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