The State of Rhode Island’s DOT made a proposal for its Travel Center to be built here in Hopkinton, RI. The first few pages make it look like a boring spreadsheet, skip past that, you’ll see drawings of the proposed facility and plenty of detail.
Their plan includes secure parking for 50 bicycles so that cyclists can “
connect to a designated suitable bicycle road (Route 3).” Those of us who know Route 3 would likely describe it as an unsuitable bicycle road. Read More about bicycling on Route 3.
Their plan claims that people will drive to this rest stop, park their cars and then take a RIPTA bus either to Providence, Newport, or Misquamicut. It goes on to say that this increased usage of public transportation will solve the traffic problems in Warwick and Providence. And it says that approximately 500 cars will exit Interstate 95 and enter Main Street in Hopkinton every day.
Another of RIDOT‘s claims is that this location is in the middle of a 100 mile gap between rest areas and will help curb “drowsy driving.” But there’s a Pilot truck stop about a mile to the West, and a TA truck stop 10 miles to the North. Not to mention plenty of fuel stations and restaurants located along I-95. This claim is particularly egregious because the RIDOT plan calls for traffic to leave the highway and travel down two side streets to access the facility. It is comparing apples to oranges! Will it really stop drowsy driving?
Finally, the plan claims that having a rest area will promote tourism. And that’s ironic because the State closed the existing Richmond rest area in 2011 citing people don’t use rest stops.