As mentioned in this video, the center of Austin Texas is bigger than the entire city of Providence (40 square miles vs. 25 square miles--and that includes water, because we only have 18 square miles of land). But as they say, everything's bigger in Texas.
You think we could get as many people to bike as this? Nah, probably more. But we've got to have infrastructure.
When are those protected bike lanes coming? Not too clear. I was at a ResilientPVD meeting last night where the city presented some vague and poorly-thought-out* bike "path" ideas, but bike paths take a lot longer and require a lot more money per-mile to develop than protected bike lanes. There's an reticence to use the existing wide streets we have, and even a denial that those streets are wide in the first place. Where can we fit the infrastructure? Here's where the Netherlands did it.
But Central Falls is about to become the first city in the state to get a protected bike lane. I guess some places in Rhode Island are leading.
*They were placed across hills, in places where there were no existing highway crossings, and without any thought put to creating a comprehensive network. The city really needs to get its act together. NOT GOOD ENOUGH!