We look south from Amesbury toward Newburyport across the Route 1 bridge over the Merrimack river. This bridge connects Newburyport with ocean beaches, and carries considerable bicycle traffic on warm summer days. The bridge has a wide shoulder, but also has a grid-deck bascule span at the center.
Issues with the "walk bikes" sign here are not quite the same as on the Chain Bridge. Why are bicyclists directed to walk when this bridge has wide shoulders? Where are bicyclists supposed to walk with no sidewalk on this side of the divided highway, and a barrier in the median?
This part of Route 1 might be considered an express state highway, so prohibiting bicycles on the roadway might be within the law. Indeed, bicyclists might best walk across the grid-deck part. On the other hand, the bridge connects with streets at either end without the need to ride on any high-speed sections that lack shoulders. And the "walk bike" sign is partway up the bridge. Time for a rethink!