N.S. council asks RIDOT to study possible elimination of passing lanes on Routes 5 & 7

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – The Town Council is asking the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to conduct a traffic study on Routes 5 and 7 for the purpose of considering elimination of the current passing zones on both roads.

Councilor John Beauregard proposed the initiative following talks with RIDOT officials, who he said were open to the idea.

“I’m not saying we definitely need to set these up for no passing zones, but I think it’s worth having the State Traffic Commission take a look at it,” Beauregard said at a meeting on Monday, March 4.

The councilor noted that the state roadways have become more residential over the years, and both have multiple areas where it’s become passing is allowed – at an increasing danger to residents.

“There’s houses everywhere on those streets,” he said.

Councilor Douglas Osier, who lives by one such area on Route 5, agreed with the idea.

“I’ve noticed since I’ve moved there, it’s gotten a little bit worse each year,” Osier said. “People seem like the fast and the furious at times in the summer.”

Council President Kimberly Alves noted that she has to pull onto the same road every morning.

“It’s crazy. You take your life into your hands,” Alves said.

“It’s just the speed in general on those two roads,” she added. “It also comes down to, we just need enforcement out there. I think it would benefit us to do both- make sure we get some enforcement out there and pursue this.”

Osier said he has seen police officers posted by the funeral home. The councilors agreed that the posted 40-miles-per-hour speed limit does not seem to be an issue, but that more patrols may be needed to ensure that it’s followed.

“The problem is the people exceeding the posted limit,” said Beauregard.

Beauregard said that after first seeing a discussion of the problem on social media, he spoke to residents of the area and then reached out to RIDOT for guidance.

“They’ll be happy to do a study and discuss it with us,” he said, noting that those who live there say that pulling out of their driveways has become increasingly dangerous.

“They pass multiple cars now. It’s not a matter of passing one or two cars,” said Beauregard. Plus, he added, “If you’re stuck behind somebody going the speed limit, it’s not going to slow you down much. It’s going to add 30 seconds, 45 seconds to your day.”

Councilor Paulette Hamilton asked if RIDOT will approve the road change if the study doesn’t show an abundance of crashes or near misses.

“They’re more than willing to work with us on this,” replied Beauregard. “It would probably be a good idea to slow things down.”

Councilors voted unanimously in favor of a resolution asking RIDOT to take a look at the problem.

Beauregard later told NRI NOW that North Smithfield Police Chief Tim Lafferty contacted him after the meeting to note he will increase enforcement on both roads.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Many people have the misconception that Route 5 includes the part of Providence Pike that runs from the NS Elementary School to Route 104. It doesn’t. That section is a state highway but it has no route number. Route 5 runs with Route 104 from Route 116 in Smithfield to Providence Pike where the two separate again.

    Regardless, the days when drivers can pass safely on local secondary roads are long gone. Speeding is an entirely different issue except that drivers often need to speed to pass.

  2. I live on Rt 7. I see people passing in the double yellow sections all the time. I’ve sent videos to the Chief. I have multiple videos of illegal passing. The speeding on these roads is a major problem. I agree with Mr Walling as well. The section of Greenville Rd from the schools to Rt 7 are an issue as well.

    The speed limit along all of Rt 7 was decreased to 40 MPH in all areas a few years ago by RI DOT.
    Just try driving 45 mph on either road and you will get tailgated and passed whether it is a passing zone or not.
    I actually had a N Smithfield police officer tell me he only pulls cars over and tickets them on Rt 7 if they are doing over 55 mph.
    We don’t only need more policing, we need the police to uphold the law and not make up acceptable limits they feel are appropriate. 5 mph over and no more… that allows for some deviation to account for speedometer inaccuracy. Allowing 15 mph over the limit is putting the residents in harm’s way for the out of towners just passing through. They are not the ones paying the police officer’s salary, the residents of this town do so and should be protected accordingly.

  3. It always amazes me how some people will use any story as an opportunity to attack JB. This is a good thing and hats off to JB for looking out for the safety of those residents on Rt. 7 and Rt. 5. Give credit where credit is due and get over your obsession with JB. He’s the only person standing in the way of Mike Clifford running that council.

        • Seeing as they praise a certain someone or someones compared to what they say on Facebook, yes it’s a fake name. As we pointed out last time, and the time before that, and the time before that. They were, for lack of a better term “greatly upset” at their words on a post.

          • So the Facebook Kevin is real and then the NRI Kevin is fake ? Is that what you’re saying ? How do you know ? Do you know him? Why did you use “they” as his pronoun?

            • Well you see, it’s 2024, until they tell me otherwise, I don’t want to assume anything. It’s the polite thing to do, which unfortunately you seem to disagree with. After all, it’s the christian thing to do.

              What I’m saying is that after the Facebook Kevin posts something positive, a certain someone’s group member makes a post with the same name posts something completely opposite on here. It’s a failed tactic that their group keeps going to, I’m surprised you haven’t noticed yet.

          • Just because someone poses a question that doesn’t mean a disagreement. I see you have been groomed well though.

            So Facebook Kevin is real in your mind because what he posts you agree with. But NRI kevin is a fake name. What if it’s the opposite? Or what if they are both fake? Is that possible?

            Your quick to make accusations. How do you know the page owner of Facebook doesn’t have a bunch of, land of make believe friends, that echo whatever he says?

            It is 2024 you know.

            • They posed no question just a false statement this time, and was confirmed by sandy previously, as she deleted their comments before, for being a false name on here. Such is the same for other false names used by that side. No grooming going on, just pointing out factual statements and past practices that proved factual. Both may be fake, but a certain council member and friends were throwing a hissy fit because of it, and resorted to using that name as a “we’ll show them” mentality, and have once again failed miserably. Their tricks and tactics are foolish and exposed, just wish they would stop trying to push a failed agenda again, so the town can finally progress instead of regress.

    • JB should be worrying about and lobbing the state to get state roads paved in NS instead doing favors for of one of his friends not liking how people drive on route 5. If JB actually did his job instead of worrying what others are saying he would not be questioned as much. I really do like how JB is bothered by people disagreeing with his decisions. It very difficult when all his life people feared him because he had a badge and a gun but now that those are gone he needs to earn respect and justify his decisions with hard facts instead of antidotal logic. We also all know who is behind the KM post.

  4. Hey, how can we stop speeding in Union Village? Does any councilor live nearby? Oh, that’s right….it’s a state road…could JB call the State Police to ask for help in enforcing the speed limit? Speeding is an issue on every road in North Smithfield…enforcement of the violation is the answer, but it needs to be done consistently.

    • He asked them for help finding my job’s phone number, so I’m sure he has them on speed dial. Or were those bridges he used now falling apart like the state bridges and they don’t want anything to do with him anymore?

  5. As three members of our Town Council have identified the problem of speeding on Rt. 5 and Rt.7 , I do appreciate the help very much. But I think they should have included Rt. 104 out to Rt. 7. I myself have lived on Rt.104 for 39 years. For the last 2-3 years I have to stop at the end of my driveway look both ways to get my mail ( and my mailbox is on my side on the road). The Speeding goes on all day long. We do have neighbors that walk their dogs, run, and bicycle. This is also a route of the High School Cross -Country Team. We have to deal with outside gravel venders who don’t care about speed in our neighborhood. And now the same with what I call “ Mickey -Mouse “ asphalt contractors that speed back to and from their job site , with fifty percent of these I bet are not registered ,insured and probably could not pass a DOT Inspection. So as one council member said it has gotten worse in front of his house . What has also gotten worse was the Asphalt Smell from production at Material Sand and Stone , and the asphalt vendors going by with the Hot Mix on board. So open your windows at your house and let your home smell with the oily fumes this spring and summer as you watch the cars speed by your house. This Asphalt Plant is not zoned for this area, and never had a public hearing, and not allowed in North Smithfield, but I would like to know why??? So I have noticed that you speak the most at Town Council meetings so I’m asking you to get with the rest of the Council and the T A to discuss what the Town is gonna do for the Tax-paying Neighborhood of Primrose . I don’t think we deserve to smell Asphalt Fumes in our house or in our yards for the third summer. When it shouldn’t be there in the first place . TY

  6. Wonder which “FOJ” friend of JB he is doing this for???

    I agree, just because he doesn’t “like it” doesn’t mean we should repeal the passing provision. It’s there for a reason.

    Enforcement is the issue and answer. Not treating residents like toddlers.

  7. If there have been no incidents or accidents to support these statements is this just a case of councilman overreach …sounds like maybe it is . No passing on the streets they reside on

  8. If this does go through……….I do hope that the currant speed limit is ENFORCED to the 40 MPH so that people will not feel the need to pass when some people are doing 20/30 MPH

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