Mayor Jorge Elorza bikes to work everyday, and takes part in frequent night rides with community members. By all accounts the mayor is supportive of bicycling. However, Providence has made next to no progress on bike infrastructure during the two years the mayor has been in office. This needs to change.
I want to be really clear about what I’m saying. I can’t fully diagnose what the internal politics of why Providence hasn’t gotten infrastructure are. It’s very possible that an intransigent Providence City Council, inter-agency struggles with state-level institutions like RIDOT, or some other cause is to blame. When I say that the mayor needs to step up, I’m not trying to insult the difficulty of being mayor, or saying that the mayor is a bad person.
But Providence has seen the mayor step up on some issues, and his vocal leadership has had an effect. Just recently, Mayor Elorza spoke eloquently to the harm of liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plants, a move which put him in direct contradiction with Governor Raimondo. This move came after the Sierra Club of Rhode Island challenged the mayor to speak up clearly on the issue. I am making the same request.