Project Benefits - Traffic Safety
One of the four core design goals of the Project, identified during the community-wide planning process, is to improve traffic and pedestrian circulation and safety. This goal will be met with the recommended traffic improvements, which will:
- Normalize the Spring Street/Touro Street intersection: The present design of this central intersection does not support safe multi-modal transportation. Indeed, the engineering firm that conducted the City-requested traffic study was unable to accurately recreate the present intersection using traffic-modeling programs due to its extreme irregularity.
- Better balance needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers: This Project is in complete alignment with City of Newport’s adopted “Complete Streets” policy and the State of Rhode Island’s Complete Streets Law. The City’s adopted Comprehensive Land Use Plan also specifically addresses this need: “Policy T-1.1: The City shall develop a design guide that support[s] all modes of transportation and addresses the inclusion of pedestrians and bicyclists in new and existing road corridors, as specified in the City’s Complete Streets policy.” We share the City’s goal of improving safety for all who utilize our roadways.
- Better serve special needs communities and City’s aging population: In accordance with Newport’s program to modify sidewalks at all intersections to meet ADA standards, major accessibility improvements are central to the Project’s site plan. This includes the addition of ADA-compliant sidewalks and the significant reduction of crosswalk distance (currently 196 feet using crosswalks and 99 feet if crossing illegally; proposal reduces to 18 feet to cross Spring Street).
- Encourage use of Newport’s circulator roads: These traffic modifications will encourage visitors entering and leaving Newport to utilize its circulator roads, which have been significantly modernized to improve drive, bicyclist, and pedestrian safety, instead of its narrower downtown streets.