SOUND OFF: Bike Lanes on Memorial, Safer or Short Sighted?

The DOT installed new bike lanes on Memorial Boulevard last week. Residents have expressed mixed feelings about the project.

Last week, as part of several projects across the island, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) installed new bike lanes on Memorial Boulevard.

Some residents said they were surprised that the project removed a lane of traffic on the westbound side of the road, starting at Aquidneck Avenue until Rhode Island Avenue.

"The idea of the change was to make things safer for cyclists, but I fear the change may make it more dangerous for cars and bikes, " said resident Darcy Roland. "This will be especially true in the summer months."

The project was influenced by local advocacy group, Bike Newport, after a car hit and killed Middletown resident Elliot Kaminitz last June.  Although the intention is to make the road safer for cyclists, many residents have reported that it's confusing. 

"I really think the word needs to spread on what exactly the sign in the road means coming down Memorial Blvd. towards Thames St," said Brian Gumkowski on the Bike Newport Facebook page. "My co-workers weren't aware of what it was, actually one thought it was artwork."

We want to know: Did you drive on Memorial Boulevard this weekend?  What did you think of the changes? 


Matt November 20, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I think its great for both the cyclists and the slowing of traffic. Ive seen people (regularly) going significantly faster than the speed limit, Im guessing 50+mph. The single lane will slow people down, and for the locals that are worried about traffic being backed up, take an alternate route!
Albert Cabestany November 20, 2012 at 07:33 PM
At first, it looked like just another land grab by a special interest group. Our two wheelers, motorized or not, are inherintly more dangerous than cars. However, after driving the route a few times, I think it is something we all can get use to. It was just a matter of time. Those monuments have got to go.
Bill November 20, 2012 at 11:25 PM
maybe we should dale ride his tricycle on the newport bridge too. or maybe a ferry just for bikes to block island. Actually lets just make Easton's Isthmus for bikes only and make the majority of islanders have to go around. And what about people that want to bike on railroads? The dinner train should think about safe bike access on the tracks. it's like people on bikes feel they are better then motorist. It's probably because they are getting exercise, and us lazy car people are just in the way. Get a life or a job and drive to it. After, put your bike on the roof of your car and drive it to a safe place and ride it around in circles. you weirdo bike narcissist.
Dale Clark November 24, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Kim I totally agree this is poor planing they should of received input from driver's and bike people alike.As for norrowing the road's this is not the answer they could have cut down the size of the sideways on Memoril after all the town council gave up most of the public side walk space in most part's of our City and didnot even charge the business any extra tax dollars for infringeing on the public right of ways?
Sheila November 27, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Yeah they will slow down to a complete halt when the summer arrives!! No telling how long that traffic jam will be.


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