East Main Road in Portsmouth, between Turnpike Avenue and Boyds Lane, will be striped as a three-lane roadway beginning October 20, 2008. Once the change is complete, the roadway will have one lane in each direction, and a wide turning lane for those waiting to make left turns. The work begins Monday night when the old roadway striping is ground off, and will continue Tuesday and Wednesday nights with the application of the new striping.
Early this spring, a resolution from the Portsmouth Town Council asked RIDOT to study the possibility of limiting the roadway to two lanes. In May, the State Traffic Commission approved RIDOTís recommendation for a three-lane roadway, based on the amount of traffic and the number of driveways and businesses in the area.
The plan has been endorsed by the Town Council, Senator Charles J. Levesque, Representatives Joseph N. Amaral, Raymond E. Gallison, Jr., and John J. Loughlin, Jr., Portsmouth Police Chief Lance Hebert, School Superintendent Dr. Susan Lusi and the Portsmouth School Committee.
An average of 13,400 vehicles travel through the area every day, often at speeds faster than the posted 25-35 miles per hour. There were 104 accidents on the roadway in the last three years for which statistics are available (2004, 2005, 2006).
National studies have found that when roadways are reduced from four lanes to three lanes, auto accidents decline by one-third, and pedestrian safety greatly increases. Once the East Main Road striping is complete, RIDOT will study the area with the new configuration, and determine if a change in the speed limit should be made.
Contact: Frances Segerson 401-222-1362 Ext. 4012