Busy intersection deserved coverage
To the Editor:
There has been a lot of talk on how well (or poorly) New England Grid handled restoring power after the big storm. My complaint is with the Warwick Police Department.
Let me say upfront, I don't live in Warwick but work there. For more than two days the traffic lights at Warwick Avenue and Sandy Lane were out. Now I was taught in driver's ed (a thousand years ago) that when a traffic signal goes down, the intersection becomes a four-way stop. Apparently, they don't teach drivers that anymore. The intersection became an endless game of "Chicken,” with everyone going whenever they pleased, including cruising through without even slowing down. This was exacerbated by the fact that not only does that intersection have standard cross-traffic, but four left-turn lanes as well.
In the evening it became more treacherous, seeing the streetlights illuminating the chaos were also out. I have a simple question: why was there no traffic officer in place to direct traffic, at the minimum during high volume times? In addition, why did no one think it wise to place any of those gas generator work lights they use for night repair of highways at that intersection? I'm guessing manpower is not an issue. There seems to be enough guys wanting to do detail work directing traffic in and out of Dave's parking lot. I'm guessing the mayor didn't think lights out at Warwick and Sandy Lane merited the outlay of funds for traffic details.
I realize every intersection that went down during the storm could not be covered by a police detail, but Warwick Ave and Sandy Lane should have been a priority. I'm aware of at least two accidents that happened during the outage and I'm sure there were many more. Sad.
James S. Sulanowski