|Transportation on Block Island RI|
|By bicycle, moped, taxi, car or on foot, this small island is yours to enjoy.|
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Block Island is relatively small, just 7 miles (11 km) from north to south. This makes walking a possibility, bicycling a delight, and mopeds a practical means of transport.
Because of limited space on ferryboats to transport private cars, taking taxis and renting cars on the island are wise alternatives to bringing your own car.
Traffic on Block Island
Block Island's roads are single-lane and two-lane only, with some sidewalks but no bikepaths, so bicycles, mopeds, cars, trucks and in some places pedestrians all share the roadway. This usually works pretty well. Here are some tips:
—Pedestrians have absolute priority and right of way
—Bicycles are next. They must stop for pedestrians, but mopeds and larger vehicles must defer to bicycles. When biking on the island, follow all traffic regulations and signal your turns.
—Mopeds, often driven by first-time moped users, must take special care not to cause accidents.
—Car and truck drivers must keep in mind that all people and all vehicles share the roads equally.
You can bring your own bicycle with you on some of the ferries (see here). If you don't, just bring your helmet and rent a bike from any of a dozen shops in town on the island.
You'll see some bike and moped rental shops in Old Harbor even before you land. Others are hidden away on back streets. Lots of choices! More...
A moped is any sort of small motorbike. The ones on Block Island tend to be motor scooters, comfortable to ride and capable of seating two persons.
Think carefully before you rent and ride a moped! Most visitors who rent a moped, motor scooter or motorcycle have never ridden one before. They hit the road after only the briefest of lessons from a rental shop. Thus, every summer brings a number of moped accidents with bodily injuries, a few of them serious.
Helmets are included in moped and motor scooter rentals on Block Island. Use them!
If you rent a two-wheeled motor vehicle, be particularly cautious, especially after the first hour or two of riding. Accidents often happen soon after you think you've mastered the vehicle and the roads.
Your rental agreement will stipulate that you may not drive the rented vehicle on unpaved roads, which is a disadvantage on Block Island, as many beaches are reached by unpaved roads. (Bicycles may ride on unpaved roads.)
Also, some roads are off-limits to mopeds by town ordinance because of safety concerns.
You'll see taxis waiting at the dock or the airport when you arrive on Block Island. They're a practical way to get around if you haven't brought or rented your own vehicle.
No national/international car rental companies have agents on Block Island. Two local businesses rent cars. The cars may not be as new or shiny as what you're used to from the big companies, but on such a small island, you won't be spending more than a few minutes in the car on any given trip.
—Block Island Bike & Car Rental, tel 401-466-2297, on Ocean Street, rents bicycles, mopeds and cars.
—by Tom Brosnahan