WARWICK, RI — There are just two travel lanes on Elmwood Avenue between Post Road in Warwick and Park Avenue in Cranston now, with a center turning lane created, to increase safety along the stretch of road, according to the RIDOT.
Motorists have been adjusting to the new traffic pattern since April 15,
Similar traffic pattern changes are also intended for Greenwich Avenue and Post Road, according to the RIDOT.
The changes are referred to as road diets, reductions in excess travel lanes (or under-utilized capacity) in order to achieve desired improvements, such as crash reduction, speed reduction, eliminating left turn conflicts, and increased lane and shoulder widths.
Road Diets are one of FHWA’s 9 Proven Safety Countermeasures and are consistent with RI’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The other two locations are Greenwich Avenue (Luther Avenue to Hillard Avenue) and Post Road (Veterans Memorial Drive to Jefferson Boulevard) Elmwood Avenue (Post Road to Cranston City Line), according to the RIDOT.
The project covers about 2 miles of Elmwood Avenue from Post Road in Warwick to Park Avenue in Cranston. The change allows traffic to continue flowing unimpeded while left turning vehicles use the center turning lane, the RIDOT reported.
Such changes have been shown to produce favorable results in terms of safety and operations. RIDOT analyzed traffic to be sure implementing a road diet on Elmwood Avenue would not cause delays. Even accounting for small increases in traffic over time, the analysis showed traffic volumes less than 12,300 vehicles per day through 2020 – well below the threshold.