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Don't Spend a Dime in North Smithfield

N. Smithfield
Update: There is a group biking up from Providence to attend next week's Town Council meeting, Monday, May 18th, 6:45. Rachel and I will also be bringing a car-share up, and have three other seats available. Please contact molly@greenway.org for bike options, and transportprovidence@gmail.com for car-share options.

. . . until they fix this:

Citing an ongoing feud over fees to use Woonsocket's wastewater treatment plant, North Smithfield Town Council President Robert Boucher cast one of two deciding votes to delay planned progress on the Blackstone River Bikeway that was slated to bring the trail through part of Woonsocket and North Smithfield, and up to the Massachusetts state line. 
According to those involved with the project, the state Department of Transportation has set aside $2.5 million to extend the segment of the bike path that runs from the edge of Cold Spring Park in Woonsocket across the Blackstone River into North Smithfield's Meadows Park over the next year. 
Once complete, the bikeway is expected to offer cyclists a 48-mile dedicated path from Providence to Worcester, Mass.
The way that funding works for these projects is that they're fully shovel-ready at 90% planning stage, and then they can apply money to get the work done. You can't go back and change a detail about the project and still be at 90%. So even though you might think that Woonsocket could just avoid this easement and try a different route, it doesn't work that way.

A source from Rhode Island Bike Coalition stated that the project will be delayed by eight years if this funding is lost.

The meeting to decide whether N. Smithfield's 12,000 inhabitants would give the finger to a million people in Rhode Island was tonight, but it was cancelled wasn't cancelled, but the discussion topic of the bike path was put off. The next meeting is the 18th.

Please contact these Town Council members, and politely but firmly let them know that if you so much as need to buy a bottle of water you'll pedal or drive your way to the next town, if they follow through on this spiteful decision (me, I'll spend my money in Woonsocket).

Robert Paul Boucher, President
(508) 633-9130 cell

Kimberly Alves

Roseanne Nadeau 

You should thank this Council member because she's on our side, and sent me an email saying so.

Paul Zwolenski, Vice President


Here's how I phrased my email this morning:


I'd like to encourage the N. Smithfield Town Council to change course on its announced plans to block the Woonsocket Bike Path. The consequences of blocking the path this week would be to hold it up for eight years, because of the vicissitudes of funding.

We are bringing this issue to the attention of our readership, which not only includes our 1,000+ Twitter followers, but also several publications within the region and nationally in which our work is cross-published. We hope the Town Council will make the right decision.

Moreover, we hope the Council will recognize that this bike path is an economic development and health policy tool for its own citizens, and that many N. Smithfield residents themselves will be disappointed not to have it.

Thank you.

James Kennedy

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