Fighting climate change can involve tedious hearings, confrontations with polluters, and frustrations with politicians, but this post is about promoting a way to combat climate change that can be healthy, inexpensive, and fun. And a way to enjoy spring at an appropriate speed – the speed of a bicycle! The week of May 13 is Bike Week and has some fun bike related events. Here are a few you might want to check out:
- Monday, 5/13: Bike Advocacy meeting, 6pm at Social Enterprise Greenhouse, 10 Davol Square. Meet friendly bicyclists to discuss bike events, pending traffic safety legislation, and other efforts to promote more biking.
- Wednesday 5/15: The Ride of Silence, a worldwide commemoration of cyclists, starts 6pm at India Point Park.
- Friday, 5/17: is Bike to Work Day, celebrated 7 to 9am in Burnside Park Providence with snacks, vendors providing information, even speeches! Bike to Work Day celebrations will also be in Newport and Peace Dale.
- Saturday, 5/18: Dorr War Bike Tour in Providence 10am
- Sunday, 5/19 Elliot’s Ride Newport 9am starts at Rogers High School, includes part of Ocean Drive made car-free!
Remember, RIPTA‘s bike racks extend the range of bicycles, check out their bike week promotions at www.ripta.com.
That said, bicycle politics can be contentious. For example, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (DOT) recently proposed cutting its bicycle/pedestrian program by about 1/3. They got significant push-back, and with some additional Federal funding made available, the cuts have been put on hold for now. Bike paths have faced significant opposition in places such as Johnston, Smithfield, North Kingstown and Jamestown.
Nevertheless, the public has voted enthusiastically for “Green Bonds” that include bike paths. Bike-share is now available in Providence where the bike/pedestrian bridge will finally open later this summer, and Statewide Planning is developing its first statewide bike Master Plan. Transportation, being the leading emitter of greenhouse gases, is finally getting attention in the climate change fight, and as a truly zero emission vehicle, bikes are surely part of the solution.