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East Bay Bike Path
Providence to Bristol, RI

The East Bay Bike Path, a 14.5-mile bicycle path extending from Providence, RI south to Bristol, RI was constructed on an abandoned railroad right-of-way.  It was the first major undertaking by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to create a state-owned bicycle network in Rhode Island.  A feasibility study was initially prepare to identify demographic, social and environmental impacts and objectives for the route.  Pare Corporation prepared the feasibility study, as well as the bike path's final design. 

New and innovative design standards developed by PARE, as well as standards set forth by the FHWA, were used to address unique project requirements.  Signage and "S" type curves were incorporated in the design where the path intersects with 49 streets, forcing cyclists to slow and alerting them of the approaching conflict.  Traffic signals were installed with push-button actuators for bicyclists to cross safely while motor vehicle traffic is stopped at two major streets.  Five railroad trestle bridges were modified for bicycle path use by removing existing rails and ties, and placement of new timber decks and 4-foot-wide timber walkways with handrails for pedestrian and fishermen use. 

Commuters find the path a welcome transportation route, utilizing the facility to ride bicycles between home, school, work and shopping. People of all ages—including walkers, runners, parents with strollers and in-line skaters—join bicycle enthusiasts in being attracted to the East Bay Bike Path for its recreational aspects and as a safe alternative to hazardous riding on busy streets.