Above: The issue is Post Road northbound traffic backing up at the first roundabout, typically in the late afternoon.
Representatives Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick, East Greenwich) and David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) are calling for the R.I. Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the federal government, to study a roundabout in the Apponaug section of Warwick that frequently sees two-mile traffic jams along the northbound stretch of Post Road.
“It can be extremely frustrating and stressful for drivers who find themselves on Post Road during those windows of high traffic congestion,” said Shanley. “Since Post Road skirts Greenwich Bay, anyone along the coast who is traveling to the northern part of Warwick is forced to go through that area unless they go miles out of their way to avoid it. Maybe transportation officials could find a solution to the bottleneck in the roundabout closest to Warwick City Hall, which seems to be the source of the backup. Perhaps a right-turn only lane could be built so that traffic going by City Hall could circumvent the roundabout entirely, easing the afternoon congestion.”
The Apponaug Circulator is a five-roundabout project completed in 2017 to drastically reduce the number of vehicles (25,000 daily) that pounded through the historical village center of Apponaug and relocate them to major roads thus creating a free traffic flow through Warwick.
While that project was mostly successful, allowing traffic to flow more freely on Centerville Road, Greenwich Avenue and Veterans Memorial Drive, vehicles traveling north on U.S. Route 1 often find themselves in long traffic jams, particularly during the afternoon commute, when bumper-to-bumper traffic can stretch up to two miles.
“The traffic on Post Road starts to back up at around 4 p.m. every day and doesn’t ease up until about 6,” said Bennett, who lives in Apponaug not far from the Circulator Project. “The situation is exacerbated at certain times of the year. For example, beach traffic coming off Route 4 at that time seriously adds to the log jam during the summer months. The four other traffic circles in Apponaug are two-lane roundabouts, but that one is only one lane due to the density of buildings in the immediate vicinity, which adds to the problem. But I’m sure a solution can be found to improve the flow of traffic.”