Charlestown is pursuing state funds for study of 2nd bike path

Charlestown is pursuing state funds for study of 2nd bike path


CHARLESTOWN — A public hearing concerning state funding for a bicycle path feasibility study is on the agenda for Monday’s Town Council meeting.

The town is applying for funds from the State Transportation Improvement Plan for its Old Post Road Multiuse Path Feasibility Study. The bike path would extend along a route, as yet undetermined, from Ninigret Park to either the Charlestown Post Office at 3970 Old Post Road or to a location on the border of South Kingstown.

Faith LaBossiere, who chairs the Linear Park Greenways and Trails Committee, a subcommittee of the Parks and Recreation Commission, said Friday that the committee had contacted numerous property owners and walked sections along the potential route. She also chaired the Bicycle Pathway Ad Hoc Committee, as the current committee was known during the previous Town Council administration.

“We have determined that we’re at a point that if we could have a feasibility study done by professionals to look at not just the route but all the issues related to it, that we then would be in a position to apply for funding when funding sources became available,” said LaBossiere.

The project has also been shifted from “medium” to “high” priority in the application process, she said.

The cost of the study would be $50,000, reduced from $60,000, and it could take until 2020 to receive funding from state, she said.

“We don’t know when we will hear from the state, but probably by March or April,” LaBossiere said.

Building the Ninigret Park Multipurpose Trail, a 1.3-mile paved loop in Ninigret Park, was the bicycle committee’s first goal, she said. The $267,000 trail was paid for from the town’s $1 million recreation bond and completed last summer.

“We wanted to begin to get the town at a point where people could get safely from one place to another without riding on the road, so we created that bicycle path in Ninigret Park — the concept being that that would be a model for what we would be doing throughout town,” she said. “The first piece would be from Ninigret Park to the center of town with the idea that it would be a safe way for youth to access Ninigret Park.”

Also on Monday’s agenda is a public hearing for the town’s Hazard Mitigation Plan, which will go to a vote for council approval.

An additional public hearing will introduce the town’s harbor management, which will be advertised for a public hearing on Sept. 11.

The council will also consider a budget transfer of $1.4 million, which will cover costs related to the Burdickville Road project, Julie Carroccia, council vice president, said Friday.

The Charlestown Police Department will also swear in Sgt. Christopher Bruso, Sgt. David Westervelt, and Detective Kevin Ryan.

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