters Operations’ which includes more than doubling the ‘Legal’ line item to $24.9 million.” The $27 million in proposed cuts includes eliminating the $5 million Bicycle Improvements Contingency Account funded by the 2016 Green Economy Bond. Bike Newport’s Executive Director, Bari Freeman, sits on the state’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) and Bicycle Mobility Plan Committee, and is a member of the statewide coalition Paths to Progress that advises the state on bicycle and pedestrian project planning and funding. “The TAC created the contingency fund in response to these statewide coalitions and in order to ensure assignment of those funds to align with the statewide Bicycle Mobility Plan priorities. Those funds are untouchable. Our state electorate resoundingly voted those funds for bicycle and pedestrian projects by 79%,” Freeman stated. “That’s not approval – that’s a mandate, and they will not be redirected to highway or any project other than those for which they were intended.” The proposed amendment eliminates, cuts or delays funding to 35 bicycle and pedestrian projects statewide, including separated bike paths, sidewalks, and critical on-road connections. On Aquidneck Island, the Melville Connector and the Mount Hope Bay Path in Portsmouth will be eliminated; the shared use path and sidewalks on East Main Road in Portsmouth and Middletown will be eliminated; and scheduled improvements to Thames Street, Spring Street, Farewell Street, Bellevue Avenue, and Marlborough Street in Newport will be delayed to 2023 and beyond. Portsmouth Town Councilor Daniela Abbott is one of many bicycle and pedestrian advocates opposed to the cuts, “East Main Road is finally getting the sidewalks and bike paths so desperately overdue for transportation safety. These cuts are not considering people’s safety, connectivity, or economy. RIDOT needs to, and will be, better informed by the people of this state who intend to walk and ride to get where we’re going.” Bike Newport and Aquidneck Island Planning Commission are planning community information and discussion meetings to take place in addition to the upcoming public meetings scheduled by RIDOT. These meeting dates will be announced next week. For more information and updates, please follow Bike Newport online at www.bikenewportri.org and @bikenewportri on social media. The post ALERT: RIDOT Proposal Slashes Bike Funding appeared first on Bike Newport.
The post below first appeared on the Bike Newport blog. Jump to original: TAC Meeting – Letter to Members re: Major Amendment to the TIP
The Newport Health Equity Zone’s (HEZ) goal is increased resident participation in walking and bicycling for transportation, exercise, and recreation in Newport, RI. Bike Newport partners with the HEZ to ensure they accomplish their goals. Beyond the physical and emotional health benefits of active transportation, any mode of transportation allows residents to access many health related services and reduces the feeling of isolation and stress. So, what can you do to help? For example, you could drive less, walk or bike more. Perhaps organize a walk or bike ride in your community, join a neighborhood association and promote biking and walking, volunteer with Bike Newport and don’t forget you can lobby elected officials to create new/or apply to established funding sources. As a private business or a community organization there are many ways to help empower your employees, customers and clients to be more active and help create an equitable, healthy and vibrant Newport. We have leaflets and resources to help you spread the word and encourage those around you to use active transportation. For example you could install a bike rack outside your business to encourage employees and customers to ride more. (Find out how here) , take part in Bike To Work Day, have bike friendly facilities in your workplace, like showers and lockers. Perhaps you could offer incentives to employee to bike, walk or take the bus, or partner with schools to promote biking. There always something to do to encourage folks to help create an equitable, healthy and vibrant Newport. For more information, contact email@example.com or visit The Newport Health Equity Zone or follow them on Facebook. The post Active transportation – what can you do to help? appeared first on Bike Newport.
Bari Freeman, Executive Director of Bike Newport RI, presenting at the rally in support of the Green Economy and Clean Water Bond. Video courtesy of upriseri.com ___________________________ On November 6th, not only will you be able to vote for your governor, senator, and various local officials next month, Rhode Islanders will also have a chance to vote on Question 3. There is a $47.3 million bond on November’s ballot that, if approved by voters, would support a state-wide investment in clean water, land cleanup, farmland, recreational facilities, BIKE TRAILS and BIKEWAYS, open spaces and public safety. This would include $5 million for bikeways to expand and improve the state’s bikeway network that runs through many communities. ‘Another $5 million would go toward building and maintaining our state’s parks and recreation facilities, while $5 million would expand and improve Rhode Island’s heavily used bicycle network. These are worthy causes, helping Rhode Islanders stay healthy and enjoy life.’ – The Providence Journal How can you help? Bike Newport supports the Green Economy and Clean Water Bond and encourages you to join us. Here are some actions you can take to help ensure this bond is passed: Do your research. Find out which candidates in your area support having a clean ocean, open green spaces, equity in recreational and transportation opportunities, and who wants a resilient community in the face of climate change. Spread the word to you friends and family and a wider audience via social media. Like our Facebook page and share our posts and blogs with your friends. VOTE YES ON 3 on November 6th. Add your name to our advocacy list. We’ll contact you when we need your support and voice. This might be writing letters, attending council meetings etc. Fill in this form and click the ‘advocacy’ box. The post On November 6th 2018, vote ‘Yes On 3’. Here’s why you should…. appeared first on Bike Newport.
Photo: Gus LeSaffre on Sakonnet Bridge Bike Lane / by David Hansen, Newport Daily News
The Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) is the list of transportation projects that the state intends to implement. It is overseen by Rhode Island’s federally-mandated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) – the State Planning Council.
Here’s what we can so far expect from both documents:
The RIDOT Ten Year Plan
RIDOT’s Ten Year Plan makes recommendations for priority projects and budgets. The Plan provides scenarios both with and without Rhode Works, the proposed funding plan that introduces truck tolls, specifically to increase funds for bridge repairs.
The Ten Year Plan is asset management focused, and dedicates early funds to urgent bridge repairs in response to the severely compromised condition of the state’s bridges.
With the limited exception of bridges that include both bikes and cars, the Ten Year Plan addresses bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in two general line items –
$129.7M is budgeted for Transportation Alternatives that include bike, pedestrian, Safe Routes to School, recreational trails, and retrofit sidewalks to meet ADA requirements.
$5M is recommended for incentives to choose transportation alternatives such as transit passes, vanpools, bike opportunities, and employer incentives.
The TIP (Transportation Improvement Plan)
The current TIP for years 2013-2016, expires in September 2016.
The next TIP will serve years 2017-2025, with proposed annual reviews and updates.
The invitation to submit applications for the next TIP will be released soon.
Applicants will be alerted as to which projects from the prior TIP have been resubmitted by RIDOT and which projects will need to be resubmitted by an applicant.
As no bike projects are specifically detailed in RIDOT’s Ten Year Plan and therefore are not resubmitted by RIDOT, all bike projects from the previous TIP will have to be resubmitted by the applicants, even if they were identified as high priority.
Applicants will receive guidance in public workshops and from staff at the Statewide Planning Program.
Each applicant organization and/or community will RANK priorities for their municipal area, including RIDOT’s recommended projects, along with the new and resubmitted projects included in their application.
There will be a public process to review all projects submitted.
Bari Freeman, Bike Newport’s Executive Director, is a member of the state’s Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC), a key advisory group participating in the development of the TIP. She has requested that the RESUBMIT process be spelled out very specifically in all correspondence and in the Application Guide so all stakeholders are fully aware that bicycle infrastructure projects from the previous TIP must be resubmitted.
Again, the Ten Year Plan can be viewed, downloaded, and searched HERE.