Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 04-10-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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8 NORTH PROVIDENCE APRIL 10-16, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH PROVIDENCE EDITION the Town Council at its April 2 meeting, said the idea is to create consistent speed limits on the state road from "one end of town to the other," saying there are many reasons for that. The town is more populated and Mineral Spring has a multitude of intersections and exits and people crossing. Especially during busing times, the higher speed limit becomes problematic. The town's demo- graphics show it's becoming more urbanized, said Tavarozzi, and a uniform 25-mile zone would be consistent with state standards in business zones. Deputy Chief Arthur Martins said police brought the proposed change to the State Traffic Commission and a study has been conducted over the past four to five months. The Traffic Commission determined that 35 miles per hour is too high, he said. An ear- lier 10-year study found that some 45 percent of all accidents in town happen on Mineral Spring, he said, numbers brought about due to a combination of higher speeds and issues with vehicles making frequent turns. "Obviously the speed limit is a little bit too high based on our estimation," he told the council. There have been three fatalities on the road in the past three years, Martins said, and most fatal crashes happen because of excessive speed. Once the change is in place, police say they will be posting signs and message boards notifying the public of the reduced speeds, said Martins. Residents and visitors to town will be informed on the reasons for the change, including enhanced public safety, reduced crashes, less overall property damage, and improved driving behavior. A 35-mile zone is more the standard in a suburban or rural area, said Martins. North Providence is now more urban, he said, "whether we want to admit that or not." Councilor Manny Giusti cautioned that he doesn't want to see Mineral Spring "become the Power Road of North Providence," a nod to the nearby Pawtucket road where so many motorists are caught in speed traps. Martins responded that there is no motivation here to generate revenue, adding that it's not the North Providence Police Department's mission "to be strictly a traffic enforcement agency" but to focus overall on promoting public safety. Councilor Ken Amoriggi said it almost seemed like the town didn't have a choice in the matter, and that the council is being asked to codify the state's initiative through an ordinance. Martins responded that police brought the matter to the state as a matter of public safety, and are looking to get correspond- ing language to mirror state law on 25-mile zones in business districts. Current speed limits are 25 miles per hour for a tiny stretch of Mineral Spring from its start in Centredale to Thomas Street, and a half-mile por- tion from Route 146 to the Pawtucket city line. The remaining 2.8 miles or so of one of the state's busiest two-lane roads is 35 miles per hour. Having a 35-mile zone in that mostly commercial district, with multiple schools, hundreds of entrances and exits, and "the most accidents in our town," Chief David Tikoian told The Breeze, "just doesn't make sense." The council decided to send the matter to its ordi- nance subcommittee and schedule a public hearing on the proposed change for its May meeting. The posted speed limit on the Pawtucket portion of Mineral Spring Avenue is 25 miles per hour. Over on state-owned Smith Street, the majority of the roadway has a 25-mile-per-hour limit, which is consistent with speed restrictions in state law, says Tikoian. There is a short portion of Smith Street, approximately six-tenths of a mile, between Whipple Avenue and Wellesley Avenue, where the speed limit increases to 30 miles per hour. It then drops back down to 25 entering Providence from North Providence. Tikoian said police plan to petition the State Traffic Commission and request a traffic study be conducted on the short section of Smith Street with an elevated speed limit, with hopes of having the posted speed limit be consistent for the town's entire portion of the roadway. Not only do crosswalks serving the McGuire School neighborhood fall within this zone, but the area also matches the state speed restriction statute limiting the speed to no more than 25 miles per hour in a business or residential district, he said. SPEED LIMIT From Page One ADDYSON ZIROLI, 9, left, and her brother MASON, 11, try out adjustable beds at the North Providence Middle School Bands mattress fundraiser. The sale was held at North Providence High School, Saturday. BREEZE PHOTOS BY BILL MURPHY MICHELLE DAUGHERTY, of Pawtucket, checks out a pillow at the North Providence Middle School Bands mat- tress fundraiser. Beside mattresses, the fundraiser also featured adjustable power bases, premium pillows, bed frames and mattress protectors. DAVE ZIROLI, of North Providence, likes the feel of the mattress he is trying out at the North Providence Middle School Bands mat- tress fundraiser Saturday. A test of the rest Local Eats 805 CHARLES STREET PROVIDENCE 401-861-7955 Order Now for your Easter Holiday Items! 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