It was a busy day for bikes in front of City Hall on Broadway in Newport, from the first bikes arriving to the annual Bike Commuter Breakfast at 7am, to the last to depart on the police-escorted bell-ringing Ride Round Town at 5pm.
In the morning, bike commuters from NUWC, Naval Station Newport, Newport Hospital, Preservation Society, Newport Public Schools and many other local employers, enjoyed refreshments from Empire Coffee, A-Market, Stop & Shop, Bagel Boys, and Mad Hatter Bakery along with the camaraderie of fellow cyclists and information and swag from RIPTA Commuter Resources.
In the afternoon, Juan and Alba Campos, owners of Leo’s Market, were awarded the 2018 Bicycle Friendly Business of the Year Award for their unwavering support of bicycle education and outreach, from distribution of night lights and reflectivity to translation of bicycle safety messages to promoting the Newport Wave.
Similarly honored was Evan Smith, CEO of Discover Newport, who has presented the award to past recipients. “Discover Newport has championed bike friendly progress from day one,” shared Bike Newport Executive Director, Bari Freeman, “Evan has sponsored every map, attended every program, promoted every project, and devoted space inside and outside at the Visitors Center to encouraging safe biking in Newport.”
Leo’s Market and Discover Newport join past recipients Jane Pickens Theater (2013), Preservation Society (2014), Newport County YMCA (2015), Fastnet Pub (2016), and Panera Bread (2017).
“Whether they’re coming from Connecticut or Key West, whether they’re going to Newport or the Cape or Canada, we want to make sure that our bridges don’t get in the way of cyclists passing through Aquidneck Island,” said Bari Freeman of Bike Newport.
City Councilor, Jaime Bova, is liaison to the City’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission. She reported on the commission’s progress in making recommendations to the Council regarding the best bike share options for the City. The commission is also completing a review of the city’s ordinances related to bicycles and pedestrians and making recommendations for improvements.