Northeast - Crossing the Jamestown bridge in RI
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07-15-08, 08:43 PM
What is the best way to cross the Jamestown bridge in Rhode Island around Newport?
I am touring the Atlantic Coast route later this summer and not sure how to cross this bridge.
I read that there is a pedestrian path to walk the bike on but the DOT is not confirming it.
Anyone crossed this bridge recently? How?
07-16-08, 10:41 AM
Cut and pasted form an earlier thread on the same subject)
There isn't a legal way to ride across the two bridges to get to Newport. The first bridge, the Jamestown bridge, was built to accommodate bicycles but the state has banned bicycles and probably will forever. The second bridge is the Newport Bridge and it is not only unsafe to ride on but they will reel you in.
Here are some options on how to get across:
1)There is bus service, but it only runs a few times a day, handles only two bikes and doesn't run on Sundays: From the RIPTA web site look up route 64
2) As mentioned by the earlier poster you can simply hitch hike across. I have done this. Whether or not hitch hiking is legal in RI I don't know.
3) There is a seasonal ferry between Newport and Jamestown, which avoids the Newport but not the need to cross the Jamestown bridge. This is a very scenic ferry, but it only bypasses the Newport bridge.
4) So you can simply ride across the Jamestown bridge to take the ferry(from May to Sept???), riding the Jamestown bridge is easy to do ( it was legal for many years) and many riders do this, but you run the risk of arrest or harassment by police. Also, I don't think you have much recourse if any thing bad happened.
5) Try a land route north through Providence. Maybe 60 miles? There is no mapped or signed route to guide this way, but there are two bike paths leading to and fro the city but again no easy way to connect the dots. The ride from Providence to Newport is really nice with a only one bad part: a short section of "take the lane" riding. (There is also a Newport to Providence ferry, that I believe is seasonal)
PS: Don't know if you are going east from Newport, but there is another forbidden bridge. The Sakonnet Bridge. Again it was legal riding for years but now it isn't.
07-16-08, 01:27 PM
If you decide to ride from Prov. to Newport, check out the East BAy bike path. this will get you to Bristol. Main road to the Mt. Hope bridge whis is crossable by bikes. Its a high bridge with no seperate path. Get the RI bike map either online or hard copy.Ed
07-16-08, 06:55 PM
There isn't a legal way to ride across
How about walking across? I am trying to assert whether there is a separate walking pedestrian path. I have surrendered to the fact that I cannot ride, but I read hints online about a pedestrian path. Does it exist? Can one walk on that path to cross the bridge?
Indeed, once we get to Jamestown, we will take the ferry, it is just how we get there.
I found two buses (14 & 64) the cross Jamestown. The problem is that they each accommodate only two bicycles. There is about an hour between one bus and the next. And there are a few of us.
Does anyone have information about the walking path?
07-16-08, 06:56 PM
Thank you for the hint. I found actually a good map on RI DOT: http://www.dot.ri.gov/bikeri/ that will help along the way.
07-17-08, 06:15 AM
How about walking across?
Does anyone have information about the walking path?
The last I knew there was no pedestrian accommodation at all. And that was before they erected a fence to prevent us from using other streets(Plum Point RD) to get to it and before a construction company placed new fence when the old bridge was demolished.
I walked the walkway many years ago-with my bike-and the walkway might be even narrower now, as I heard that they were talking about adding water mains on top of the walkway surface. Much better able to the enjoy views while walking than negotiating a bike in traffic.
Best bet is to just ride it. Locals do. I assume that you are going west to east: riding across the bridge from that direction is easy from Rte 1A (about a mile on the road before bridge) and much less on island side. Doubt if any police would care, but if you are stopped you can plead ignorance (I assume that you are not local, that will help) We used to carry old RI state biking maps (that showed the bridge as legal) to show as evidence if we were ever caught.
The bridge itself has a nice shoulder that, depending on comfort level, is completely acceptable. Traffic zips by. Views a plenty form top of bridge.
If you want locals advice try posting a question at the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen's Yahoo forum
07-17-08, 07:44 AM
The Mount Hope bridge has four expansion joints. They have slots running the same as your direction of travel. A 700x23 tire can drop right into them. If traffic permits you can cross them at an angle, or you can stop and carefully walk the bike over them.
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