NP resident scores change at backed-up 146 exit

NP resident scores change at backed-up 146 exit

Rosanne Siravo stands at the intersection of the Route 146 exit at Mineral Spring Avenue, where a new “don’t block the box” traffic control graphic will be painted onto the street by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. Siravo decided to take action on the matter due to the daily frustration of trying to pull out onto Mineral Spring from the exit. (Breeze photo by Robert Emerson)

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Every day, coming home from a job in Providence around 4:30 p.m., Rosanne Siravo sits at a standstill on the ever-troublesome exit ramp from Route 146 north to Mineral Spring Avenue.

She lives right around the corner, under the overpass, up the hill and to the right, but watches helplessly as driver after driver crosses in front of her through the light, only to be stopped at the end of the ramp in front of waiting cars.

“I’m so close, but so far,” she tells The Breeze, laughing. “Traffic is backed up all the way onto the highway, and that’s a long exit. I’m so frustrated by the time I get home.”

Seeing a Facebook comment and picture from an acquaintance about the Mineral Spring/146 exit traffic problems around the beginning of the summer, Siravo was struck by the fact that others were facing the same daily annoyance.

“I said, ‘Oh my God, I just went through there, I go through this every day,’” she said.

Drivers going down Mineral Spring Avenue toward Pawtucket are routinely trying to beat the light, without regard for whether they’ll be stuck inside the intersection due to back-up at the next light, Siravo said, a practice she always avoided like the plague due to how embarrassed she would be about blocking other drivers. She said she can’t count the number of times a Mineral Spring Avenue driver has sat there staring straight ahead, pretending to ignore eye contact with drivers who just want them to back up a bit to let them through.

Instead of just complaining on Facebook, where local complaints often die in obscurity, Siravo this summer decided to do something about the situation, initiating calls to the town and state about the situation. The calls ping-ponged back and forth, the town saying it was under the state’s purview, the state saying the opposite, but she eventually succeeded in gaining a hearing with the state on her concerns.

Siravo has learned that the State Traffic Commission, at its July 24 meeting, approved a request from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation for “do not block the sign box” pavement and sign markings, a win for Siravo and her fellow commuters. She said she was amazed to receive a message from RIDOT that her taking action produced such results.

“I’m so proud of her,” said her daughter, Bianca, of her mother’s getting involved civically.

Rosanne said it was during a conversation with her daughter about politics, where she expressed frustration with the way things are, that her daughter encouraged her to use her voice.

While the planned white lines painted inside a box on the asphalt, as well as corresponding signage, don’t automatically keep drivers outside the area at the end of the ramp on their own, their presence gives police the ability to fine drivers and have the tickets stick, said Siravo.

Though Siravo imagines there might still be times when she gets the urge to jump out of her car to force drivers to back up, she said she expects a dramatically improved situation once there’s a threat of penalty.

Many people don’t realize that blocking an intersection is against the law, she said.

Prior to the vote for the painted markings on July 24, Sean Raymond, principal civil engineer for RIDOT, testified that Mineral Spring Avenue is a very congested area and the northbound off-ramp from Route 146 gets backed up onto the highway. RIDOT also agreed to make sure both traffic signals at the location are working properly.

Comments

That intersection is the worst in town. Big win for Ms Siravo. But the next step is once it’s installed is to get it enforced. Good luck.

Way to speak up and be persistent Rosanne. Hope there improvements work and help.

there is a law that went into effect a year ago that made it a violation to block intersections, To No Avail, The markings are not going to do anything at all, look at the North Providence Fire Dept The Sign states NO BLOCKING DRIVEWAY, but motorists still block the driveway making it impossible for the fire trucks to get out on a busy day, unless the Police Dept are stationed there between the hours that are heavy in volume, nothing will change at all Great try

There Is Already A Law In Effect That Fines Motorists For Blocking The Intersections, But What Good Is It If The North Providence Police Dept Does Not Enforce It ?? There Should Be A Officer Stationed At That Intersection During 4-6 Just For That Purpose, Like There Use To Be 10 Years Ago, Now We Have A Young Dept That Could Care Less Then The Police Officers Did 5-10 Years Ago !!