Roundabout walls there so you can`t see around them

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So what are those circulator stonewalls doing in the center of the Apponaug roundabouts?

Didn’t anyone clue in designers that you can’t see through stone and if the walls weren’t there motorists would have a clear view of roundabout traffic? And to make it all that more difficult to get a glimpse of what’s on the opposite side of a roundabout, these walls will surround raised gardens with plantings.

It isn’t a mistake, assures Department of Transportation spokesman Charles St. Martin. Motorists entering the roundabouts aren’t supposed to have a clear view of vehicles approaching the system from the opposite direction.

It’s all designed to have motorists entering the system slow down and focus on who is already in the roundabout. St. Martin also called it a “visual clue of how the road bends.”

St. Martin gives the example of a conventional signaled intersection. Confronted with a caution light, motorists will assess conditions and, in many instances, speed up because they calculate they can beat the cross traffic. That’s just the sort of response that obscuring portions of the roundabout is designed to stop. The approach, he said, should be cautionary, slowing down and yielding to vehicles in the roundabout. He listed the three tenants to using roundabouts as: yielding to traffic in the roundabout; not changing lanes when in the roundabout; and choosing a lane on entering a roundabout.

The speed limit is 25 mph in the roundabouts.

The walls are one of several questions raised by the $71 million project that has been talked about for decades and after two years of construction is drawing to completion.

Yes, the project is on schedule and on budget, assures St. Charles. That’s positive news. It’s also good news that the current traffic restrictions at crosswalks are temporary and that work on the fifth and last of the roundabouts is in full swing.

St. Martin explained the concrete crosswalks, which Cardi Construction waited until warm weather to install, take seven days to cure before they can accommodate traffic. Therefore, the walks are being done in sections as one of two lanes is closed. He also said the delay on the crosswalks enabled motorists to acclimate to the system.

Some motorists, however, are finding it difficult to alter what seems should be the quickest way to get between two points – the shortest distance.

While most of the 25,000 vehicular trips through Apponaug Village center have been moved to Veterans Memorial Drive, St. Martin notes many motorists turn off the drive to pass in front of City Hall in order to reach West Shore Road. Although longer, St. Martin ventures the trip can be made quicker by staying on the drive and connecting with West Shore Road at William’s Corner.

Apart from motorist familiarization, St. Martin points out that as the full roundabout becomes complete operation improves. Multiple entries provide for “gaps” in traffic, allowing for motorists to enter the system. When there are only two entries, the traffic speeds up, reducing the gaps.

St. Martin said drainage and electrical work is now being done in the area of Apponaug Four Corners, which will become the fifth roundabout in the circulator system. When completed, that section of Post Road in the village center will be reduced to a single travel lane, with parking on both sides and a bicycle lane.

There will be new curbing and sidewalks with bump outs for the crosswalks, “like Pawtuxet,” said St. Martin. He expects those improvements to be completed by late August. Work is also being done on that section of Centerville Road and the Toll Gate/Centerville/Veterans Memorial Drive that will include a new bridge over the Apponaug River.

Overall, St. Martin said about 75 percent of the project has been completed.

The saw tooth building – what remains of the former Apponaug Mill – will go up for auction after the previous owner is given first refusal and the city given second refusal. Mayor Scott Avedisian indicated last week that the city is not interested in acquiring the property at this point. Assuming the former owner does not want the property, St. Martin expects it will go up for auction in three to four weeks.

Comments

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Kammy

I know there have been some naysayers but I really like the roundabouts. I think that traffic does move smoothly through them and you can get through the area with more ease than before. Now if only people would learn how to yield I would give this project an A+. Rhode Islanders and right of way are simply non-compatible. It's a shame really. Other towns and countries use them for great traffic benefit. If only we could do the same.

Tuesday, May 9 | Report this
Thecaptain

A+ project? Well, I guess if you have zero construction knowledge its an A+. If you have any construction knowledge it is a F-. No where in the United States do they surround rotary's with stone walls and plantings. This was a political give away to the masons union and the end result is a continuing maintenance issue. No where else in New England do they use stamped concrete cross walks for a number of reasons. They are a maintenance issue, they are highly susceptible to deterioration from salt from the winter, they are slightly raised so plows will impact them causing breaks in the concrete, they cause a break point in newly paved road, and the most obvious is that the contractor cant even keep the batch color consistent for 10 ft. Not to mention how ugly it is.

Now we have new pretty sidewalks, covered in sand, the DOT has not swept the road although the project specification calls for "continuous" sweeping during construction, and the handicap ramp grids are already rusting and bleaching on to the new concrete. These steel covers should all have been galvanized to prevent rusting and pure uglyness. Then lets talk about how the light posts going down Veterans Blvd are not centered in the median. They are all displaced in one way or another. A trained eye would also see that the curbing is already sinking in many areas due to lack of compaction, and the stamped concrete around the "roundabout's" are already covered in tractor trailer skid marks as they lanes are too narrow.

The above notes are the result of a trained eye and someone that can interpret the state code. Drive by city hall and look at all the debris in the road that has been there for 18 months without being swept. Take a ride to the Greenwood Bridge and see what the stamped concrete looks like there after having been installed just 2 years ago. Do you actually think that you will see DOT maintaining the grass or the plantings? Lets get real. They don't maintain anything to date and this are will be no different. All the beautiful road all designed around an abandoned eyesore of a building that houses rats and mice that should have been knocked down 30 years ago.

One other observation - Did anyone notice that Roger Williams motors closed their doors after over 20 years in business in Warwick? Guess not. Their business was destroyed by the construction, constant broken windshields from stone in the road, and a complete disruption. Last week they moved to West Warwick . Way to go Mayor, let another business leave Warwick.

By the way, Mr. St. Martin is a mouthpiece and another example of someone who has no construction experience or code compliance knowledge. Just another political hack position.

Wednesday, May 10 | Report this
JessieD

Someone should spend more time outside of Warwick. I work for a GC that has multiple contracts in Mass. and we have put in stamped concrete crosswalks in Newton, Wellesley, Boston, Brookline to name a few. We are in phase 2 of a project in Brookline and the crosswalks installed last spring in phase 1 made it through the winter plowing season with no problem and they dump salt likes its free or something. Inconsistent batch color is squarely on the applicators shoulders. We order material for the entire phase, open and remix the dry color material from all of the bags together and then place them in 5g buckets with lids. This ensures that the color is consistent throughout. Takes a load of time but we think it makes a huge difference in the final product. Also, for my current commute I have to travel through 3 roundabouts up in that area and the traffic flows pretty smoothly.

Wednesday, May 10 | Report this
sheadon1

The roundabout is the worst design and most dangerous I've ever seen. I now try to find a way to avoid Appanoag! I can't even believe this design! I wonder how many accidents there have been so far and they got rid of rotaries years ago because of all the accidents....too bad!

Wednesday, May 10 | Report this
Inspector

The traffic has never moved smoother in Apponaug! No more traffic jams on Centerville Rd at the 4 corners. If people just take their time and pay attention there will be no problems. Great job by both RIDOT and Cardi Corp.

Wednesday, May 10 | Report this
warwick-resident

I am now comfortable traveling through the rotary's on a daily basis. You do however have to drive very defensively and there have been numerous times where I've had to avoid an accident! Just as everyone has complained, the problem arises when you get people 'who do not yield'! Can you imagine someone unfamiliar with the area trying to navigate here? I see it all the time! There are the people who know what they are doing, then you get the people who make stupid decisions at the last second...like coming to a complete stop in the middle of the rotary!! I have encountered several incidents always around the entrance to Centerville Rd, coming from Vets Mem

Dr., people in the outside lane need to know that they cannot turn to go onto Greenwich Ave here (headed in the direction of EG that is) The outside lane on Vets Memorial heading toward Centerville Rd is STRAIGHT ONLY!! So many people in that outside lane, think they can turn through the rotary here. Please look at the arrows on the pavement people! Some guy almost clobbered me here as he took a sharp turn as I was in the inside lane going straight. Another annoyance is with the double lanes in the rotary...if you are in the outside lane and trying to view traffic going through the rotary then suddenly you get a huge pickup or suv that pulls up next to you on the inside lane, they completely block your view of the rotary!! Does the traffic flow more smoothly? Yes! But is it worth the anxiety of trying to avoid accidents on the daily?

Thursday, May 11 | Report this
Justanidiot

We need a mayer wit the taxpayers in mind

Thursday, May 11 | Report this
Biggameatball

I think it is great. A much improved flow of traffic. My only recommendation would be for a stop sign at the entrance of the roundabout when going south on VMP. Too many cars are not yielding as they should. A hard stop may help the problem?

Thursday, May 11 | Report this
Thecaptain

JessieD,

I work extensively in Mass. CT. NH, but mostly in the Boston area. I have never seen this type of construction in Boston and Ive been there 20 years. The point is, is that it is an unnecessary maintenance issue. Just look at the track record of RIDOT. Complete failed maintenance program, just look at Greenwood Bridge, its filthy and all broken up already. Remember several years ago when DOT installed concrete chatter strips at the off ramp intersections? What happened? They all spaulled out, then they were patched continuously with asphalt until they finally last year dug out all of the concrete and replaced it back with the original asphalt. I reviewed in excess of 600 documentations (along with Jim Hummel) http://hummelreport.org/Stories/11.12.2015.dot.html

and we found numerous code compliance deficiencies that continue to this day. Remember, we pay for it.

Thursday, May 11 | Report this
Inspector

The stamped concrete around the roundabouts are called TRUCK APRONS which are designed for the trucks to drive over.

I just came back from Carmel California where they have 100 roundabouts and many of them have walls built inside.

Get ready for many more in RI. Newport, Coventry and Warwick.They work! Just give the public time to get use to them.

.

Friday, May 12 | Report this
bullwinkle

It seems irresponsible to introduce FOUR two-lane roundabouts in one of the busiest sections of the city and not provide some Public Service Announcements/education via The Beacon, the ProJo, the local news, the internet, etc with information for residents on how to properly utilize the rotaries, especially given that these 2-lane rotaries are more confusing than single lane rotaries. Maybe they could print the rules on Dunkin' Donuts cups and napkins - then every resident would receive them. I have seen many near accidents with people not understanding the system. Are there any plans for PSAs/education for residents???

Friday, May 12 | Report this