Tomasso Lauds Ongoing Route 3 Safety Improvements

The latest restriping project is following her request for a traffic study.


STATE HOUSE – After calling for a traffic study for the section of Route 3 that winds through West Greenwich last year, Rep. Lisa P. Tomasso (D – Dist. 29, Coventry, West Greenwich) is proud to announce that the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is .

After garnering approval from West Greenwich officials last month and the Coventry Traffic Calming Committee this week, RIDOT is quickly moving forward with its plan to create a center turn lane on a section of Route 3 from Route 95 in West Greenwich to Harkney Hill Road in Coventry.

Initially a wide four-lane roadway, a small portion of it will now become a narrower five-lane design to ensure that motorists will not live in fear of being rear-ended while waiting to turn, said Representative Tomasso. She also thanks Coventry Town Councilor Thaddeus Jendzejec, who created the Coventry Traffic Calming Committee to address traffic issues in the community, for his assistance in helping to secure local support for the restriping proposal. The move will benefit motorists traveling to and from West Greenwich and Coventry, as well as those utilizing the Route 95 ramps.

“The traffic study I requested last year showed that the average speed of motorists along that portion of Route 3 was far higher than it should have been,” the representative said. “That’s how serious accidents happen. Now, making room for that center turn lane will result a narrower, five-lane road. The purpose is two-fold, first, to naturally reduce the speed of those traveling through the area and second, to protect those wanting to turn in and out of the businesses and neighborhoods along the stretch.”

 “I believe this was a necessary step up in safety for the residents of both West Greenwich and Coventry,” Representative Tomasso said. “Slowing down traffic will make travelers much more aware of their surroundings.”

Jim August 11, 2012 at 01:41 PM
I predict the opposite effect, confused drivers will use the center lane as a passing lane, narrow travel lanes will add to the hazards and accidents will increase. Not to mention the number of businesses requiring a left turn lane are minimal. Why not do something about the stretch from Reservoir Rd to Harkney Hill? The Post office, Woodland Manor prompt many left turns in the passing lane. What a waste!
Lisa Tomasso August 12, 2012 at 03:39 PM
The traffic study was prepared upon request of concerned officials, residents and business owners of WG, who have for years sought safety improvements on the section of Rt3 between I95 and Mishnock Rd. DOT data shows that wide shoulders, not center turn lanes, are used most often for illegal passing and parking. The original recommendation from RIDOT extended the turn lane into Coventry as far north as Reservoir Rd. In order to expedite the business of the people, Coventry chose only to consider restriping up to Harkney Hill Rd. A center turn lane can be installed at any time with the approval of the Town of Coventry. You have my support. Now contact your councilman and let's get it done!
Jim August 12, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Assuming that the statement regarding the concerns from Exit 6 to Mishnock Rd is accurate, IMHO the most significant traffic hazard is the merge from Exit 6 traffic into the lane of travel on Route 3. In countless personal observations and close calls, many drivers fail to yield much less even look for oncoming Route 3 traffic with frequent disregard by drivers on Route 3 failing to slow for vehicles entering from Exit 6. The number of businesses along that referenced stretch which would necessitate left-turns is rather minimal at best, certainly far fewer potential hazards than what exists along Rt. 3 from Harkney Hill to the Post Office. In more than 30 years, I cannot recall seeing any vehicles parked in the shoulder along that area nor any recollection of passing in the shoulder lane. I question how the RI DOT obtained this data. IMHO, the Post Office itself is where many traffic hazards exist, with vehicles entering and exiting through one narrow driveway. I have indeed witnessed many vehicles parked along the shoulder, perhaps out of necessity due to limited parking at the Post Office and have seen numerous serious accidents and close calls, but this area is beyond the boundaries of the revamp, very odd I think, not to mention, the left turn hazards at Magnolia and/or Wisteria Dr. also result in accidents and close calls. That said, the die has been cast and time will tell if this project is a worthwhile expenditure of tax dollars.


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