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Newport R.I. Is The Latest Bike Friendly Designated City

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Newport R.I. Is The Latest Bike Friendly Designated City

Old 11-21-13, 02:33 PM
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Newport R.I. Is The Latest Bike Friendly Designated City

This is a big deal not only because Newport is a very bike friendly city but more so because the city is also the birthplace of The League of American Bicyclists which was founded as the League of American Wheelmen in 1880. Bicyclists, known then as “wheelmen,” were challenged by rutted roads of gravel and dirt and faced antagonism from horsemen, wagon drivers, and pedestrians.

The whole story is HERE
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Old 11-22-13, 10:37 AM
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This entire area of southern New England is bike friendly which is a big part of my enjoyment in riding here. The second part of my enjoyment is the many secondary and county roads through quiet farmland or residential areas. It is easy to put together rides of 50 to 100 miles just within 50 or 100 miles. Newport was an enclave of the rich and it still is. It is also very expensive which keeps out the riff raff. I used to live in town when I was a young man but no longer enjoy that environment. However, the best bowl of chowder is still to be found at the Black Pearl on Bannister's Wharf. For my money, the best cycling is to be found north and west of Narragansett Bay toward Cape Cod.
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Old 11-22-13, 03:42 PM
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It's rather difficult to get excited over such designations when the criteria are so weak and often are disconnected from what makes a locale "friendly" for cycling. The city I'm in gets a gold award from LAB and is a horrid environment to ride in in terms of safety and courtesy relative to Lubbock TX, which is never going to get any award because they aren't likely to write a bike master plan to put on a shelf, hire a bike/ped coordinator or put in a cycletrack or bike-specific traffic light. Nor do they have door-zone bike lanes, which also garner points from LAB even though they create an incredible hazard for cyclists. (I think it was Chicago that determined that 22% of its injuries and deaths to cyclists were from doorings.)
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Old 11-22-13, 09:07 PM
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Spent a delightful day tramping around Newport. Seemed a bit hilly, though...
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Old 11-22-13, 09:34 PM
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The problem is many touring cyclists and even locals avoid it because you've got two nasty bridges when approching from the south / West.

Can cyclists even cross the Jametown and Newport bridges now?
I haven't been there in a while but I remember the old nasty narrow Jamestown Bridge.
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Old 11-23-13, 08:59 AM
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My city shot way up in the bike friendly ratings after they signed ~125 miles of 'bike routes' along quiet residential streets, and they wasted no time in incorporating that into the chamber of commerce marketing. The place would have become much more friendly to cycling if instead they'd improved a couple of intersections and built a half-dozen cycle&pedestrian connector bridges over freeways, railroads and creeks, but that wouldn't have bumped them in the ratings at all.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:09 AM
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It's all good.

Note that the Chamber of Commerce deems it newsworthy at all. That's huge.

Louisville is trying to be a bike-friendly city. That's great. I say that as one who would love to commute, but won't because I don't feel safe when I try.

The key is to move cycling from the hippy-dippy fringe to the mainstream. It's slowly happening. Not quickly enough, but I believe my grandchildren will be able to and be encouraged to commute by bike for all sorts of good reasons.

End of mini rant.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:09 AM
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Thing like this are cool, but for me there is a huge element of FWIW to it. The town I commute in, Irvine CA, does not make a lot of lists, but is the most bike freindly place I've ridden. The town I live in is falling all over itself to get a bike freindly designation. They spend a huge chunk of their bikeway budget on flashy, but often worthless infrastructure. For example, about a mile of "sidepath" along a heavily traveled bike route, where most cyclists stick to the street. The street is faster, and safer since you do not have to "crosswalk" through intersections or cut across traffic at tranistions.
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Old 11-23-13, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ct-vt-trekker View Post
The problem is many touring cyclists and even locals avoid it because you've got two nasty bridges when approching from the south / West.

Can cyclists even cross the Jametown and Newport bridges now?
I haven't been there in a while but I remember the old nasty narrow Jamestown Bridge.
Riding across the bridges is not possible but a cyclist can load a bike on the bus to cross the bay. There are bus stops at all commuter parking lots. https://www.ripta.com/ Poke around the RIPTA site to check bus schedules. As for the old nasty Jamestown, it has been replaced by a nice new one.
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Old 11-23-13, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ct-vt-trekker View Post
The problem is many touring cyclists and even locals avoid it because you've got two nasty bridges when approching from the south / West. Can cyclists even cross the Jametown and Newport bridges now?...
Originally Posted by berner View Post
Riding across the bridges is not possible but a cyclist can load a bike on the bus to cross the bay. ...
Are you sure Newport RI isn't in Maine? "You can't get there from here."
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Old 11-23-13, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
My city shot way up in the bike friendly ratings after they signed ~125 miles of 'bike routes' along quiet residential streets, and they wasted no time in incorporating that into the chamber of commerce marketing. The place would have become much more friendly to cycling if instead they'd improved a couple of intersections and built a half-dozen cycle&pedestrian connector bridges over freeways, railroads and creeks, but that wouldn't have bumped them in the ratings at all.
Spot-on. I would much rather have problematic intersections and missing links fixed. Some of the bicycle-specific facilities actually exacerbate safety issues by creating awkward intersections or by forcing bicyclists to the RIGHT of right-turning motorists.
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Old 11-23-13, 09:36 PM
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Newport used to be a Navy town, but when the Navy pulled out things seemed kind of dead so I guess they grabbed onto tourism to pull them out of it. Then gentrification followed. When I lived there I was a runner and wasn't cycling at the time. It was a great place to run.

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Old 11-24-13, 08:32 AM
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Newport is pretty fun to cycle around. We found riding around the mansion area, ocean drive, and in and around the 2nd beach area really nice. I think that the high number of pedestrians keep cars in check.
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Old 11-24-13, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
Newport used to be a Navy town, but when the Navy pulled out things seemed kind of dead so I guess they grabbed onto tourism to pull them out of it. Then gentrification followed. When I lived there I was a runner and wasn't cycling at the time. It was a great place to run.

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Newport is so much classier since the navy left and it is a very bike friendly city. It grew from cheap tattoo parlors and seedy bars to expensive tattoo parlors and trendy overpriced bistros.

When the tourist flock there the traffic is usually very high which slows everything down. Bikes are very often the fastest things on the road in the summer and have very little traffic to deal with off season.

p.s. I cross the Sakonnett River Bridge to get to Newport which has a pedestrian bike lane
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Old 11-30-13, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
Newport used to be a Navy town, but when the Navy pulled out things seemed kind of dead so I guess they grabbed onto tourism to pull them out of it. Then gentrification followed. When I lived there I was a runner and wasn't cycling at the time. It was a great place to run.

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When I first started cycling at about age 40 I entered a race at the Newport Naval Station. I had no idea what I was doing, was still using leather pedal clips and was the only one over age 30. When the race started everyone took off while I struggled to tighten my clips. Still I finished 15th in a group of 28 racers. Also had fun and enjoyed Newport as usual.
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