Representative Dennis M. Canario (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Little Compton, Tiverton) is calling for the passage of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) proposed Major Amendment #19 to the FFY 2018-2027 State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).  The proposed amendment to STIP will be voted on this Thursday by the State Planning Council.

The amendment proposes shifting funding from planned bicycle and pedestrian improvements, named the Transportation Alternatives Program, to road and bridge improvement projects.

“Even after the state has implemented the RhodeWorks program to fix our bridges and roads, our state is consistently ranked as having the worst roads and bridges in the country, signaling to us that there is far more work to be done.  I am in full support of expanding and supporting further bicycle and pedestrian projects, but we have to prioritize the most important projects to ensure the well-being of our state.  Safe and dependable roads and bridges is critical not only to the financial health of our state, but also, important quality of life aspects for our residents.  By shifting these funds to our roads and bridges, RIDOT will be able to continue the crucial bridge and road repair projects without the state asking for any more money from the taxpayers.  It is for this reason that I am in full support of Major Amendment #19 and I hope that it is passed at tomorrow’s meeting,” said Representative Canario in a prepared statement.

Representative Teresa Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett) is urging the State Planning Council to reject the proposed amendment to the state’s 10-year transportation spending plans that would slash funding for bicycle and pedestrian traffic improvements.

Senator Dawn Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport and Jamestown) has also spoken out opposing cuts to Rhode Island’s transportation alternative programs.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp, LLC. Belmore has led What's Up Newp since December 2012. Belmore also serves as the Sr. Editor - North America for Mountain News - publisher of OnTheSnow. In his spare time, Belmore serves as the Vice President for the Board of Directors at Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors at Lucy's Hearth. Belmore is also a member and supporter of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.