Allens Avenue Road Safety Assessment

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Jan

Allens Avenue Road Safety Assessment

On Wednesday morning, RIBike staff and volunteers joined with state and city officials to walk around Allens Ave and recommend improvements that would make the corridor safer for all road users. The map below details some of our recommendations, which most people in attendance agreed with.

Road Safety Assessments are often the first step to officially examining and fixing dangerous roadways. On Allens Ave, a few of the unanimous recommendations:

  • A road diet, making it one lane in each direction with a turning lane in the middle, instead of two lanes in each direction. Skye Levin from engineering consulting firm VHB, who was running this RSA, said that the traffic volume is reasonable for a road diet: traffic on Allens is about 22,000 Average Daily Traffic (ADT), and road diets are a good idea up to 25,000 ADT according to Federal Highway.
  • While actually removing the unused train tracks crossing Allens at an angle is probably difficult to get approval for from the owner of the train tracks, there are many examples of covering or paving over unused tracks. Diagonal tracks are one of the most hazardous things for bicycling, because your tire can get caught in the rut next to the track.
  • More frequent bike lane markings; long stretches of shoulder without markings make people think they can park there.
  • Dashed green lanes across intersections to make it clear bikes should be there at the most dangerous locations.
  • Greater enforcement of parking violations on the street. There are individual repeat offenders (one near Narragansett Improvement, strip clubs’ valet parking is another) and a general lack of observance of no-parking signs.

We look forward to working with RIDOT and the City to improve the safety of this important commuting corridor for all users.

3 thoughts on - Allens Avenue Road Safety Assessment

  • Nancy
    Jan 27, 2017 at 5:57 am

    Based upon experience, Allens is a dangerous road for bikers. I don’t think anything more should be done on that road for bikers. Instead spend resources on an alternat route into the city. Broad street Eddy street. Drivers drive too fast on allens it is like a highway. Also they don’t give riders a break at the 95n on ramp near Honey Dew. If you want more input pls contact me. Thank you!.

  • Matt
    Jan 30, 2017 at 8:14 am

    Allens is a good bike route though, as it connects neighborhoods and has lots of underutilized space, which is what is largely causing it to be used at higher speeds. There are definitely ongoing maintenance issues that need to be addressed, but Eddy and Broad at some hours are much less comfortable to ride on, since there are currently no bike lanes, the roads are more heavily congested and narrower.

  • Alex
    Feb 1, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Some current conditions are impossible or very difficult to change (e.g. width of roadway, directness of route) and others are possible to change with the right interventions (e.g. quality of bike infrastructure, layout of street, which in turn influences driver behavior). Additionally, we should aspire for dense areas such as greater Providence to have dense bike networks. Broad Street is in the works for better bicycling & walking through City Walk, but Allens Ave has unique width & directness between downtown and Edgewood. With all that width, it’d definitely possible to address many of the dangers that bicyclists on Allens face from dangerous driving. For example, narrowing the lanes and thus decreasing the design speed of the traffic will go a long way to making it safer. So will keeping the bike lane clear of debris & parked cars. So will making actually separated bike lanes, which there’s plenty of room for.

    My point is, just because a road is currently dangerous for biking doesn’t mean we should abandon it and send bikes elsewhere. We can make it better through exerting political pressure!