New Piece Of Bike Path Comes Online

New to me anyway, and I can’t find any reference to it on the RIDOT Bike Path page. No matter, just go. I started walking right there at the traffic light where the 195W off-ramp stops at Gano Street, see below. (Signs instruct pedestrians to walk on the left, facing the bicycle traffic.)

It gets nice right away. Walking north one has the Gano Street Boat Launch on the right with the iconic Crook Point Bascule Bridge looming in the distance. Further up on the left are all those basketball courts and baseball fields. At Power Street the designers have placed a large plaque with text and old images covering the history this area, including Roger Williams’ landing point, the oyster industry, and more. (I think there is another access point to the bike path at Power Street not shown on my map below.)

And here’s your chance for a closer look at that stuck-up bascule bridge that so dominates the city’s skyline and cultural identity. (We just like it.) The bridge is, in fact, a featured highlight of the path, complete with a bench for sitting and thinking. It will be interesting to see how this section plays out over the course of the summer. A chain link fence has already been peeled back and teens were heading onto the bridge as I walked by. But people have been getting out onto the bridge before this path was created — that much is abundantly clear.

Further north the path runs behind the back of Eastside Marketplace where an access point has been created. Great idea. This could be very useful for bikers and hikers alike. (When facing the store — walk down the left side of the building.)

Also on the left of the bike path is an assisted living facility whose less enlightened residents may regard that old railroad bridge as an attractive nuisance and want it torn down. All abutting neighbors may need reminding that the teens and twentysomethings were already clambering around on the bridge before the path existed — it’s just that now they are much more visible. That’s a good thing. This may never become a problem.

Keep walking north and you pop out on lower Pitman Street just below the Salvation Army building. This access point could easily be missed driving by, although there is a marked crosswalk.

I believe that this is the end of this segment of the path and that bikers can now be expected to continue along River Road to Blackstone Boulevard and points north? I was on foot and walked straight across Witherby Park to the entrance of the Waterman Street Dog Park which is great fun to walk around in even without a dog.

Congratulations to all involved. This is so much safer for bikers and motorists alike, and that was the first order of the day. But it has also been beautifully executed with durable, native landscape material framing some lovely vistas.





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