Where's West Shore Road?

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Dianne Stein was delighted when she found the building on West Shore Road.

It was a straight line down Centerville Road, through Apponaug and under the trestle to West Shore Road, a total of 2.2 miles from the exit on Route 95. This is what she had been looking for to relocate her store – The Competitor’s Closet – from Sandy Lane. It was easy for her out-of-state customers to find.

She was right. The store was easy to find.

That was until construction started on the Apponaug Circulator and detours and delays made things difficult. Stein, who has run the business for 22 years, figured that would come to an end with completion of the system of five roundabouts.

She was mistaken.

Now, instead of a straight run from 95, her customers are doing circles. That would be all right if people knew how to get to West Shore Road, Route 117. What few signs there are for 117, she says, don’t make it clear for people unfamiliar with Apponaug or, for that matter, with roundabouts.

She’s talked to the state Department of Transportation and the city on more than one occasion. She was promised that things would improve with completion of the $71 million project. Then she was told signage would be improved this spring. That didn’t happen.

Stein has taken an inventory of circulator signs and come to the conclusion that “people must be saying how many Post Roads are there in Warwick? There are five ways to get to Post Road, but no way to get to West Shore Road.”

Changes in signage are due to happen this summer, DOT spokesman Charles St. Martin assured on Tuesday. Prior to entering roundabouts, motorists will have a visual of the roundabout with spokes off of it indicating route numbers and destinations such as Green Airport.

“We’re going to try to guide people without too many signs,” said St. Martin.

St. Martin and two DOT staff members visited Stein Tuesday after receiving her observations and grievances in an email. Stein was encouraged by the visit and that something may actually happen. She was shown pictures of the signs and believes they would be an improvement.

But there’s no escaping that customers are driving in circles to get to her store, even those who know exactly where to find her.

From a personal perspective, Stein finds the circulator an improvement, although she could do with a few less roundabouts. Not everyone feels that way. She has an East Greenwich customer who, rather than navigating the circulator, has Stein mail her order.

With about 40 percent of her business coming from out of state, Stein said she gets about three calls a week from lost customers. GPS is not helpful unless they have been updated, she adds. But then it’s not only those from out of state who have issues. Rhode Islanders get hung up going in circles, too, she said.

Lauren Slocum, president and CEO of the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce with offices in Apponaug, said she hasn’t heard that many complaints now that the circulator is completed. She thinks improved signage would be a good thing.

Anything to help small businesses would be a good thing, said Stein, who has found it difficult enough to compete with Amazon. All she would like is for people to know where to turn rather than spending their time on a merry-go-round.

Comments

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davebarry109

I'm still amazed at the people who cannot negotiate the rotaries and/or have no sense of direction.

Thursday, June 14
richardcorrente

Dear Davebarry109,

You are probably an alert person. That's why you are amazed. Some of us aren't as alert. The Warwick Police reports an 800% increase in accidents since the rotaries arrived. Traffic has backed up considerably more than when we had 40% MORE road-square-footage, and the line of cars waiting to get into the rotary backed up all the way to the East Greenwich border today around 4:30 P.M. (6-14-2018), and I STILL haven't seen the first bike rider in the bike lane.

I think it was a $71 million dollar waste of taxpayers money but Dave, we're gonna have to live with it.

Happy Summer Davebarry 109.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Thursday, June 14
davebarry109

Mr. Corrente,

The 800% rate is down to near normal as more people acclimate to the changes. It is not a waste of money. I travel through them regularly and the driving is easier than ever. Obviously, at rush hour it will be busy. If folks are not familiar with the rotaries or not good drivers, they will slow things down during busy periods. The main advantage of the rotaries is at non-rush hour traffic. During the regular part of the day/night, you can now breeze through Apponaug. Unless you run into one of the dillweeds that cannot negotiate them and should avoid the area altogether.

FYI, if I were the woman who owned the business on W. Shore Rd, I would provide the alternate routes that avoid Apponaug altogether. Main Ave (Route 113) connects directly to W. Shore Rd just East of the Greenwood bridge in several areas.

Friday, June 15
Cat2222

Richard Corrent - you are working with old data. The information has been updated.

"According to The Hummel Report in May of 2018, there were 101 collisions in the six months between Nov. 1, 2016 and April 30, 2017. A year later, the number of crashes over the same six-month period had dropped to 38; a little more than half of those were at the rotary where Greenwich Avenue, Centerville Road and Veterans Memorial Parkway intersect. The second-highest: 10 accidents at the rotary where Toll Gate Road and Centerville Road come together."

"Warwick Police Chief Stephen M. McCartney states, “Initially there were a lot of people complaining about it, but I think looking at the bigger picture here, what was accomplished by this project? I think it has given motorists here more options to get around into the city of Warwick,” McCartney said. “All of those circulators have provided viable options for people to bypass the Apponaug Village, which to me was just a huge chokepoint. McCartney said the main problem now is that many motorists still don’t know how to negotiate a rotary."

“Every once in a while you’ll see people inside the rotary and they stop when they think somebody is coming right up to it. And clearly, most of the time they’re elderly people who are going to be naturally very nervous going through that circulator to begin with,” the chief said."

The only place that still experiences back up is Post Road heading north, as you approach that first roundabout. Compared to the huge backups from all sides of the center, this is much more manageable. Also, my commute from Quonset to Warwick is always through EG. I can tell you confidently that the back up is much better now than it was two years ago. It moves quickly and there is no waiting for lights. A few years back when they closed the Rt. 37 exit for repairs the only way to get home was the Airport Connector or Post Road through EG. It was a nightmare. If the circulators had been in place at that time it would have saved time and my sanity!

If Richard Corrente was backed up to the EG border yesterday then it is because there was heavy traffic from Rt. 4 and 95S. I left the office in Quonset at 5pm. The backup started from the light at Cowesett Road. It took me 7 minutes to go from that point to the Cumberland Farms rotary. The reason it took longer yesterday was because of whatever was backing up the traffic on 95 and the overflow of cars finding another way home. It doesn't happen that way most days. You can't make a point based on only 1 occurrence.

The problem with the rotaries is still the drivers! We have some of the rudest, inconsiderate, ignorant of the rules of the road drivers in this state. Every day I am forced to take evasive measures on 95 north and south, Rt. 4, Rt. 403, etc. People need to Yield and give to the right of way. If you are too scared to do that then don't go through Apponaug. It is that simple. If you are unsure of the direction then go through during low traffic time and drive through a few times until you get the feel for how it works. If you are too timid you are going to cause an accident. Who ever heard of something coming to a complete STOP IN THE MIDDLE OF A ROTARY???? Honestly, if you can't do it stay out of it and leave it to those that understand the rules of the road and how to follow signage.

Friday, June 15
TheGregSilva

The only rotary that I think causes all the back ups is the small one in front of Walgreens. The problem is (in addition to the merge in front of Pawtucket Credit Union) that the rotary itself is too small. When you are coming from East Greenwich (Route 1 North), everyone needs to stop and wait at the rotary to see if the oncoming traffic is staying in the rotary to head towards City Hall or leave the rotary to go on to Rt.1 South. This causes a delay for every car entering the rotary. I have been backed up in traffic well into East Greenwich and have now avoided the area altogether and just take 95 South. Perhaps this was the city's goal to begin with?

Tuesday, June 19
ElPresidente

I went to the website to see what the directions are - they still show directions while Apponaug is under construction! Help yourself out and update your website! Don't blame others for your poor directions.

Corrente - enough already - as others have pointed out to you the same thing I did the week before, your data is old and useless - use the new numbers! Or just stop commenting.

Are any of the people complaining about the size of the roundabout on here engineers? They went over this a thousand times - they didn't have the right of way to build it bigger. Besides, even if they did, what are you gonna do when you go south? You still have to merge down to one lane. Did you expect them to make Post Road four lanes all the way down to East Greenwich?

As slow as it may be, it's still WAY better than when the signal were there. And when it's not busy, Apponaug is a breeze to get through.

How is it that so many people can't grasp the simple concept of a circle? West Shore Road existed before this project - we were given MORE and EASIER ways to get there, yet people are still complaining?

The goal, as they keep telling us, was to get people out of the village AND give us safer intersections. Hummel just showed us in his report that crashes are way down to BELOW PRE-CONSTRUCTION levels.

We should be asking for more roundabouts - the evidence is obvious and corroborated.

Tuesday, June 19