Acting on a request submitted by Rep. Peter Martin (D-Dist. 75, Newport), the State Traffic Commission has approved installation of a crosswalk on Americas Cup Avenue in Newport, at the intersection of Thames Street, just south of the Brick Market Place.
The RI Department of Transportation expects the crosswalk work can be completed by the spring of 2013. It will include signalized pedestrian lights that will work in conjunction with the currently existing traffic lights at the same location.
Representative Martin, a former secretary of the Newport Planning Board and former chair of the Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, attended the STC meeting in support of the crosswalk request and other proposals for Newport that were considered. He said approval of the crosswalk was especially pleasing in light of the recent enactment of the “Complete Streets” bill that he sponsored in the House. The new law requires DOT, as it addresses transportation needs, to include non-vehicular improvements such as pedestrian infrastructure, traffic calming measures and bicycle and mass transit accommodations.
The STC ordered a design study on a proposal to rebuild the railroad crossings on the Newport Secondary Line at Elm Street and Poplar Street, to include accommodations for pedestrians and bicycles.
The STC also issued a contract for a review of the design of Memorial Boulevard, based on a request from the Newport City Council following the death of Dr. Elliot Kamanitz of Middletown, who died after he was struck by a car while biking on Memorial Boulevard earlier this year. The DOT indicated that because the project will be limited to road markings, the project can be completed by the end of August, pending a review by Newport city officials.
The panel also took under consideration a request for a crosswalk on Memorial Boulevard at Thomas Street, to provide another safe crossing place along the road between Spring Street and Bellevue Avenue.