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Recchia

Biking in Rhode Island

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snowbike001.jpg

I thought the discussion on biking in Providence deserved it's own thread:

BikeDowntown

Bike Rhode Island

-Cotuit

...as another alternative to cars I would like to see Providence proper get a little more active in the Greenway corridor and have some kind of connection for bicycles between the East Bay Bike Path, the Cranston Bike Path, and the in development Blackstone River Bikepath. I think that will get something going across the new Washington Bridge and then through the 195 area to connect to Allens Ave but this doesn't get anyone into Downcity. Right now, Providence streets are not friendly to bikes, IMO, and there is no place around to really leave on either. I know foot traffic is better than bike traffic but the more ways people can get into the city without bringing their cars, the better.

Welcome to UP brick.

Connecting our greenways is and should be a top priority. Last I heard, VHB had done a study of the best routes to connect them all to a "bike hub", which they chose to be the mall. Here's a map of their findings, from the www.bikedowntown.org site:

bikeprovidence.jpg

The Woonasquatucket River Greenway will connect all the way to the already bike laned Promenade/Kinsley Streets to the mall. This will be the first bikeway to actually connect to downtown. Then after that, ti will be easy to connect the Washington Secondary to the Woonasquatucket along one of the route 10 service roads. Broadway is also supposed to be striped for bike lanes, since it is one of the widest. A lot of the other streets around the city are too narrow for bike lanes, however, and would require the removal of parking on at least one side of the street, something I think the city would be reluctant, for obvious reasons, to do. Plans are now underway to bring the Blackstone at least down into Pawtucket, then we'll see from there. Bringing it down Blackstone Blvd onto Angell/Waterman would probably be the best option after that, then you could also hook up with the East Bay bikepath over the new Washington Bridge via Gano Street.

I wish they would add lanes to the Henderson Bridge, and connect the Ten Mile River Greenway to it alongside the East Junction railroad line. That'd work.

i think there is planning for the greenways to all be connected. there's this big plan to have greenways connecting the entire eastern seaboard. my stepfather was on my hometown's conservation commission and told me about this plan a few years ago. i'd like to see the blackstone valley bike path connected to the east bay one personally. but they should extend them to go into more populated areas, a nice quick route from one part of the state (or town) to the next without worrying about cars...

and bike lanes are important. this is something that philly also has all over the city... bike lanes. granted, in providence, many of the streets are too narrow (which makes me wonder why they ever made them 2 way streets to begin with, but that's another discussion). but bike lanes on the major streets would entice more people to bike to work (at least the young professionals). the only thing that would make it tough is the drivers here who think they are the most important person on the road and there's no telling what kind of crazy move they'll make...

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I did the east bay bike path. Lots of fun besides the getto access from downtown. ( worst part was when we found out the fox point walking bridge was gone )

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I downloaded the huge version of the map and I think it is ok but not the greatest solution. Hope Street for one is awful to bike on because of all the utility work that has been done on the sides of the road. I hope if they don't just paint some lines and think their job is done. I think it would be nice if part of the old train tunnel which is currently used by RIPTA could be converted to a bike route so that bikers would not have to go up and down college hill. This isn't bad for exercise but for bike commuters it is hard to do without a lot of sweat!

I would also think that the bike hub should have been part of the RIPTA center in Kennedy Plaza but I guess there is already enough there?

I like the plan of adding a bike lane to the Red Bridge. They really wouldn't need to add any structure as it could easily be a single lane of traffic going into East Prov. The double lane was intended for the road project which was going to link the bridge to 114 in Barrington and dovetail around to the Rt. 37 bridge across the bay, a plan that was scrapped many yeas ago. I live in Oak Hill and ride the East Bay Bike Path every Saturday morning, time permitting and have always wondered why they don't connect it up somewhere over there. I also hope a bike path is part of the plan for the development of the EProv waterfront. With the existing train line it should be fairly easy to accomplish, although I do recognize that the land has value.

One thing I would like but may be hard to accomplish is to get a bike path installed along the River through Butler and Swan Point and up into downtown Pawtucket. Unfortunately this is private land which is probably not very available. But this would be a natural biking route. Blackstone Blvd is great but then you get to East Avenue which is much too narrow for the traffic it carries, particularly when you get down to the Shea High School area.

runawayjim, the connection of the greenways is the East Coast Greenway and it's meant to run all the way to Key West. It had a lot of steam about 3-4 years ago but seems to be losing some right now. Maybe it will gain back some momentum as gas prices remain at current levels.

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Does the East Side Rail tunnel have enough width to allow for light rail AND a bikeway? That'd be cool.

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Only in some places but for the most part they put the trail ontop of the old rail line.

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Only in some places but for the most part they put the trail ontop of the old rail line.

yeah I was just thinking of keeping the rail just in case, and allowing the rest of the ROW to be a bikeway. Like the Blackstone River Bikeway for certain stretches.

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PVDseal.gif

Executive Office, City of Providence, Rhode Island

DAVID N. CICILLINE, MAYOR

Date: November 7th, 2005

For Immediate Release

Contact: Karen Southern, Press Secretary

(401) 421-2489 x 752

PRESS RELEASE

MAYOR, GROUNDWORK PROVIDENCE LAUNCH CAMPAIGN TO MAKE PROVIDENCE MORE PEDESTRIAN & CYCLIST FRIENDLY

Public safety campaign includes efforts to raise public awareness of existing traffic laws, road infrastructure improvements and stepped up enforcement

Providence

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You know what would assist biking around town? Clean streets. Maybe I'm a wimp, but when I'm biking along the side of a busy street, trying to stay out of traffic, its difficult trying to dodge broken glass, pits of sand, and other debris.

This summer I finally started biking to work. I basically had to get to south Elmwood from the PC area. Not an easy task. Its actually faster to get down Elmwood by bike than by car in the afternoons though. :blink:

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You know what would assist biking around town? Clean streets. Maybe I'm a wimp, but when I'm biking along the side of a busy street, trying to stay out of traffic, its difficult trying to dodge broken glass, pits of sand, and other debris.

You're a wimp. Broken glass and sand drifts are the kinds of things that'll put hair on your chest. :P

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This summer I finally started biking to work. I basically had to get to south Elmwood from the PC area. Not an easy task. Its actually faster to get down Elmwood by bike than by car in the afternoons though. :blink:

I think its faster to walk down Elmwood rather than drive. Same with Broad Street, Francis, Washington, etc. etc.

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I downloaded the huge version of the map and I think it is ok but not the greatest solution. Hope Street for one is awful to bike on because of all the utility work that has been done on the sides of the road. I hope if they don't just paint some lines and think their job is done. I think it would be nice if part of the old train tunnel which is currently used by RIPTA could be converted to a bike route so that bikers would not have to go up and down college hill. This isn't bad for exercise but for bike commuters it is hard to do without a lot of sweat!

I would also think that the bike hub should have been part of the RIPTA center in Kennedy Plaza but I guess there is already enough there?

I like the plan of adding a bike lane to the Red Bridge. They really wouldn't need to add any structure as it could easily be a single lane of traffic going into East Prov. The double lane was intended for the road project which was going to link the bridge to 114 in Barrington and dovetail around to the Rt. 37 bridge across the bay, a plan that was scrapped many yeas ago. I live in Oak Hill and ride the East Bay Bike Path every Saturday morning, time permitting and have always wondered why they don't connect it up somewhere over there. I also hope a bike path is part of the plan for the development of the EProv waterfront. With the existing train line it should be fairly easy to accomplish, although I do recognize that the land has value.

One thing I would like but may be hard to accomplish is to get a bike path installed along the River through Butler and Swan Point and up into downtown Pawtucket. Unfortunately this is private land which is probably not very available. But this would be a natural biking route. Blackstone Blvd is great but then you get to East Avenue which is much too narrow for the traffic it carries, particularly when you get down to the Shea High School area.

runawayjim, the connection of the greenways is the East Coast Greenway and it's meant to run all the way to Key West. It had a lot of steam about 3-4 years ago but seems to be losing some right now. Maybe it will gain back some momentum as gas prices remain at current levels.

my stepfather had told me about the greenway project. i haven't heard much of it since, but i don't know why it doesn't pick up again. greenways in general were very popular (more than they are now) about 3-4 years ago. i remember the first time i used one in houston... it was pretty nice connecting various neighborhoods/developments (this was the outskirts of houston, i forget the name of the town).

i'm not sure that kennedy plaza would be a great hub for a bikeway... it's already crowded and busy with both people and cars. not to mention, i don't think i'd ever consider leaving my bike there...

the state could try to buy some of the land to build a greenway along the river up the east side, i'm sure butler and swan point are already funded somewhat by the state/city.

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The East Coast Greenway, as planned through RI, will follow the Washington Secondary (Cranston) bike path and then the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. From there it would have to be on street and eventually connect either to the Blackstone Bikeway and go up to Worcester, or to the Ten Mile River Greenway and shoot into Mass that way. Clinton started this, didn't he? I doubt this is important at all to our current president...

According to the VHB study, the bike/pedestrian hub is supposed to be the mall, somewhere around the pedestrian underpass between Promenade and Francis, with bike racks and even showers.

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The East Coast Greenway, as planned through RI, will follow the Washington Secondary (Cranston) bike path and then the Woonasquatucket River Greenway. From there it would have to be on street and eventually connect either to the Blackstone Bikeway and go up to Worcester, or to the Ten Mile River Greenway and shoot into Mass that way. Clinton started this, didn't he? I doubt this is important at all to our current president...

According to the VHB study, the bike/pedestrian hub is supposed to be the mall, somewhere around the pedestrian underpass between Promenade and Francis, with bike racks and even showers.

Yeah I wasn't trying to say that the path along the Blackstone had to be the connection, but it would make some sense. Going along the Blackstone would have a bikepath along Butler and Swan Point, and then along the river in Pawtucket to Taft St./roosevelt Ave which goes under I-95. Any other way of connecting to downtown Pawtucket and then the Blackstone bikeway would involve going over I-95 on already narrow bridges. I wouldn't want to share those with cars. According the VHB plan, I guess you would go down Hope St. to East Ave. and then make your way down to Pleasant St. in Pawtucket? East Ave. is fine until Shea high and then gets too narrow, and the cross-streets are pretty narrow. Hope St. sucks, frankly, at least between Blackstone and Hope Village. I ride it a lot during the summer and if there were multiple riders on it along with all the damn bus stops and those stupid new curbings they have put in, it would be nearly impossible to navigate.

If they went along the Blackstone/Seekonk river, then they could connect it at Richmond Square to go across to the Ten Mile River path which I assume will eventually hook up with the East Bay path, and they could use Angell St. or the old rail tunnel to connect to downtown and the Woonasquatucket Path and the rest of the Greenway going south.

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Hope Street was one of the streets that they said would need parking removed on at least one side in order to be feasible, and that will NEVER happen.

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According to the VHB study, the bike/pedestrian hub is supposed to be the mall, somewhere around the pedestrian underpass between Promenade and Francis, with bike racks and even showers.

Hi Recchia,

Could you please direct me to a copy of the report you reference? I see the map earlier in the thread, but no accompanying information.

Thanks!

Jack

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Hi Recchia,

Could you please direct me to a copy of the report you reference? I see the map earlier in the thread, but no accompanying information.

Thanks!

Jack

The map is the only information that's online (www.bikedowntown.org). I have a summary that I did of the report, but it's at home and I'm at school right now. Maybe when I'm home next I can scan it.

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is it just me or does it seem strange that a road as major as smith street isn't part of their bike routes...

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is it just me or does it seem strange that a road as major as smith street isn't part of their bike routes...

Yeah, I think it's too narrow once you get over 95. Seeing that it connects to two colleges though, you'd think it should be included.

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Yeah, I think it's too narrow once you get over 95. Seeing that it connects to two colleges though, you'd think it should be included.

it's only narrow for a few blocks, until it hits oakland ave. then it's one of the widest 2 way streets with only 1 lane in each direction in the city... all the way up to centerdale, even with cars parked on both sides of the road...

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I thought I'd start a new thread devoted to bicycling in the Ocean State. We are very lucky to have a number of bicycle paths and bicycle lanes throughout our small state.

I'd be interested to see what roads people recommend biking on, what your favorite bike paths are, roads that are horrible for biking, etc.

RIDOT's BikeRI website is an excellent resource for finding bike paths and suitable biking roads throughout the state, as well as updates on bike projects.

Bike RI Website

RIBikeways.gif

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i don't bike in the city, but i do take my bike up to blackstone valley or east bay bike path. i don't know if the blackstone one is finished yet, but they used to have it cut off with a dirt path from construction. i got yelled at as i tried to cross it once (even though people were using it all the time, i guess they decided they needed a cop guarding the construction area).

the east bay one is nice when it's not windy. i once did the whole path (it's something like 14.7 miles long, so i did 29.4). it was a rough ride back, especially going up the last hill.

i think blackstone is my favorite of the 2 because it's less crowded and more "new englandy". it's really nice in the fall when the leaves change. also, it doesn't involve riding along streets or anything, so it's much more peaceful. i think it's something like 8 or 9 miles in length total.

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That was probly the bridge they're replacing that was blocked off.

I actually have never ridden a bike on any of our bikepaths, but have walked on or rollerbladed on almost all of them. I like the Washington Secondary the best, fantastic bridges over the Pawtuxet and a more urban setting. Nothing, however, beats the views of the water on the East Bay Bikepath. Blackstone is my least favorite too, it's too isolated and the part where you go under 295 is just scary as hell.

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That was probly the bridge they're replacing that was blocked off.

I actually have never ridden a bike on any of our bikepaths, but have walked on or rollerbladed on almost all of them. I like the Washington Secondary the best, fantastic bridges over the Pawtuxet and a more urban setting. Nothing, however, beats the views of the water on the East Bay Bikepath. Blackstone is my least favorite too, it's too isolated and the part where you go under 295 is just scary as hell.

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