Some Bike Path Pictures-- 09/23/03

They finally got around to officially dedicating the extension to the bike path recently. So I thought I would share a few pictures with you.

A bit over a year ago I posted an entry with some pictures of the bike path -- those pictures were taken at the Amtrak Station end of the bike path. The path is laid out following the abandoned roadbed of the Narragansett Pier Railroad, which ran from the New York. Providence, and Boston Railroad station in West Kingston (now the Amtrak station) to Narragansett Pier, a resort community on Narragansett Bay, a total of about eight miles. (Railroad service began in 1876, carrying both passengers and freight; passenger service ended in 1952 and the entire line was abandoned in 1981.)

The first phase of the bike path ran from the train station (well, actually from the end of the station parking lot) down to the village of Peace Dale, about four miles. Phase two, just completed, continues through Peace Dale and down through the center of the village of Wakefield, ending at Rt. 108. The third phase, coming in another year or two, will extend the path to Sprague Park in Narragansett. The path can't continue the remaining mile or so to the bay because that part of the railroad roadbed has long since been covered by streets and houses. There is a proposed additional phase being discussed, to continue the path from the park to the South County Museum property.

Here's where the new end of the bike path starts -- Rt. 108 (Kingstown Road) -- I'm standing on the other side of the road, looking toward the beginning of the bike path. This is a heavily travelled road (I took this picture on a Sunday morning and it took me two tries to snap one without a car in the way) and that traffic light will be needed when the future extension to Sprague Park is built.
For a block or so we have trees on one side and the back of a small retail center on the other, then we are get to have trees and greenery on both sides.
This where bicyclists will have to cross Main Street. (See where that car is entering Main Street from the left; that's about where I was standing when I took the first picture in reporting about our town's Block Party in early August. That is a blinking yellow caution light and there are signs up telling motorists to watch for bicyclists; however, this is one of those spots where caution is needed.
Shortly after after crossing Main Street (and I do mean shortly, maybe fifty or sixty yards) the path crosses the Saugatucket River (where the old railroad bridge used to cross) on a new bridge build for the bike path.

This picture is the view to the left when crossing the bridge. That bridge in the distance is a pedestrian bridge that crosses from the municipal parking lot (behind a row of Main Street commercial buildings) to the fields and playgrounds behind Wakefield Elementary School on the opposite side of the river.

The picture below is the view to the right when crossing on the bike path bridge, looking upstream along the Saugatucket River.

The trees that line the river banks make it seem as if this is flowing through wooded countryside, but this is what passes for an urban core around here.

In a little bit after crossing the river, the path follows an actual street for a long block -- where the old right of way was buried beneath parking lots and warehouses -- One side of the street is residential but the other side has but a single home... this one, the old Peace Dale train station, now restored as a private home.
There are a couple of spots where caution must be used in crossing busy streets -- and a spot where a pair of steep 180 degree turns had to be employed to climb up a hill (there had once been a railroad bridge there, but it was torn down twenty years ago and would have cost too much to rebuild it).

This picture is just past where we join up with the "old" bike path. On the right is a small neighborhood park: a playground, some benches, and a basketball court.

Well, that's it.... hope all these pictures didn't take too long to download.

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