Woodward Road traffic study reveals most drivers in compliance

Woodward Road traffic study reveals most drivers in compliance

A posted speed limit along Woodward Road near the Providence line warns motorists that the 25 mile per hour speed limit is radar-patrolled. A recent traffic study conducted in the area revealed that the majority of motorists on the road drive in compliance with the speed limit. (Breeze photo by Nicole Dotzenrod)

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The results of a traffic study conducted by the North Providence Police Department in the Woodward Road area, completed in response to complaints about speeding drivers, has found that the majority of motorists are complying with the posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

The study of Woodward Road in the area of Robin Street, which ran from Dec. 12-26, was initiated after police received a traffic complaint from David Condon, the owner of a home at 2 Robin St., which intersects Woodward Road.

Condon told The Breeze at the time that he was especially concerned about speeding after a car skidded onto his front lawn in November, causing property damage. He said he had made numerous complaints to police and Mayor Charles Lombardi regarding the “nonstop speeding” on his street, concerned for the safety of his two young children.

The traffic study, under the director of Lt. Michael Tavarozzi, focused on the section of Woodward Road between Mineral Spring Avenue and the Providence city line at Branch Avenue, a major cut-through between the two municipalities. The scope included:

• An initial survey of the area for existing signage.

• Crash and traffic enforcement data was collected from Jan. 1 to Dec. 18, 2018.

• Speeding data was collected over a 14-day period beginning Dec. 13 and ending on Dec. 26, utilizing the North Providence Police Department Mobile Traffic Trailer.

A total of five crashes occurred in 2018. One of the accidents occurred in a nearby parking lot, another when two vehicles collided while attempting to avoid turkeys in the road. Only one, the accident at 2 Robin Ave., indicated that speed was a factor.

In the same period, 55 traffic/radar posts were conducted in the area. Four municipal citations were issued for speeding, and four were issued for “other traffic violation.” Two civil citations, four citation warnings and one verbal warning were also given for traffic violations other than speeding.

The mobile trailer also collected data for a two-week period in December, measuring speed in both directions for 24 hours each day. It found that an average of 2,956 vehicles travel the roadway every day (roughly two per minute), at an average speed of 29.2 miles per hour.

The majority of vehicles complied with the speed limit, with 68 percent traveling between 21 and 30 miles per hour on any given day. From there, an average of 27.4 percent of vehicles traveled 31-35 miles per hour; 4.3 percent went 36-40 miles per hour, and less than one percent hit 41-45 miles per hour.

With more than half of the daily traffic on Woodward Road falling into compliance, Lt. Tavarozzi said the results of the study are a sign that the department’s traffic calming techniques are working.

While the study was being conducted, additional signs were added to the road under the posted speed limit signs reading “Strictly Enforced.” Additional signs will be added for “Slow Caution, Curve Ahead,” in the area of 2 Robin St. Controls such as speed bumps are not being considered at this time.

Roadway lines will also be added as a measure of traffic calming on Woodward Road. North Providence police will also continue to patrol the area, conducting frequent traffic posts to maintain or improve the high level of compliance. Lastly, the department has promised to conduct another traffic study in the spring.

Deputy Chief Arthur Martins said the improvements are part of an “ongoing process,” adding that the department will continue to assess the data going forward to determine whether additional work needs to be done.

The Woodward Road traffic study is one of a number of traffic studies being conducted by police around town.