Main Ave. light to keep blinking as city waits for repair parts

By JOHN HOWELL
Posted 7/2/20

The traffic signal at Main at Buttonwoods Avenues, the site of three accidents since it was placed on the flashing mode in mid-June, will remain blinking for at least a week and maybe longer as the city waits for the delivery of repairs

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Main Ave. light to keep blinking as city waits for repair parts

Posted

The traffic signal at Main at Buttonwoods Avenues, the site of three accidents since it was placed on the flashing mode in mid-June, will remain blinking for at least a week and maybe longer as the city waits for the delivery of repairs parts Mayor Joseph J. Solomon said Tuesday.

“Let’s face it, this is an imperative issue. I, you know, I don’t usually budget for red lights on state highways. So there was nothing in the budget appropriated for this,” Solomon said.

But is it a state light?

While a state highway, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation contends that portion of Main Avenue is a city road and the light is the city’s responsibility. When the DOT started getting calls that the light was inoperable, the city was notified. According to a spokeswoman for the DOT, the city responded that repair of the light depended on funding if that could be found.

Solomon sees the need to make the repairs and says they can’t be made soon enough.

“It’s a material issue that affects the health safety and well being of not just the people that travel those roads, but the residents and pedestrians that walk along,” he said.

The mayor said his office has received multiple calls about the light and that callers have been reassured “that we are addressing it.”

Solomon didn’t have details on what needs to be repaired or what it would cost. He estimated the light to be 30 years old and said part of the problem had to do with the “transfer box.”

“For the light fixtures itself we’re probably talking one to two weeks off, and if an additional part is needed, maybe another four days beyond that,” he said. In an effort to improve visibility at the intersection, he said a hedge on the west side of Buttonwoods would be cut down or substantially trimmed.

The city installed stop signs on Buttonwoods and Inman Avenue, which intersects with Main from the north, soon after the light was placed on the blinking mode.

Solomon suggested the state should have stepped in right away and made the repairs.

“I’ve seen the state on state highways replace a light in 24 hours. Right they have the resources and they have the stockpile,” he said. If that had been the case, he said the state could have charged the city and fixed the problem.

According to police reports, the latest accident at the intersection occurred June 28 at 9:56 a.m. when the driver of a 2017 GMC Denali traveling northbound on Buttonwoods Avenue entered the intersection with the intention of turning left to the westbound lane of Main Avenue. A vehicle in the right lane of the eastbound lane of Main Avenue stopped, but a 2014 Nissan Sentra in the second eastbound lane didn’t, striking the driver’s side of the Denali. The driver of the Denali sustained an injury to his wrist when airbags deployed. He was transported to Kent Hospital.

The driver of the Sentra and a passenger, who were not wearing seat belts, complained of neck pain and were transported to Rhode Island Hospital. Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

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