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.