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Blackstone Blvd. bike lane drama flares anew


N4N is all for promoting bicycle use. Back in 2001, I wrote a piece exploring why there aren't more people on bikes in Providence, a surprising situation given the city's small size. Yet as I riffed back in July:

The new bike lanes on Blackstone Boulevard will probably cause more confusion than anything else.

One lane on each way of the previously two-lane boulevard is now bedecked with white paint, signifying that it's for bicyclists. So are cars not supposed to drive in the bike lane if bicyclists are not present? What about just a couple of byclists over a broad swath of boulevard?

The boulevard doesn't really need bike lanes. Sure, look long enough and you will find some motorists who think they have exclusive right to the roads, but this is a place where bicylists and drivers have mostly peacefully coexisted for years.

Sure enough, former mayor Joseph Paolino and other correspondents wrote to the ProJo, rapping the Blackstone Blvd. bike lanes as ill-advised. Someone, presumably Prov police, has also periodically placed pylons along the boulevard at various times, to prevent cars from driving in the bike lanes.

Anyway, Councilman Cliff has called a meeting on the subject for tonight:

Date:  Wednesday October 15, 2008
Time:  6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Place: School One (Downstairs Library)
            220 University Avenue

Agenda: Blackstone Blvd. Bike Lane
• Feedback on bike lane since opening
• Review process for creating bike lanes
• Overview of City of Providence’s  plans for additional bike lanes Citywide.

 Invited Guests include:

• Mayor Cicilline’s Office
• Providence Police Department
• Planning and Development
• Department of Public Works
• Traffic Engineering

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