Councilor Hodge fears new bike crossing will lead to death

Councilor Hodge fears new bike crossing will lead to death

City Councilor Tom Hodge calls this bike crossing on Armistice Boulevard "Death Valley" because he believes someone will die if changes are not made to improve safety. (Valley Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

PAWTUCKET - Some city residents and leaders are sounding the alarm about a bike crossing on Armistice Boulevard they say could very well be the site of a horrific accident if something isn't done soon.

The crossing, with solar-powered yellow flashing lights, is a new connector for the Ten Mile River Greenway, a two-mile bike path built in 2004 to connect Slater Park in Pawtucket to the Kimberly Ann Rock Athletic Fields in East Providence. The crossing connects Slater Park to Daggett Field.

Councilor Thomas Hodge, at a meeting last Wednesday, said the crossing near the Pawtucket Country Club is a curve he labels "death valley."

"In due time there is going to be a death there," he said.

Hodge, who lives nearby, said "You can't see those lights until you're on top" of the "very dangerous" crossing. He's seen plenty of close calls, said Hodge, and he fears that someone won't see crossing cyclists "until it's too late."

Rose Amoros, spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, said Monday that officials were sending someone out to investigate the situation on Armistice Boulevard.

Pawtucket resident Crystal Parfitt also fears the worst at the bicycle crossing, telling The Breeze it "looks very fancy and expensive, but it's not doing the job I think it was intended for."

"I drive this way daily and I see people just crossing it like the street wasn't even there," said Parfitt. "It seems like they could have just installed a regular traffic light with better results."

A button to turn a traffic light red would do much more to protect everyone, said Parfitt, and help raise awareness that the crossing is in use.

The crossing currently utilizes motion sensors that turn the lights on when they sense a walker, runner or cyclist approaching.

Councilor Albert Vitali Jr., who also lives in Countryside, said more bright signage should be added well in advance of the crossing coming from both directions.

He has seen plenty of instances when someone has "almost gotten wrecked" on the bike path, and he would like to see it fixed as soon as possible.

Comments

More prominent caution lights should fix the problem. Also more prominent signage for bike pathers should help them be more cautious too. But don't worry, Tom Hodge is on it- decades on the council and look where our city is today!

Also, I would hope we do not install a stop light. There are enough traffic lights in Pawtucket already. Stopping for bike pathers when we see them would be much quicker for drivers.

I use the path 4-6 times a week. I bike, jog, and walk and not always the lights work. I talked with John Blais early September and told him of my concerns. RIPTA bus parked in wrong place (he corrected),more signs(one on each side put up) signs not enough and to close to the path. I would think that the red light should be on the traffic side not caution yellow. Or two red lights one path side and other traffic side. A solar panel in RI weather dose not seem to work. At one time the light had not worked for weeks. A push button light like at crosswalks would work better I think. Dig deeper and find that the planted vegetation is dying. 1.2 million dollars and not working right. Thanks for Tom Hodge. I would be happen to meet on Monday to show my concerns.

It seems like the streets are still in a dangerous situation where any one can be badly injured or this may lead to death, I wish and hope that some more preventive measures would be taken to secure people.
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