Hey Seacoast bicycle friends,
The Ceremonial ribbon-cutting for the new Memorial Bridge took place on Thursday, August 8 at 11am. Former Portsmouth Mayor Eileen Foley who, as a five year old, cut the ribbon for the original Memorial Bridge on August 17, 1923 once again cut the ribbon for the brand new bridge, and there were speeches from both NH & Maine DOT Commissioners, Governor Hassan and Senators Shaheen & Ayotte from New Hampshire and Collins from Maine.
After the ceremony the bridge was opened to bikes and pedestrians for a couple hours before the bridge opened to vehicular traffic and hundreds of people took advantage of the opportunity to check out the new bridge.
The new Memorial Bridge pays homage to the original in structure and design. It also incorporates some modern elements and moves the design forward into the future. For cyclists and drivers, there is a solid concrete surface across the entire span, 11-foot lanes and 5-foot shoulders on each side to the curbs. For pedestrians, there are 6-foot sidewalks with four additional 4-foot bump outs for viewing. In short, the new bridge has arguably better facilities than most Seacoast roadways!
By now I’m sure many of you have heard about the tragic crash on Saturday morning during the Tri-State Seacoast Century ride in Hampton that killed two bicycle riders and sent another two riders to the hospital. The crash took place on the Neil Underwood bridge over Hampton Harbor on Route 1A. A car crossed the center line and struck the four riders.
The sympathies of the whole Seacoast cycling community are with those who were involved.
The Tri-State Seacoast Century, organized by the Granite State Wheelmen, is in its 40th year and has a long and strong safety record, with close communication with local police departments and safety advisories for riders. It annually attracts over 1,500 riders and their families for the weekend to enjoy our beautiful Seacoast and support our local economy. These are the first serious injuries or fatalities in the ride’s history.
In the months to come, we hope this tragedy can provide a teachable moment and will lead to better public awareness of the presence and rights of vulnerable users on our roads (pedestrians, bicycle riders, highway workers, motorcycle riders); and further policy efforts to address the safe sharing of our roads.
Currently this event is still under investigation. If you witnessed this event and have not yet done so, please contact the Hampton Police Department at 603-929-4444.
Notes of Interest
Bike/Walk to Work Day Group Commutes
Market Square - Pease
Dover - Pease - Portsmouth
7:30 - 8:45 - 9:15AM
Newmarket - Durham
Tour de Breakfast "Bus Schedule"
7AM - Newmarket - Exeter
8AM - Exeter Bandstand - Timberland
8:25 -Timberland - North Hampton
9:00 - Gus' - Rye - Portsmouth
9:30 - Arrive Market Square
Bike Route Between Portsmouth-Kittery Without Memorial Bridge