PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — It’s been just over two weeks since Providence’s new pedestrian bridge opened to the public.
The $22 million project was years in the making and was supposed to be open for pedestrians and bicyclists to pass over.
But that’s not the case anymore. A spokesperson for the city says due to high foot traffic, they’re asking bicyclists to walk their bikes over the bridge for the time being.
Nick Quach has been riding his bike over the bridge every day since it opened. However, a few days ago, he was stopped by a police officer and asked not to ride his bike.
“They apologize at first and say I don’t mean to startle you, and then you cannot ride across here, just walk the bike,” he said.
In a statement, Deputy Director of Communications Ben Smith said in part:
“Due to extensive foot traffic and use of the bridge upon its opening, the city is recommending that people on bicycles dismount and walk their bikes across for the time being to ensure users’ safety.”
“I know as a scooter user myself it may be inconvenient, but I think for safety-sake it makes sense that way,” said rider Adam Jurczyk.
The vast majority of bicyclists Eyewitness News spoke to support the recommendation, though one man said he would not be following the informal rule.
He argued the bridge is open to everyone and the city needs to make an effort to be more bicycle-friendly.
“They changed their mind, the city changed its mind, and I think with perfectly good reason, and it’s no big deal there’s a lot more important stuff to worry about in the world today,” said bicyclist Nick Boke.
The decision may not stick as city leaders plan to reevaluate the recommendation in the fall.