Maplewood Dr. Stop Sign Gets Green Light

by | Nov 30, 2021

Above: The town will make this intersection at Hickory and Maplewood a three-way stop. Right now, there is only a stop sign where Hickory Drive dead ends into Maplewood.

When Joe Harwood and his wife moved to Maplewood Drive from Narragansett Parkway in Warwick, they were thrilled to trade a busy major thoroughfare for a leafy suburban neighborhood street. But it turned out Maplewood Drive may look like a quiet street but it serves as a cut-through from the Tanglewood neighborhood and Glen Drive to South Pierce Road. And those drivers always seem to be in a hurry, he said.  

“We left Narragansett Parkway in Warwick because of the traffic. We didn’t think it would be so bad here,” Harwood told the Town Council at its Nov. 8 meeting, at a public hearing about adding stop signs on Maplewood Drive at Hickory Drive, which dead ends into Maplewood. 

Paula Hurd, who also lives on Maplewood Drive, said she and another neighbor had taken matters into their own hands, buying 15 signs urging drivers to slow down and distributing them from the spot where Glen Drive dead ends into Maplewood Drive east. Some residents even ask for two signs, she said. “Parents cannot even let their children play in their front yards,” Hurd told the councilors.

Public Works Director Joe Duarte said typically stop signs are not used to slow down traffic but he acknowledged the Maplewood-Hickory stretch of road presented various challenges and adding stop signs would help with “traffic calming.”

“There isn’t a huge volume of vehicles on this road. We typically like to see 300 vehicles at an intersection [for a stop sign] but there is some level of traffic that goes through that intersection,” he said. “The biggest difficulty is people aren’t stopping at the sign on Hickory. There is a stop sign on Hickory to Maplewood…. The geometry there is very difficult. There are S curves, there are elevation differences. There are a variety of things that add to the complexity of the intersection. Again, it’s not a high-volume intersection.” 

One of the challenges, he said, was the Hickory-Maplewood stop was at an angle, making it seem a bit more natural to slide right through it. There are structural things the town could do, but Duarte said the stop signs were a good first step. 

“It’s a complicated intersection. I want to make it better,” Duarte said. “It’s a start, with the stop sign. We think it’s going to improve traffic in this general area.”

The Town Council agreed and, at the required third reading of the stop sign ordinance Nov. 22, they voted in favor. 

Duarte said Tuesday he is waiting for the signs to come in and for Dig Safe clearance and they would probably be installed by next week.

Despite town signs reminding drivers to slow down, several Maplewood Drive residents have put up their own signs too.

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6 Comments

  1. Heather Larkin

    Do you know why did they recently put a double yellow line up Maplewood?

    Reply
    • Elizabeth McNamara

      Checking …

      Reply
  2. Bruce

    Don’t they have backyards ? Seems like “back when” it was the backyards
    used for playing.

    Reply
    • Dan

      Back when it was the street we played in. Sorry, but people shouldn’t be relegated to backyard-only use…

      Reply
      • Ray Nunez

        I agree with Bruce. Are they the first families with kids to live on that street? There are a ton of 3-way and 4-way stop signs in this neighborhood that are not needed. Right up that same street at Silverwood there’s a 4 way. Stop signs were added at Kent and Allen Drive after a young family moved in at that intersection, I’m sure to slow down traffic. Once the kids get older, the signs will still be there. There are better ways to slow people down, like giving speeding tickets, instead of putting in these needless signs.

        Oh, and I live on Tanglewood Drive, which is like a race track at some times of the day, and raised 4 kids there, so I’m not unsympathetic.

        Reply
  3. PB

    Raised two children on Grand View Speedway (er, Road). Each was instructed to never go closer to the street than a midway rock. Each complied.

    Reply

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