On Tuesday, August 13 at 7 pm, an important public hearing concerning the proposed Coastal Route Bikeway will be held at the Charlestown Town Hall.
The Coastal Route Bikeway (Phase 1) connecting Ninigret Park to South Kingstown is back. The public hearing was originally scheduled for December 2018 but was cancelled. There is a lot to digest in the plan. Below is a list of highlights.
1. This proposed bikeway has already cost the town $27,000 for a feasibility study. This study was approved by the previous Town Council, completed in November 2018 and paid for with our tax dollars. The money for this study was taken from the Council Contingency fund.
2. There are 3 options for the proposed Coastal Route Bikeway. Cost estimates, depending on the option, range from $5.5 million dollars to $10.7 million. These estimates do not include additional costs for survey, design, right-of-way acquisition, permitting, safety beacon systems (yes, safety beacons), retaining walls, traffic studies and utility modifications.
3. There are 3 "Universals" that go along with all the options above. The total for the 3 "Universals" is another $2.5 million.
4. A new traffic Signal & Realignment at Narrow Lane/ US-1 is an additional $2-3 million.
5. Kingston Pizza could lose the majority of existing parking spaces and "additional land would need to be acquired to relocate this parking."
6. Option A will require "acquiring" land from 37 privately owned parcels. Option C will require “acquiring” land from 52 parcels.
7. Option C would cross the edge of two historic cemeteries. The plan states, "It is unknown if any gravesites would be within the impacted area behind the wall, but it is possible that gravesites could be affected.”
8. In June of 2018, the State of RI sent a letter to Town Administrator Mark Stankiewicz regarding the addition of bike lanes on Old Post Road. This letter advises the town that there are “additional complexities” that will cost the town an additional $1.5- $2 million.
9. This same letter indicates that these complexities include:
Utility pole relocations
At least one retaining wall relocation
Potential neighborhood opposition to expand the project
Cultural resource and archaeological matters requiring studies and permissions
There are more issues surrounding this proposed bike pathway, these are just a few of the highlights. The entire plan can be viewed on the Town's website.
We have already built one bike path that was supposed to cost $7,000 and ended up using $300,000 of our tax money. This one should not be done with our money.
If you wish to voice your opinions, please come to the Public Hearing Tuesday, August 13th at 7pm at the Town Hall and have your voice heard. If you cannot attend, please send an email to the Town Clerk, Amy Weinreich, at ARWeinreich@charlestownri.org and request that your comments are read into the record.
Chair, Charlestown Residents United PAC