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A Hummel Report Investigation

A New Pattern

The rotary - some call it a roundabout - is making a comeback in Rhode Island (look no further than the Apponaug Circulator Project). Over the summer the Community College of Rhode Island spent nearly $2 million to install its own rotary at the Warwick campus. The school says it’s part of a larger 5-year plan to give the aging campus a facelift and help streamline traffic flow. But Jim Hummel found a decidedly mixed reaction from students, faculty and staff who descended on the campus for the beginning of classes last week.


Anyone who has visited CCRI’s Warwick campus in the morning knows the drill: a line of cars backed up on the long road in from East Avenue - and controlled chaos as hundreds of people arrive in a short period of time.
But students, faculty and staff arriving for the first day of classes this year not only got a big welcome on the sign leading into campus, but a new traffic pattern as well, that is making a comeback in some parts of Rhode Island:
The roundabout, or rotary -  which the administration hopes will reduce some of the confusion and congestion that has plagued the campus in years past. The rotary is designed to both slow down and keep the traffic moving simultaneously.
Stone: ``We had a lot of cars going in a lot of different directions, and a lot of people trying to get into the building, without a tremendous amount of direction.’’
College Spokesman Patrick Stone said the rotary and associated improvements, cost $1.8 million and include landscaping, a modified speed bump and better signage for a crosswalk from the faculty parking lot. They are part of a 5-year plan to give the aging campus a facelift.
More on than  in a moment.
It’s the rotary - and particularly the speed bump - that has drawn the most reaction. And it has been a mixedreaction from the students, faculty and staff we spoke with over the first week of school.
Malcom DePina: ``I’ve been here before, the traffic pattern sucks. I blame the roundabout.’’
Hummel: ``What’s the deal with it.?’’
DePina: ``I don’t, we were stuck off the highway for a good 10 minutes, 15?’’
Hummel: ``Do you think it was smoother last year? You think the roundabout helps or hurts you?’’
DePina: ``I think the roundabout hurts because it’s slower to get in.’’
Jean-Luc Gonzalez: ``It’s mainly because the roundabout’s so slow because no one knows how to yield at times. That entire line that goes back onto that little intersection is always backed up and it’s a pain.’’
Hummel: ``And so the game plan was to make things smoother, do you think that’s working out?’’
Gonzalez: ``I feel like I see where they’re coming from, but I don’t think it worked out the way they wanted to.’’
Others, though, thought it was an improvement.
Ibraheim Shode: ``I think I kind of like it, like it’s more, it’s easier for passengers to move around. So I think it’s really good.’’
Hummel: ``So the roundabout you think is good.’’
Shode: ``It’s helping actually, there’s a lot of traffic anyways, but I think for passengers moving around, it’s okay for them.’’
Samara Keo: ``I can see why they did it, but yeah, the traffic here is bad.’’
Hummel: ``Do you think it’s helping the traffic at all?’’

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