Bicycling during the pandemic. Courtesy of Bike Newport

The following was submitted by Bar Freeman, representing Paths to Progress Coalition.

Survey location: www.surveymonkey.com/r/BikingRI_coronavirus

Are you seeing more people on bikes recently? Are you yourself riding more? The member organizations of ‘Paths to Progress’, Rhode Island’s statewide coalition for recreational and transportation paths are interested in your reasons for riding these days. Your input will help inform decisions about road use and what resources are most valuable to riders in your area and across the State.

With stay-at-home restrictions and social-distancing policies in place, people are staying closer to home, roads have fewer cars, and there is a need for safe and healthy outdoor activities – and it appears that bicycling is on the rise.

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In a 2019 survey conducted by Bike Newport, bicyclists revealed that the number one thing that prevented them from biking more was “fear or concern riding with traffic”; and that the most requested improvements that would influence biking more were “more bike lanes” and “more off street bike paths”.

These findings have been on the minds of statewide advocates as we all bear witness to more biking during the stay-at-home restrictions. Is the current absence of traffic the reason more people are biking now? Is it cabin fever? Need to exercise? Or all of the above? This new survey hopes to find out.

“Biking in the Time of Coronavirus” poses relevant questions: Will you keep biking when restrictions are lifted? Will you continue on the same roads when more cars return? Where do you prefer to ride?

The coalition partners at Paths to Progress will use your responses to make the case to the decision makers for improved biking locally and statewide. Understanding what’s getting you out there will help to capture an accurate picture of why and where people ride when, for example, roads become safer. 

No matter where, why, or how often you ride, you can help by filling out the survey. It is expected to take about 7 minutes to complete, and can be found at: www.surveymonkey.com/r/BikingRI_coronavirus

Readers are encouraged to share the link widely. Questions may be addressed to: pathstoprogress@ribike.org

Participating organizations include: Bike Newport, Bike Tiverton, Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, East Coast Greenway, Friends of the William C O’Neill Couth County Bike Path, Grow Smart RI, Providence Streets Coalition, Rhode Island Bicycle Coalition (RIBike), and Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council.

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