Crossing the Pell – Virtually
On December 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, 2022, Bike Newport and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)’s Department of Interior Architecture together hosted “Crossing the Pell” at the historic Old Colony House in Newport, RI. Using the magic of virtual and augmented reality, visitors experienced biking and walking across the Pell Bridge through four creative RISD student design concepts.
More than 450 participants, ages 3 to 93, were transported inside these inspiring visions, where they virtually walked and pedaled 2.1 miles across the iconic Claiborne Pell Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in New England.
People want to get out of cars to enjoy beautiful experiences and to reduce carbon emissions. Bridges have been retrofit with safe bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure across the country and around the world.
Among many exciting special guests, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse who inspired this project with Rhode Island School of Design in 2021, delighted in being part of the public experience of the dream, the vision, and the reality.
The exhibition featured creative opportunities for visitors to offer feedback and share their own dreams for Rhode Island’s future. Comments confirmed that people are eager to enjoy such access in the real world.
Please Share Your Ideas About Crossing the Pell
Would you like to bike across the bridge? Walk across the bridge? Have access to viewing areas over the Narragansett Bay? Would you use the bridge to commute? to travel? to recreate? What do you need to feel safe and supported on the bridge? You can help make the case for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure by sharing your ideas and thoughts. Thank you!
This exhibition at Newport Historical Society’s Colony House was made possible through generous support by the Champlin Community Foundation, the Bafflin Foundation, the Bazarsky Family Foundation, and Reynolds DeWalt Printing.
Where Will the Exhibit Next Be Available?
In 2023, the virtual and augmented reality experiences of “Crossing the Pell” will be distributed to satellite locations for the public to experience. For updates, please return to this page and follow Bike Newport’s social media @bikenewportri. You can also sign up for Bike Newport’s newsletter on the bottom of our homepage.
People want to bike across the Pell Bridge. Long distance, it’s the missing link from Connecticut to Masachusetts. Short distance it’s a beautiful passage connecting Conanicut and Aquidneck Islands (Jamestown and Newport) overlooking the Narragansett Bay. People want to enjoy the fresh air, social encounters, and healthy transportation of biking and walking. People want to reduce carbon emissions. Bridges have been retrofit with safe bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure worldwide.
We can do this.
Please enjoy the delightful photos in this first gallery by RISD Photographer Jo Sittenfeld.
Photos in this second gallery are courtesy of Bike Newport.