Bike Providence will make cycling easier in and around city - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Bike Providence will make cycling easier in and around city

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Nicole Gerber

ngerber@abc6.com

@nicolegerber

PROVIDENCE - Changes are already underway... part of a new plan to revitalize commuting via bicycle in and around Providence.

New bike paths and shared roadways, a pedestrian bridge over the Providence River, and better signs are all part of Bike Providence... along with education for cyclists and drivers about proper biking laws and techniques.

"It's about connecting destinations," said Eric Weis, Trail Program Coordinator for East Coast Greenway Alliance. "We know where most people live... and we know where most people work... and so if we can easily identify the destinations, then we know where it's more important to develop good routing."

In addition, organizers hope to make a change of mentality as well.

"The more people riding bicycles for transportation... that's fewer cars on the road. Better for environmental health... better for personal health," said Weis.

"I'm retired and I purposely don't have a car," said Bruce Stowers, who was out riding his bike along the Providence River Greenway this afternoon.

"I think we're going in the right direction....we need to do a lot more I think the city can become a tremendous bike centric city," Stowers said.

One of the major parts of the Bike Providence project will be take the existing structures in the Providence River that used to be part of the route 195 overpass... and turning those into a bridge for cyclists and pedestrians.

"What we're doing is creating a traffic separated opportunity for people who live on the East Bay and the east side of Providence, to bike to work without having to compete for space with cars at all," Weis said.

Many changes are already in the works.

The city is expected to keep making improvements over the next several years.

(C) WLNE-2013

 

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