2015-05-28 / News Briefs

Comment Period on Bikeway Design

At a recent public hearing, the Portsmouth Town Council was presented a design study for a combined on-road and off-road bikeway that will provide a continuous corridor for bicycle travel along the west side of the island. The plan can be viewed at aquidneckplanning.org, at the Aquidneck Island Plannig Commission office, or at the Portsmouth Free Library.

Public comments regarding the Aquidneck Island Bikeway Design study may be submitted until June 19 to aipccomment@gmail.com or mailed to the Planning Commission, 437 Broadway, Newport.

The AIPC received a $75,000 grant award from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation to conduct a professional Design Study Review (DSR) for the Portsmouth portion of its proposed 18-mile Aquidneck Island Bikeway. The feasibility study is required by the State of Rhode Island Statewide Planning Program and the Department of Transportation (RIDOT) prior to consideration of future work.

The focus of the study is a link between the end of Cory’s Lane and Stringham/Burma Road, located next to the railroad tracks and along the bay. This 1.2-mile section is designed to avoid, as much as possible, the large volumes of high speed traffic on West Main Road. However, practical alternatives to the route along the railroad tracks will also be reviewed.

If endorsed by the Town of Portsmouth, the bikeway project will be reviewed by RIDOT to determine if it is eligible for the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). If accepted, the project competes for funding for which there is no guarantee. If the state does fund the project, it would pay for the remaining design, engineering, permitting and construction costs. The $75,000 investment will leverage the state costs necessary to complete the bikeway.

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