Rhode Island DOT will inspect traffic issue at Lowe's intersection

Rhode Island DOT will inspect traffic issue at Lowe's intersection

NORTH PROVIDENCE - Representatives for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation are saying they'll study reported traffic problems at the intersection of Mineral Spring Avenue and Douglas Avenue and make changes to the traffic lights there if needed.

Local motorists are claiming they are routinely stuck at the Lowe's intersection for long periods of time. Resident Dennis Varone, in a letter to the editor last week, said that traffic on Douglas Avenue, headed from Providence toward Smithfield, backs up daily.

"Today I was on Douglas Avenue coming from Providence and the traffic was backed up (to Carl Avenue) almost to the closed fire station at Cushion Street," wrote Varone. "This happens all the time ever since Lowe's opened and traffic lights and the traffic pattern was changed."

According to Varone, the traffic light allows a green arrow for a left turn from Douglas Avenue onto Mineral Spring Avenue, coming from Smithfield, before a green light is given for Douglas Avenue traffic heading toward Smithfield.

"With some cars trying to take a left on Mineral Spring Avenue, you are lucky to get eight to 10 cars to pass through the light before it turns red again," writes Varone. "I really think we need to address this situation, correct it so traffic can flow normally again."

Drivers can sit on Douglas Avenue for 10 to 15 minutes or more waiting to get across Mineral Spring Avenue, according to Varone.

Rose Amoros, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, told The Breeze that changes were made to the timing of the Douglas Avenue/Mineral Spring Avenue signal when Lowe's Home Improvement was built on the old Rizzo Ford property. Lowe's opened in the summer of 2010.

"Over the next couple of weeks, we will be evaluating the intersection to gauge whether the traffic being reported is the result of a hardware or timing issue," said Amoros. "We will make changes as necessary based on the results of our analysis."