Thanks, Howard. All added up, these are some pretty disruptive obstacles. RIDOT seemed to take some time to apply some minimal patching to the situation last Spring, but some of this work has deteriorated and new problems have cropped up, such as a missing cover plate just this morning on an approx. 10" x 14" electrical junction box in the middle of the sidewalk. Add in the improper signage prohibiting bikes from the westbound travel lane/direction, and a letter does seem like a good idea.

I'll start drafting one up to RIDOT.



-----Original Message-----
From: Brown University Bicycle Commuting List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stone, Howard
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 9:54 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [BIKE-TO-BROWN] Washington Bridge photos

-----Original Message-----
From: Stone, Howard 
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 9:42 AM
To: Biketo; [log in to unmask]; Rogers, Donald; Greve, Mark
Subject: FW: [Advocacy] RIDOT Bicycle (Photos 1-3)

Steve Church at DOT just sent me 7 photos of the north sidewalk of the Henderson Bridge. The Bike to Brown email list doesn't accept attachments, so I couldn't send the photos. (I did sent them to Don Rogers, Mark Dieterich, and Mark Greve). Steve suggests that Bike to Brown send a letter to DOT Director Michael Lewis (see below). 
-----Original Message-----
From: Church, Steve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 8:38 AM
To: Stone, Howard
Subject: FW: [Advocacy] RIDOT Bicycle
Attached are 3 photo's of the area's on the bridge sidewalk you have expressed concerns about.
3 more photo's to be sent via a separate email as file is too large, hopefully you'll be able to open them.

From: Church, Steve 
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 8:18 AM
To: 'Stone, Howard'
Subject: FW: [Advocacy] RIDOT Bicycle
I would suggest that you consult with Mark Dietierch and/or Don Rogers & have Bike to Brown send in a formal letter to RIDOT Director Mike Lewis relative to the Henderson's westbound sidewalk issues.
In email below, Mark Greve refers to the same concerns you called me about, i.e. bases of old streetlights obstructing the sidewalk & sinkholes (on Providence side), sunken catch basin, & sinking (gap) in concrete section of sidewalk (E. Providence side).

(Unfortunately, my digital camera wasn't working properly this morning, no photo's)


From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mark Greve
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 12:16 PM
To: [log in to unmask]; Brown Cycling Club Discussion List; PBC
Subject: [Advocacy] RIDOT Bicycle
I will add that at the planning meeting for the Henderson bridge there was never any mention of closing down the sidewalks, only the roadway to cyclist traffic. If you look at the position of the jersey barriers (which are mobile) there is a lot of unused space that well could have accomodated traffic. The existing routing is really a dissapointment and certainly hardly a surprise that cyclists are not adhering to it. The first time I approached the eastbound route and saw the blockage the options apparent to me were to cross both lanes of traffic and mediate a large barrier wearing my cleats to get onto a sidewalk, or to sprint through the ramp of death. 
The sidewalk should be noted is in horrendous shape despite RIDOT promises. RIDOT promised us would be cleaned, potentially repaved and made safe for traffic; while in reality it is unlit, has the bases of the old streetlights obstructing the sidewalk, filled with potholes and is a mess. The streetlamp bases are pretty ominous looking, with wires and pieces of metal poking out. 

I totally agree with Geoff that using your bike against traffic for civil disobediance is just downright stupid. But there is a HUGE problem with RIDOT. They quite simply are unable to do safe and appropriate traffic planning for cyclists. It's not a money thing, it's that nobody is thinking like a cyclist when they make these plans. Blackstone is another example of this. The bike lanes are for people riding around blackstone, not just one direction. As a result the cyclist traffic has to cross motor vehicle traffic multiple times and really exposes them to collisions. Cycling lanes on the left would have solved this and other problems.  

I've spoken to the Mayor on this and he does seem genuinely interested in making Providence a better city for people who don't want to use cars, and specifically getting cars out of downtown. There are a lot of plans to increase cycling lanes and access. If you want to really affect how cylists are prioritized, Cicilline is likely going to be making a run for governor. Donate some money to his campaign and make sure they know why you are sending him the money.  no cash? volunteer that's the old school way of getting city hall to do what you want.
I do think that we need cyclist on the inside for city planning. Perhaps a body of three normal people who ride their bikes, are able to attend planning meetings, have some knowledge about traffic planning (or are willing to dedicate some effort at developing this knowledge) and are willing to work towards solutions with the city and state. Not as private citizens whose voice is in the background, but as members of the planning committee. This really is the time to develop a presence, at no time in our lives has alternative transportation been more important and more legitimate.


To: [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]
From: [log in to unmask]
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2008 10:45:30 -0400
Subject: [providencevelo] Henderson Bridge update
Most specifically about the lane restrictions on the East bound side.

Right now the first exit ramp is closed.  Just to make you aware of it (if you hadn't been across since the weekend).

I've witnessed many cyclists still riding in the roadway.  I do applaud your civil disobedience, however I will temper it with the facts that when cyclists do ride on the roadway there it is doing more harm than good for "our" cause.  Some traffic is happy to pass you.  Some won't.  And coupled with the fact that it is illegal to do so has me asking that everyone refrain from riding there.

The sidewalk is a minor inconvenience but it is a legal option and one that shouldn't be ignored.

I am appealing to all group rides, commuters and what not that have used the Henderson to go East from Providence to either use the sidewalk or head up to the bridge in Pawtucket.  

It is a temporary solution.  It might add a few miles to a few meters to use the sidewalk or the 'tucket bridge.  But, it is well worth it from a PR point of view.

Thanks for letting me voice my opinion on the subject, and by all means, keep riding and keep promoting the benefits of riding to everyone around you.  Word of mouth and examples are the best cycling advocacy tools we have!


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