For years, Chase's Lane has been a cut through for commercial vehicles dodging traffic and lights on West Main Road. Tonight, the Town Council considers a proposal to get commercial traffic off the street. #QualityOfLife #SafetyFirst #MiddletownRI
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CHASE’S LANE COMMERCIAL TRAFFIC BAN IN THE WORKS
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (NOVEMBER 1, 2021) – Chase’s Lane looks to be the latest Town road to go commercial traffic free.
Hoping to further restore the neighborhood between West Main Road and Access Highway, the Town Council is considering new weight limits on commercial vehicles on Chase’s Lane.
According to the proposed ordinance, vehicles with a gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds, those hauling hazardous materials or carrying 16 or more people would be prohibited there.
The item is one of several issues before the council tonight, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. from Town Hall.
“Commercial traffic is not only a safety issue, but a quality-of-life issue,” Town Administrator Shawn J. Brown said. “Whenever possible, we want to do what we can to make our neighborhoods as livable as possible and I don’t think anyone could argue that Chase’s Lane hasn’t seen more than its fair share of impacts.”
For close to a decade, the Town has been working hard to slow and ease traffic through some of its more heavily travelled residential neighborhoods.
Town officials have argued that too often, commercial vehicles with no business on local streets are using them as a cut through to dodge traffic and stoplights. The result, they say, is that the quality of life and safety of some residential areas has slipped.
In response, the Town discussed different ways to stop or slow that commercial traffic, settling on the weight limit as the most effective solution.
Forest Avenue between East Main and West Main roads was the first local street in Middletown to have a weight limit on commercial traffic. It was implemented in 2016.
A commercial weight limit was added recently to Turner Road as well. Like Forest Avenue, those rules do not apply to farm vehicles.
The thinking with the Chase’s Lane ban was that it would force all commercial traffic in the area to use West Main Road to access nearby shopping centers and stores, where deliveries might be made.
The move is part of a wider effort by the council to make the safety of local streets a top priority in Middletown.
New signs, sidewalks and other measures have been put in on several roads, aimed to slow down traffic naturally and make the community friendlier to pedestrians and bicyclists.
Speed tables, speed notification signs and other steps proved to be high impact-low cost changes in the area.
Similar improvements were rolled out on Chase’s Lane, Oliphant Lane, Green End Avenue and other locations. A new three-way stop was put in at the intersection of Mitchell’s Lane, Third Beach Road and Wapping Road to improve the safety by Howland Park. The Town also took steps for Paradise Avenue, which is used during the summer months as a shortcut to the beaches.