Those funny lines at corners along Rochambeau, Summit and Hope and the major work along Lorimer is the long-awaited traffic calming project first developed almost five years ago through a series of meetings on each affected street. Councilman Kevin Jackson and SNA worked very hard to get the plans completed and to keep this project on track. However, it has taken much longer than expected to get things underway, so even though SNA has regularly posted updates in our newsletter, it’s not surprising that people have forgotten this was coming.

The City Department of Public Works and the contractor, Narragansett Improvement Company, did not notify us or individual residents (or even Councilman Jackson) that they were beginning work, an oversight they have promised to remedy when they start new sites. Kevin Jackson has shared the schedule (posted below) and a full set of plans. Please call John Bazik at 331-1644 (eves and weekends) if you have questions about the design.

A few clarifications. First, this project was demanded by Summit residents responding to the increased volume and speed of cars traveling through our residential streets. The specific sites and designs were discussed and reviewed at public meetings during 2001. Second, the main purpose of the project is to make our streets safer for people on foot, particularly children.

Third, your car (unless it’s bigger than a fire engine) will still have room to make every turn. The designs, called “curb extentions,” or “bump outs,” only make it necessary to slow down if you are driving too fast in the first place. The excavations are much larger than the eventual curb profile will be, as you can see at the first intersections completed on Lauriston.

Another benefit of the extensions is the creation of more plantable space along our streets. Each corner will receive a variety of new trees and plants, contributing to the further greening of Summit, which SNA members have set as one key goal for the neighborhood.

Here’s the schedule:
Phase I – June: Lorimer at Lauriston, Fourth, Fifth and Rochambeau
Phase II – July: Hope at Overhill, Tenth, Blackstone Boulevard and Chace
Phase III – August: Rochambeau at Camp; Summit and Ivy at Rochambeau; Summit at Glendale and Dexterdale, Summit at Memorial and Brewster.
Phase IV: Trees, plants and landscaping at all sites.


Shirley Osborne · April 11, 2006 at 1:11 pm

Why were Chace Avenue and 10th St.
left out of the traffic calming project ?
They are, I believe the only non-stop streets from Hope to North Main and are ideal for speeders. A four way stop sign at 10th and Highland Avenue might make it safer for children (not to mention adults) to cross on their way to the playground. There have been at least 2 accidents there in the past year or so.

Roberta Winkleman · March 27, 2006 at 8:32 pm

Now that the bump-outs have been here awhile, I would like to comment on the traffic on Hope street. From about 9:00pm-6:00am, cars,if none are coming in the other direction, think they are on the Seekonk Speedway.The bump-outs don’t matter. What we should have done with the money was to hire a few more police officers to ticket the speeders.

Judith Lewis · March 25, 2006 at 8:19 pm

I think the bump outs are misplaced in many cases, often making many drivers cross over into oncoming traffic as they try to make a turn, etc. In addition, if I were a cyclist, I would fear for my life as I would be forced to enter traffic at each bumpout. For all the money this must have cost, I think it is a disaster. I also know that plenty of folks disagree with my perspective.

Trophy · February 9, 2006 at 7:26 pm

Personally I’m not sure the bumpouts work. What I think would work is if the police set up radar and gave out a few tickets to make it known that speeding on Hope Street will cost you!

Paul Aceto · December 12, 2005 at 6:13 pm

Well, we’ve had the first real snowstorm of the season (12/9). Beside the horrendous plowing job, I noticed that the plow drivers did something unexpected. In order to avoid the bumpouts, they only plowed the center of the street. Places where residents normally park are unplowed. Indeed those spaces are filled with piles of frozen slush. I had great expectations for the bumpouts but I think they were a mistake. Summit Avenue is more dangerous now due to it’s artificial narrowness. I haven’t seen anyone slow down. They just drive down the center of the street. Its a head-on collision waiting to happen.

ellen shatter · November 1, 2005 at 8:09 am

As a pedestrian I find the bumpouts very
helpful. It’s much easier to cross the
street,especially at Hope and Blackstone.
It was very dangerous to cross that
intersection. I didn’t dare do it for fear
of getting killed. Now I can cross it
safely. The bumpouts make it much
easier to cross Rochambeau at Summit.

Farrel Klein · October 17, 2005 at 6:46 pm

This “traffic calming” is the biggest waste af money and cause of danger that I have seen in a long time. If this is what the SNA is about, I wonder who they represent. I have met dozens of people who hate it and only one who like it. I am going to have to review this site enough to learn who voted for it, and then work to get these politicians thrown out of office.

sjwillis · October 13, 2005 at 6:53 pm

This month’s cover story in Governing magazine is on Traffic. The article here is worth a read:

Ed Clare · October 6, 2005 at 11:09 pm

The problems with drivers hitting bump outs, the extensions into Hope Street and the chaos at t-junctions can all be alleviated with road markings. The original plans all have road markings and I’m assuming that to finish the job the road markings need to be completed. I’m thinking especially of center lines, which force drivers to their side of the road. Right now cars turning from Summit left onto Rochambeau take up the whole junction because they will not stay to the right. Warning signs to tell motorists to slow down would also help. However, I have noticed changes in speed, noticeably on Hope and the Summit/Rochambeau junction.

HOWIE GLADSTONE · September 21, 2005 at 8:01 am


Allan Tear · September 14, 2005 at 11:50 pm

At the risk of drawing the ire of those who’ve decided they don’t like this design, it might be worth letting the East Side Monthly know that info on traffic calming can be found at this site. They had some letters in the most recent issue, and the editor’s response didn’t reference the original plans, which are posted on this blog.

jodi glass · September 7, 2005 at 7:24 pm

there is so much damage done byt the construction done so far in front of our house- an actual hole in the street, a split in the front curb (our walkway collapsed) and the way things were constructed, any rain causes a complete washout of any soil- it’s a mess that i’ve been trying to work through with bill bombard and now glauvin from city hall

Sue · August 19, 2005 at 8:00 am

Are you aware of any efforts to slow down traffic south of Rochambeau? We live further up on Hope and frankly it’s a bit of a speedway at this end. The minimum speed appears to be 60.

Henry Rosenthal · August 15, 2005 at 1:26 am

Has anyone taken into consideration the loss of parking on many of these streets?
Also, I can hardly wait for the first major snow storm next winter. The plow operators will never be able to clear the streets effectivly with your new obstacles on all these Est side streets.
I can hear the sreams and complaints from everone.
Onec a couplr of plows are damaged, you will never get your streets plowed.
We live in New England not the south or oter warm climate.
Streets, sidewalks and intersections need to be plowed and cleared for everyones saftey!

Brian Gross · August 13, 2005 at 4:41 pm

Why are there so many bump-outs on Lorimer street? I walk there all the time with my kids and I’ve never perceived a speed problem. It’s not a connection to multiple busy streets which would make it a cut-through street. My house is on fifth street between Hope and North Main and that street at times resembles a speedway. I understand the ambulances need to go faster, but everyone who cuts down to North Main from Hope speeds down that street. I think a bump-out somewhere on that side of Fifth st . would have been more effective. Or was that idea shot down by meriam, who uses fifth st as it’s own personal ambulance freeway?

John Bazik · July 14, 2005 at 8:53 pm

In response to Paul’s question about Summit Ave., note that this
entire construction project represents only a third of the
original proposal.

Councilman Jackson, SNA and the Dept of Planning agreed to
scale back the original plan and put traffic calming features
where the need
is greatest, then give them time to work and gather feedback
from the community and the various city agencies that will be
impacted by them (e.g. snow plows). Also,
traffic calming will certainly affect traffic patterns, so the
work being done today may alter our future plans.

Also, please note that all affected city agencies have signed
off on this work. Snow plows, fire, police – they have all
been consulted. Twice I tagged along on “field visits” with
engineers and firefighters, and I watched a fire truck
drive around traffic cones marking the planned curb extensions.

For more information about traffic calming, I suggest visiting
ITE (Institute of Transportation Engineers) website.

sjwillis · July 14, 2005 at 2:35 am

Several neighbors have approached me over the past few days and expressed mixed opinions of the bump outs. It might be worth looking at the original SNA traffic study materials to see how the bump outs came about.

For what it’s worth: despite a few phone calls and the all-powerful Google, I have not been able to locate any studies citing that bump outs make it statistically more or less dangerous for cyclists or more or less difficult for snow plows/emergency vehicles.

Paul Aceto · July 12, 2005 at 4:10 pm

Looking at the schedule, I don’t see any work on Summit north of Memorial. What happened to the bump-outs at Fourth and Fifth Streets? Also, has anyone thought of what the snow plows will do when they hit these buried bump-outs?

jhoward · July 12, 2005 at 2:40 am

I don’t know if bicycles were considered in the design, but the bumpouts block the street less than a parked car does. (And, they never open their doors suddenly!) But there is more to this than extended curbs – a number of intersections are being reconfigured to clarify where to turn and whose turn it is, such as Camp, Dana and Rochambeau and the intersection of Hope and Blackstone (my personal least favorite left turn on a bike in Summit).

You can see an example at the top of Wickendon, in front of Gregorian School and down at the corner with Governor, which used to be a very confusing intersection. I biked through there this morning coming back from the footbridge and felt at least as safe as ever.

Sidewalk repair is on our list, but we need volunteers to do the legwork. If you’d like to come to our board meeting on Wednesday, I’m hoping we’ll have enough neighbors willing to work on this issue. The meeting is at Century 21 Realty, corner of Hillside and Hope, in the small building where the vet’s office used to be. We start at 6:30.

Lower taxes…. well, some things even the neighborhood association can’t do yet!

Jim Kelley · July 12, 2005 at 1:32 am

Will this make it more dangerous for bicyclists. Personally, I think I would have preferred sidewalk repair or lower taxes.

Comments are closed.