Monday, July 30, 2012

DOT Answers: Traffic signal timing fixed at Warwick intersection


Traffic signal timing fixed at Warwick intersection
The Providence Journal – July 29, 2012
Dana Alexander Nolfe


 Q: Since the completion of the new intersection between Routes 5 and 113 in Warwick, there seems to be an issue with the timing of the traffic signal. Specifically, the green left turn signal from Route 113 West onto Route 5 North is short, often leaving several cars after it turns red. Similarly, the left turn signal into the Lowe's and Stop & Shop plaza which was installed at the same time is also short. Can the DOT look into these issues?
   — John, Warwick

   A: In response to your e-mail, the Department has reviewed the operation of the traffic signals at Greenwich Avenue and East Avenue, and at Greenwich Avenue and the Lowes Shopping Plaza. Engineers have made some adjustments to the intersection   operation and timing, which will provide better service to turning traffic.
  
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.  


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DOT Answers: Bridge work schedule

DOT Answers: Bridge work schedule 
The Providence Journal-July 22, 2012
Dana Alexander Nolfe

 Q: The bridge at the north end of North Broadway in East Providence will take two years to replace. Why can’t a replacement bridge be built off-site as the Iway was on I-195? Once the new footings are in place the replacement bridge could be put down on this short span.
   Larry B., Barrington    A: RIDOT’s engineers agree that the work needs to happen as quickly as possible in this location. The department therefore has negotiated with the contractor of the Ten Mile River Bridges replacement and plans to accelerate the bridge’s construction.    The two bridges are expected to open to traffic by the end of this year. Other more minor construction work will continue with minimal impact to traffic.    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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DOT Answers: Why did interstate signs change?


DOT ANSWERS - Why did interstate signs change?
The Providence Journal – July 15, 2012
Dana Alexander Nolfe
 
Q: Back in the mid 1960s the interstate highway signs included the name of the state just above the highway number. Sometime around   the 1970s this stopped. Can you tell us why the name of the state is no long part of the signs?
   — Jim C.  
   A: Interstate highway signs display a designated interstate number on a red, white and blue shield. As a part of the original design,   the state through which the highway ran through also was included on the shield.
   The Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD), a federal publication put out by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), governs the uniform standardization of signing and pavement markings in every state.
   Over time the interstate shield sign has changed simply as a result of several design modifications. The current MUTCD standard does not include state names on the interstate shield.
   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.  


Monday, July 9, 2012

DOT Answers: I-95 lights turned back on

DOT Answers: I-95 lights turned back on
The Providence Journal-July 8, 2012
Dana Alexander Nolfe

Q: Traveling from Richmond to the Connecticut border on I-95 every day in the dark hours, it would be nice if there were some highway lighting. Most of the highway lights are off to the on-ramps and off-ramps. I-95 does not have any of its lights on except maybe a few. Please reconsider turning our highway lights back on.


A: RIDOT has looked into your concerns regarding highway lights being off on I-95 between the Town of Richmond and the Connecticut state line.

We believe that there was a temporary outage of highway lighting on this section of road that was caused by a damaged underground conduit. A few of the lights may also have been off due to damaged light bulbs in need of replacement.

To date, the damaged conduit has been fixed, and a lighting inventory has been done in this area that indicates that these lights are also now working 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@providence journal.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.


Monday, July 2, 2012

DOT Answers: Who should yield: Driver or pedestrian?

DOT Answers: Who should yield: Driver or pedestrian?
The Providence Journal – July 1, 2012
Dana Alexander Nolfe


Q: What is the proper procedure and current law regarding a crosswalk with a corresponding traffic device?


Specifically, a crosswalk and traffic light at a non-intersection. Should a driver yield to a pedestrian who steps into a crosswalk against a green light? It seems unwise to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk if the light is green. It can be dangerous for both the pedestrian and the stopped vehicle as vehicles behind might focus on the green light and fail to notice the motor vehicle that is trying to yield to the pedestrian in the crosswalk.

It is my understanding in R.I. that a driver must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Which device should the motor vehicle operator obey when they are in conflict?

— Tom B., Rumford

A: There are several R.I. General Laws that encompass the answers you are looking for. R.I. Law, 31-18-8, Due care by drivers, states that a driver, “shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle.”

RI Law 31-18-3, Right-of-way in crosswalk, states that in absence of a traffic control signal a driver, “shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk.”

RI Law 31-13-6, Specifications and meaning of traffic lights, paragraph 3 ii states that, “no pedestrian facing the signal shall enter the roadway unless he or she can do so safely and without interfering with any vehicular traffic.”

Motorists and pedestrians always need to be safe, watch out for one another, and follow the rules of the road.

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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