Today’s post on ribike.org is an update on the construction of bike/pedestrian walkway to go along I-195 connecting Providence to East Providence. If you’ve lived in the area for a while, you may remember that the bridge was closed to cyclists and pedestrians for about 2 years while work was done on the automotive part of the bridge. Now they want to close it down for an additional two years to build a bike/pedestrian path on the bridge. Bike and pedestrian traffic will be expected to take the Henderson Bridge instead. Mark Dietrich from RI Bike received a letter from RI DOT explaining why they have to close the bridge for two years and why they are such great people (you can get to the letter from the post linked above). By a strange coincidence, I had some business to conduct in EP today, and I thought I’d take the Henderson bridge on the way there, and the Washington Bridge on the way back. It wasn’t until I sat down to my laptop to get my daily intake of bike blogs that I realized the fortuitousness of my choice of routes. Here’s what greeted me on the approach to the Henderson:
I know that the sign on the post says “bike lane,” but that symbol on the road looks more like a unicycle. Let’s take a closer look…
Broken glass, auto parts, a can of natty lite (not pictured), and SAND SAND SAND! The lane got a little better further down the road, but I had to duck into the travel lane in order to avoid a few more sand & glass traps. So this is what RI DOT wants us to use while they take 2 years to build a special road for us on the Washington Bridge. The stupid question is: Why didn’t they just build it at the same time they did all of the other construction? Why close it for two years, while not doing any actual work on it? Then they open it for a year and now close it again for two years.
They do need to seriously work on the pedestrian and bike accomodations on the Washington Bridge. I didn’t get any pictures on my way home today. It’s a very narrow path, not wide enough for two cyclists to pass each other. In fact, you have to pull over on to one of the “turrets” on the bridge in order to let another person go by in the opposite direction. There are signs telling cyclists to walk their bikes, but that’s really a ridiculous expectation. Cyclists should yield to pedestrians on the walkway, but to ask them to go from 10 MPH (a safe riding speed on the walkway) down to 3 MPH is crazy.
Bike Valet at the Farmers’ Market tomorrow… er, later today as it were. Saturday, that is. See you there.