Monday, May 14, 2012

DOT ANSWERS: Route 116 is numbered correctly; sign will be moved in Lincoln

DOT ANSWERS: Route 116 is numbered correctly; sign will be moved in Lincoln
The Providence Journal – May 13, 2012
Dana Alexander Nolfe

Q: Recently, while driving on Route 116 from Cumberland to Smithfield, I noticed that the signage indicated that the route was from north to south. The compass in my car indicated that I was traveling from east to west. I thought that roads that went north to south were supposed to be odd numbers and east to west should be even numbers. Has this been changed? If the signage is incorrect can DOT please make corrections?

Also, at the intersection of Route 116 and Old River Road in Lincoln, there is a “No Right Turn on Red” sign that is set quite a ways back from the intersection on Old River Road. A lot of people make that turn on red, and I think it is because the sign is too far back from where you stop for the traffic light. Anything that can be done to correct these two small problems would be appreciated.

— Anne J. Cumberland

A: Route 116 is a major highway that runs between Coventry and Cumberland. While in general it stretches north to south between its beginning and end points, its alignment does vary, and therefore portions of Route 116 also run in an east and west direction.

Routes that are a part of the U.S. highway system are numbered based on the general direction of travel with odd numbers and even numbers designating north/south and east/west, respectively. Because Route 116 is part of the state highway system, its route number was not determined by the general direction of travel.

A RIDOT engineer also reviewed the “No Right Turn on Red” sign located at the intersection of Route 116 (George Washington Highway) and Route 126 (Old River Road) in Lincoln. Right turns are restricted from Old River Road onto Route 116 at this location due to the higher speeds on Route 116, as well as the crest of a hill, which may block the view of on-coming traffic from vehicles attempting to make a right turn on red.

Based on the field review, it was determined that this sign may be more effective if relocated closer to the intersection. This work will be performed by the RIDOT Maintenance Division when work is scheduled in the area.

Whose job is it to clean up after road work?

Q: The department made a significant and much appreciated improvement to the intersection of Valley Road and Green End Drive in Middletown, and did it with minimal impact to the commuters. I am wondering whether the contracts for such work include the tidying-up after the upgrades are done. Though the work was completed late summer, the traffic cones, road signs, hay bales and tree protection linger on. Is this a contractor problem, a department problem or a town problem?

— MRT, Middletown

A: While it may look like this construction project is complete, it isn’t. The contractor still has a final check, or punch list, to finish.

For example, the hay bales will remain in place until the new grass that was planted is established. Hay bales prevent soil erosion. The contractor will be addressing this and other issues before the project is accepted by the state and is deemed complete.

Dana Alexander Nolfe, chief public affairs officer for the state Department of Transportation, answers questions of general interest posed by Journal readers about state roads and other state transportation matters. Questions are answered in the order they appear, and there may be a delay in responding. The DOT is responsible for the state’s transportation infrastructure, which includes highways, bridges, traffic signals and bikeways. To ask a question that would also be of interest to other readers, send a letter to Ask RIDOT, Features Department, The Providence Journal, 75 Fountain St., Providence, RI 02902. You can also e-mail your question to cars@providencejournal.com  . Please put “Question for the DOT” in the subject field. Questions or complaints of a specific nature should be posed to the DOT directly and will not be answered in this column.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Traffic, not signals, cause delays to Route 4

DOT ANSWERS: Traffic, not signals, cause delays to Route 4

The Providence Journal – May 6, 2012

By, Dana Alexander Nolfe



Q: At the intersection of the Division Road/Route 4 off-ramp the traffic light defaults to red for Division Road/Route 401 east-west traffic. Having read your column weekly it could be that the loop detector at the top of the off-ramp is not working properly and is detecting vehicles when there are none. As you’re no doubt aware, there are four lights from Route 2 to the Route 4 and I-95 North on-ramp and the apparent lack of synchronization between these lights causes nightly tie-ups. Will you please have someone look into this?

— K.B.

A: The close proximity of the traffic signal at East Greenwich Square/Showcase Cinemas to the traffic signal at the Route 4 ramp limits how smoothly traffic can flow. The closer signals are to each other the harder it is to move traffic through them.

The operation of these traffic signals is synchronized to improve traffic flow in the corridor. The signals are synchronized between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays and until 11 p.m. on weekends.

Although the technology used to keep the operations in sync is generally very reliable, it can be affected by local power failures or the failure of electronic control components. Their internal clocks were re-synced in January 2012. When checked again in April 2012 it was found to be operating properly.

Dana Alexander Nolfe, chief public affairs officer for the state Department of Transportation, answers questions of general interest posed by Journal readers about state roads and other state transportation matters. Questions are answered in the order they appear, and there may be a delay in responding. The DOT is responsible for the state’s transportation infrastructure, which includes highways, bridges, traffic signals and bikeways.

To ask a question that would also be of interest to other readers, send a letter to Ask RIDOT, Features Department, The Providence Journal, 75 Fountain St., Providence, RI 02902. You can also e-mail your question to cars@providencejournal.com  . Please put “Question for the DOT” in the subject field. Questions or complaints of a specific nature should be posed to the DOT directly and will not be answered in this column.

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