On January 7, the Friends of the William C. O’Neill South County Bike Path submitted an application to R.I. Statewide Planning to have Completion of the South County Bike Path via Canonchet Farm in Narragansett placed on the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for the ten-year period beginning September 1, 2016. Placement on the TIP is the first step in securing Federal and State funding for transportation projects. The Friends of the South County Bike Path proposed the same plan as the Town of Narragansett did in its multi-project TIP application. Public hearings on a draft of the full TIP will be held in May.
Currently, the South County Bike path extends from Kingston Station in the north to Mumford Road in Narragansett. Users then take a variety of often-busy, on-street routes to reach the Narragansett Town Beach, Pier area stores or other Narragansett locations. The proposed path starts at Mumford Road, traverses through Canonchet Farm, and ends in the parking area across Boston Neck Road (Scenic Route 1A) from the Narragansett Town Beach. This proposed bike path is more expensive and requires more permitting than on-road alternatives evaluated by the R.I. Department of Transportation, but it provides the safest route to the beach, a superior recreational experience, and the best return on investment for tourism and economic development for the Narragansett Pier area, South County and all of Rhode Island. The proposed bike path extension through Canonchet Farm represents an opportunity to complete a vital transportation alternative serving Narragansett and South Kingstown and will enable the South County Bike Path to achieve its full potential as a major recreational asset for Rhode Island.