You shouldn’t have to pray you’ll get across the street safely


There’s no doubt, Ocean State drivers are getting more aggressive every day.

Is it the influx of development surrounding our town?

Or is it simply frustration with choked arteries leading to impatience behind the wheel?

Last Tuesday, a teacher and nun from St. Rocco School was hit by a car in the crosswalk outside the Atwood Avenue church.

The state was already aware of safety issues at the crosswalk. The state Department of Transportation has confirmed they planned to go out to bid for a flashing signal next summer.

State bureaucracy moves slowly — too slowly sometimes.

There are several problem spots in Johnston along the massive state roads that divide the town.

Along Hartford Avenue, residents have been begging for help near Market Basket. Aggressive drivers refusing to follow traffic laws have led to several near head-on collisions with long-time residents attempting to turn off Route 6 and onto their streets.

Market Basket says they’re trying to address the issue. The state’s been silent.

A couple miles north, Amazon sits empty, for now.

What happens once the mega-retailer opens its robotic sorting facility?

Will the influx of more than 1,000 employees commuting back and forth to work push Johnston’s roads to the breaking point? Will the un-estimated influx of truck traffic bust Hartford Avenue at the fog lines?

Atwood Avenue is full of precarious road crossings, outside churches and schools.

The crossing at Johnston High School often causes parental stress. Close calls may be stunted a bit by the adjacent Johnston Police Station, but these thriving traffic corridors need every crosswalk safety protocol possible in place to ensure our precious pedestrians make it to the other side safely.

State data reveals Rhode Island roads are on track for one of their deadliest years ever. We need to reverse this trend, one trip at a time.

On Friday, following a Veterans Day prayer service at St. Rocco, a driver refused to wait for pedestrians crossing the street. He floored it and came within about six feet of a man who just five minutes before was seated safely in a church pew.

Based on video of the incident, Johnston Police have cited that aggressive driver for failing to yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk. One down. Countless more aggressive motorists to go.


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