Letter: East Main Road safety requires community action

Posted 9/16/19

To the editor:

I applaud the Portsmouth Town Council for requesting a safety study of East Main Road. Rather than asking too much, as some suggest, I would argue that Portsmouth and Middletown …

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Letter: East Main Road safety requires community action

Posted

To the editor:

I applaud the Portsmouth Town Council for requesting a safety study of East Main Road. Rather than asking too much, as some suggest, I would argue that Portsmouth and Middletown historically have asked too little from the state Department of Transportation, despite decades of acknowledged safety problems.

East Main Road is the “Main Street” for much of Portsmouth. Businesses, individual homes, and entire neighborhoods — including mine — have East Main Road as their only outlet, and therefore require left turns from the passing lane. Traffic lights and legitimate uses of the road, including school buses, school zones, nursery tractors, and left-turning cars, become obstacles for impatient, speeding drivers.

How many crashes, injuries, and fatalities do we need to witness before our community demands design changes to reduce speeds?

RIDOT repaving of the road is slated to begin by 2022. We need to let RIDOT know that crashes every other day (on average) are unacceptable and that more than repaving is necessary. I encourage fellow residents to pay attention to the safety study, and to join me in advocating for positive change. 

Charlotte North

17 Randall Lane

Portsmouth

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.