Greater City Providence

Angell Street has Lanes!?!?


Much to my shock, newly painted lane markers have popped up around the East Side, most notably on Waterman and Angell Streets. In many areas, actual lanes and parking areas of the streets are now clearly demarcated.

This has the potential to end the fun but often dangerous third-world style driving game of “create your own lane” that has often defined East Side driving, especially as cars on Angell race to be the first ones through the lights before getting to the bottleneck of parents’ SUV’s parked in front of the Wheeler School picking up and dropping off kids.

In other areas, it looks like white painted crosswalks are coming to some heavily used pedestrian intersections and others that should be more heavily used than at present. Saddly, it doesn’t look like any of Wayland Square’s nearly 100% faded white crosswalks are slated to be done as yet…

Bret Ancowitz


  • No amount of paint can prevent Rhode Islanders from exercising their native right to drive like total idiots.

    Indeed. There are now 2 lanes on Waterman between Benefit and Prospect and people can’t figure it out. And since there is no parking enforcement on this section of Waterman, there really aren’t two lanes. It makes no sense that they striped this section as two lanes, all it does is encourage drivers to move faster (it looks like a highway, so people drive like they are on a highway). Since the road drops to one lane past Prospect, I fail to see the need for 2-lanes until Prospect.

  • Any chance that this was a “shovel ready” project that is using stimulus money in order to show that we had some “stuff” to do?

    I can’t believe that the striping of waterman and angell was more important than actually fixing some of the roads (Knight Street, anyone?) that have been gutted by bad design and weather over the past several years.

  • It seems to be a citywide Downtown and East Side striping project. A lot of the stripes are needed and make sense, especially crosswalk striping, especially in the Downcity area (and I like that they are doing zebra stripe crossings, I think those are much more visible to drivers than parallel stripes). However, I have to totally agree with Jen. Some places are marked for stripes where there is barely any road left to paint on.

    Incidentally, last night I was on Dean and it was closed at Broadway. Don’t know why, but there is literally no road left there, anyone head through there this morning? Did they pave?

  • “crosswalk striping”

    I love that they’re finally striping intersections on the West Side that need to be repaved.

  • I was surprised to see that Angell St. has been turned into one lane. I liked being able to get double-bandwidth up that street, especially for getting by the slow-stop-look-turn style of drivers we have here. Was two-lanes so bad? I don’t recall many people getting hit by cars on Angell St.

    I also worry that the asphalt that’s no longer a lane will just end up inviting pedestrians into the street, where they don’t belong.

    I’m big on walking and biking, and I’m on foot a whole lot in these neighborhoods, but I don’t think these are improvements at all for pedestrians or drivers.

    What they should have done is paint a dotted line down the middle of Angell so it was clear to everyone that it’s actually -two- narrow lanes, instead they chickened out and made it one.

    I have a joke, that In Massachusetts, drivers will try to cram two lanes of cars into one actual lane, they like to drive ‘tight’ formations. Here in Rhode Island, people like to drive smack-dab over the dotted line, for ‘safety’.

    I’m just not of the school that making driving less efficient, slower, or stopping the flow of traffic more leads to a better city.

    I would really like to see -quantifiable- measures of these ‘improvements’ to see if things are any safer after they’re done. I have a feeling they do little, if anything, for safety.

    Also, if they have extra paint, can they -PLEASE- come paint the Wickenden/Point St. area? It’s getting confusing down there, especially on the Pt. St. Bridge, where there are equally washed-out lines showing opposite things.

  • Traffic on residential streets should be slowed down. Angell is a residential street for the most part. Sure, it’s a major road to get back downtown from the East Side, but that doesn’t mean it should be made into an expressway. Waterman is scary enough as 2 lanes, even from the driver’s perspective.

    My street, not on the East Side, is a small road that goes between Pleasant Valley Pkwy and Chalkstone. It’s used by drivers to fly up and down to avoid the traffic light at Chalkstone and River Ave.

    Slowing down traffic in residential neighborhoods and areas with a lot of pedestrians does improve a city.

  • Then the city needs to ‘shit or get off the pot’ with regards to Angell and Waterman.

    Any of these would be better than the way Angell street was last week (as an unpainted two-lane) or this week (as a badly implemented one-lane):

    1. Widen the sidewalk on the west side of the street so there’s only room for a lane of travel and parking.
    2. Paint the street clearly as a two-lane street so there’s no confusion, and people can turn-off without stopping traffic behind them.
    3. Install a curb where the yellow line is now, so there’s a segregated bike lane, a traffic lane, and parking.
    4. Install grass and trees between the new yellow line and the sidewalk.
    5. Paint lines so you can park on both sides of the street, and travel in the middle.
    6. Paint diagonal parking lines on the east side of the street and eliminate the yellow line, so there’s -more- parking and one lane of travel.

    All this change did was reduce the lanes and waste space, if it’s going to be one lane, at least make use of all that extra space!

  • I agree, this “throw some paint at it” implementation is really half-assed and a waste of time and resources.

    Waterman and Angell are vitally important east-west corridors through the city. Why do we not have a plan to improve them? My opinion, they should be right side parking, one lane of travel, and bike lane on the left. The streets should be entirely rebuilt with proper curbs, proper sidewalks, proper lane widths, proper drainage, and things like bump outs at sidewalks etc. If the streets aren’t going to be rebuilt properly, the striping is kind of dumb.

  • I personally love how they painted the yellow line on Angell and Waterman far enough off the curb that the space to the left is effectively a bike lane. I just wish they’d get around to repaving the particularly awful streets and fixing the horrendous holes that one occasionally sees.

  • This whole situation is begging for one of those Cluetrain-style photos where they paint a stripe right through a big pothole. Keeps your eyes peeled and your iPhone ready…

  • Slowing down traffic in residential neighborhoods and areas with a lot of pedestrians does improve a city.

    Amen! Traffic anywhere near sidewalks and crosswalks should never move faster than 25mph. Narrow lanes, narrow streets, roundabouts, anything that compels drivers to slow down and most importantly, pay attention is good. What is dumb are unwarranted stop signs, and 25mph signs along streets with 12 foot lanes that from the windshield perspective look and feel like expressways.

    Waterman and Angell… should be entirely rebuilt with proper curbs, proper sidewalks, proper lane widths, proper drainage, and things like bump outs at sidewalks etc.

    Don’t forget the trolley tracks!

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