Scoot Commute

Stop the Presses! Elmwood Ave is now one lane in each direction!

Posted in Buddy St. Tropez (Franz Biberkopf), Daily Commute by sbahn on 2011/07/20

Ok, how insane is this?!

I rode home on the little bit of Elmwood Ave that I need to ride yesterday. Everything was fine. Two lanes in one direction, two lanes in the other direction. All’s well in chaos at 5:30 pm.

This morning I take my right onto Elmwood Avenue and WHOA! There are new road stripings marking one lane, a center turning lane, and another lane for cars coming in the opposite direction. When did this happen? The DOT guys came on little cat feet in the middle of the night and did some half-assed re-striping. They’re not done yet and cars were going all over the place, trying to pass in the left lane which was now a turning lane. I cannot believe that I didn’t see a head-on collision in the brief amount of time I ride this stretch of road.

Seriously? DOT makes a MAJOR change to a VERY BUSY, highly travelled, MAJOR roadway in Providence and there’s ABSOLUTELY NO WARNING?! No signs over the last weeks shouting “New traffic pattern coming!”, no cops, no nothing.

What’s especially frustrating is I was at the meeting a year and a half ago when I asked one of the RIDOT higher ups about the possibility of narrowing Elmwood Avenue down to one lane in each direction to accommodate bicycle traffic, along the lines of what they did to Blackstone Boulevard. This guy looked me in the eye and said, “No.” Lying bullshit. This is the same guy who no longer works for RIDOT and has a cushy job messing up the DOT in Hawaii.

It’s not that I’m that upset that Elmwood is only one lane in each direction, although it will be a pain (see how slowly the traffic crawls along Broad Street). It’s that there was no freaking warning AND the striping wasn’t finished so everyone was, and is, confused. Absolutely unbelievable. I’ll be taking my “old” commute route for the next few days until Elmwood is done being restriped and drivers get comfortable with the new pattern.

Really. Unbelievable. I’ll take pics tomorrow. It’s completely insane. I’m waiting for the head-on collision news.


2 Responses

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  1. Rollie said, on 2011/07/21 at 10:33 am

    Did they end up striping in bike lanes as well?

  2. sbahn said, on 2011/07/21 at 11:34 am

    The worst part…there is no bike lane! I purposely took Elmwood this morning to see what they did overnight; the center lanes now have arrows in them to indicate “use this for turning” but they kept the shoulders the same width. And you know how the cars park so it’s still no better for bicycles. Pathetic.

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