The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that it will implement a traffic pattern change along a portion of Elmwood Avenue starting next week on Monday, April 15. Called a road diet, the changes are designed to increase safety and make it easier to make left turns into homes, businesses and side streets.
The project covers about 2 miles of Elmwood Avenue from Post Road in Warwick to Park Avenue in Cranston. The roadway will be restriped from two lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction, but include a center turning lane. This allows through traffic to continue flowing unimpeded while left turning vehicles use the center turning lane.
RIDOT also is performing upgrades to traffic signals along this corridor, including the installation of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Park Avenue and Elmwood Avenue. That signal is expected to be operational in late spring/early summer.
RIDOT has implemented road diets successfully for several years on roadways across Rhode Island. They are recommended by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and have proven to reduce crashes. Under FHWA guidelines, this type of change has been shown to produce favorable results in terms of safety and operations on roads with 15,000 vehicles per day or fewer. 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.
The installation schedule is weather-dependent and subject to change.
These traffic and safety improvements were made possible by RhodeWorks, RIDOT's ongoing commitment to repair structurally deficient bridges and bring Rhode Island's transportation infrastructure into a state of good repair, promote economic development, and create jobs. Learn more at www.ridot.net/RhodeWorks.