WARWICK, RI — Two local legislators have called for a traffic study of the northbound Post Road section of the Apponaug Circulator, where traffic regularly backs up for upwards of two miles, but Mayor Frank Picozzi termed their request “unnecessary” because work is already underway to find a potential fix.
Reps. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24) and David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20) issued a statement Friday calling on the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) and the federal government to study the roundabout because vehicles traveling north on U.S. Route 1 often find themselves in long traffic jams, particularly during the afternoon commute.
“It can be extremely frustrating and stressful for drivers who find themselves on Post Road during those windows of high traffic congestion,” said Shanley. “Maybe transportation officials could find a solution to the bottleneck in the roundabout closest to Warwick City Hall, which seems to be the source of the backup. Perhaps a right-turn only lane could be built so that traffic going by City Hall could circumvent the roundabout entirely, easing the afternoon congestion.”
Post Road has been plagued with traffic snarls, which Bennet blamed on narrow zones between existing buildings that limit how wide the road can be.
“The four other traffic circles in Apponaug are two-lane roundabouts, but that one is only one lane due to the density of buildings in the immediate vicinity, which adds to the problem,” said Bennett, who lives in Apponaug not far from the Circulator Project. “But I’m sure a solution can be found to improve the flow of traffic.”
Elizabeth Tufts, Media Coordinator for Mayor Frank Picozzi, wrote in an email statement that: “The Mayor agrees that there is a problem there. He has already spoken to the DOT Director Peter Alviti. The Director agrees that there is a problem there and said that the DOT has been looking into a solution, so calling for a traffic study is unnecessary.”
The Apponaug Circulator is a five roundabout project completed in 2017 to drastically reduce the number of vehicles (25,000 daily) traveling through the historical village center of Apponaug and relocate them to major roads thus creating a free traffic flow through Warwick.
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