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mimesis

Bike Lanes in Providence

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As the weather warms up, I see more and more people getting their bikes out of garages and sheds and hitting the pavement. I know there was talk some time ago installing bike lanes on Broadway, but it looks like things have stalled. I was thinking of starting an online petition to get the proverbial ball rolling again. I'd be really grateful for any suggestions. Here's a preliminary draft:

Bike Lanes on Broadway

We, the undersigned, proud citizens of Providence, Rhode Island, wish to express our support for designated bicycle lanes on Providence roadways. Bicycle lanes encourage carbon-neutral transportation, contribute to vibrant streetscapes, and help promote an orderly flow of traffic increasing the predictability and safety of both motorists and bicyclists.

We think that Broadway is an excellent candidate for designated bicycle lanes because:

1. There is a large number of bicycle commuters who use this roadway;

2. The exceptional width of the street can accommodate both on-street parking and bicycle lanes, and;

3. Broadway serves as a vital artery between the West End to Downcity.

We urge RIDOT and the City of Providence to implement bicycle lanes on Broadway by the summer of 2007. We believe that this is an important element in the continuing Providence Renaissance.

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This was proposed in the Bike Providence plan done by VHB done a while back. It's one of the only streets wide enough in the city to accommodate bike lanes without reducing on-street parking.

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I think it would be a good idea to talk to Lombardi & Jabour to get their support behind the petition, too.

I have to admit that I am not so optimistic about being able to prevail on RIDOT, considering that their priorities seem to be driven as much or more by federal funding limits than by local demand. This summer seems like a tall order. But the bike lanes are a worthy cause.

It's worth a shot!

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The city could always put in an Enhancement Application for the project when RIDOT does another call for enhancement projects.

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As the weather warms up, I see more and more people getting their bikes out of garages and sheds and hitting the pavement. I know there was talk some time ago installing bike lanes on Broadway, but it looks like things have stalled. I was thinking of starting an online petition to get the proverbial ball rolling again. I'd be really grateful for any suggestions. Here's a preliminary draft:

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I'm not really in favor of dedicated bike lanes. Bikes have the rights to travel on any street (except for expressways) and are expected to follow all the traffic rules set up for cars. In a city like Providence, with narrow streets and no room for increasing our streets' size, creating a limited number of bike lanes on the few streets where they would fit sets up an expectation among drivers that bikes belong in bike lanes and nowhere else. For Providence, I'd like to see a system like the one that is coming together in Berkeley, CA (and is just getting under way in NYC) of Bicycle Boulevards. These streets are designed to calm traffic and allow bikes and cars to share the road. We have too many important corridors where bike lanes will not fit, modifying these roads so that bikes can share the space is the answer for Providence.

This is what one of the shared bike routes looks like in Berkeley:

shared_lane_berkeley.jpg

This is an example from New York:

shared_lane_5th_ave2.jpg

For Broadway in particular, I'd prefer to see something like what Paris is doing with it's Mobilien project. They've created reserved lanes for buses, taxis, and bikes separate from regular traffic.

I could see a system like this on Broadway:

paris_most_of_street_bus.jpg

There's not room for sidewalk {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} parking {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} bike lane {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} traffic lane {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} transit lane {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} transit lane {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} traffic lane {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} bike lane {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} parking {sodEmoji.{sodEmoji.|}} sidewalk on Broadway or any other street in Providence for that matter, so we need to put two or more modes in some of those lanes in some areas to get and keep everyone moving.

More Paris:

mob27_vauriol_grand.jpg

L91_velo_inauguration_grand.jpg

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This was proposed in the Bike Providence plan done by VHB done a while back. It's one of the only streets wide enough in the city to accommodate bike lanes without reducing on-street parking.

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For Broadway in particular, I'd prefer to see something like what Paris is doing with it's Mobilien project. They've created reserved lanes for buses, taxis, and bikes separate from regular traffic.

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That sounds like a good idea. Do these calls for enhancement projects occur at regular intervals?

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To implement a separate multiuse lane on Broadway would require a bunch of changes in traffic planning, RIPTA, and traffic ordinances that are probably best addressed in the Transit plan.

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In addition to the Bike Boulevard concept, Providence and Rhode Island as a whole needs an entire "Share the Road" marketing/education campaign. Not just sharing the road with bikes, but also the fact that pedestrians are indeed allowed to cross the street and no, they are not in your way when they are crossing with their light. People seem not to be able to grasp the concept that pedestrians actually need to cross the street to sometimes to get from point A to point B.

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i think that some of the old timers on broadway will not want a bike lane, based on past experiences with change on Broadway. Folks haven't even been able to get a bike lane on Blackstone BLVD because of the neighbors there and i'm not even sure there's any parking there. My beef with bike lanes is that they simply become the place where all the crap goes from the road and it never gets cleaned up... The lane on Allens Ave/Narra Blvd has about 15 ft of sand on it. Making it patently unsafe for bikes.

I agree that a share the road campaign and fines for bicylists, pedestrians and drivers who violate already active laws. I'd love to be able to stop my car and give a ticket to people crossing against the light and not just crossing, but sauntering as slow as possible. And bikes who run red lights simply because they can should also be ticketed.

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Folks haven't even been able to get a bike lane on Blackstone BLVD because of the neighbors there and i'm not even sure there's any parking there.

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I have to admit, that thought never really crosses my mind as I gun it through the intersection. :thumbsup:

My wife commutes downtown via bike on Broadway all the time, especially lately with the warm weather and I bike down Boradway as well. Honestly, I have never felt unsafe. Would I like to have a dedicated lane? Maybe. But I would much rather have the education and courtesy on the driver's part.

The "Share the Road" education campaign is definitely needed, especially in regards to understanding how pedestrians fit in. I feel a lot more unsafe crossing an intersection than I do on my bike.

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My wife commutes downtown via bike on Broadway all the time, especially lately with the warm weather and I bike down Boradway as well. Honestly, I have never felt unsafe. Would I like to have a dedicated lane? Maybe. But I would much rather have the education and courtesy on the driver's part.

The "Share the Road" education campaign is definitely needed, especially in regards to understanding how pedestrians fit in. I feel a lot more unsafe crossing an intersection than I do on my bike.

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I would be happy with a "Bike Boulevard" but I would prefer a dedicated bike lane (since I think that a road the width of Broadway can easily accommodate it).

But I think it's important not to dilute our voices. It seems that most people here would much prefer either a Bike Boulevard or a Dedicated Bike Lane to nothing. But if we don't find a way to effectively pool our voices, we might end up with nothing.

Perhaps the petition could be re-worded so as to be neutral between boulevards or dedicated lanes, so that more people could endorse it. In the end, it's the City and the City traffic engineers who will decide exactly what form this will take, anyway.

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my issue with dedicated bike lanes is they become a "second" lane of traffic for cars. to actually believe people who drive around here would obey the rules is kidding yourself. in philly where they have dedicated bus and trolley lanes, cars still drive in them, and down there, they actually follow the "don't block the box" rule of not pulling into an intersection when you can't get all the way through. i do that here and i feel like the guy behind me is gonna ram me until i do it, but i hold my ground.

i would like to see share the road campaigns and bike corridors with markings on the road and some signs that designate certain major roadways as bike corridors. i just don't have enough faith in RI drivers to trust that they'd actually stay out of the bike lane. they probably think bikes belong on the sidewalk. i'd rather see dedicated transit lanes than bike lanes. far more people walk and use transit than bike. i think it'd serve a larger group of people and the bikers can have those "bike boulevards" that cotuit suggested.

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Bike lanes properly striped and maintained generally work very well. The ones on Narragansett Blvd in Cranston never have cars in them. You have to make them wide enough to be safe for bikers but not too wide that cars feel like they can use them or that the road feels so wide that people want to drive faster.

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since i can't seem to find any other thread about biking in the city (i thought there used to be one), i'll post this here...

has anyone biked dean st north of atwells (basically from atwells to smith)? if so, can you give your experience, especially if done during rush hour? i'll be moving to the hill soon and am trying to figure out a good way to get to work without having to drive. since there's no buses from the hill to PC, i'd need to take a bus or walk to KP and then up to PC or i'd need to walk dean street. i was thinking biking might be better... but that road is just plain scary during rush hour (and the hill would probably be easier walking than biking anyways). anyone have any suggestions on a good bike route?

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Put your bike on an outbound 26 bus then bike from where that route ends.

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runawayjim, you know that I live near Admiral and River in Elmhurst. When I would bike to work, I would avoid that section of Dean St by biking

River Ave -> Valley St -> Eagle St -> Atwells Ave -> Dean St, obviously, the reverse at the end of the day.

I know the River Ave/Valley St hill is steep, but after a few runs, it was tollerable. This seemed far safer, although still not safe by my standards, than biking north or south on that section of Dean St/Pleasant Valley Pkwy/Raymond St/

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runawayjim, you know that I live near Admiral and River in Elmhurst. When I would bike to work, I would avoid that section of Dean St by biking

River Ave -> Valley St -> Eagle St -> Atwells Ave -> Dean St, obviously, the reverse at the end of the day.

I know the River Ave/Valley St hill is steep, but after a few runs, it was tollerable. This seemed far safer, although still not safe by my standards, than biking north or south on that section of Dean St/Pleasant Valley Pkwy/Raymond St/

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Here are the pictures

So, is this what you want to get up River Ave from Valley?

Great Idea - why burn your own energy, when you can burn somebody elses? </sarcasm>

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