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Early replies favor intersection change

As of Sunday, we have had 26 folks weigh in on the idea of making the Smithfield Ave. intersection with North Main Street two-way. While not conclusive, only a small number object and those on the basis of specific concerns that would have to be addressed by engineering studies before the project could go ahead. We’ll continue to ask for responses and in particular ask for North Main business people to participate.

Our survey question:

1. Assuming traffic safety standards are met, would you support changing this one-way intersection at North Main and Smithfield Avenue to two-way? 

YES – 19
NO – 4

Comments suggest issues that any engineering study would need to evaluate, including making it safer for pedestrians on North Main to cross Smithfield Ave, providing continued access to the Peter Pan Bus station and preventing new traffic bottlenecks and long wait times. An interesting question is whether Frost Street, which is also one-way for one block as it enters North Main, should also be made two-way if we change Smithfield. Read complete comments:



  • Why isn’t two-way now?
  • Two way traffic will be so much easier, convenient and safe and more direct!!!!!!!!!!!
  • What will happen to present eastward traffic pattern? Will present capacity be negatively impacted by new signal lights? Bottleneck?
  • It would be very difficult to get to the bus station from that intersection if Smithfield Ave was two-way. There is only one other way to get to the bus station – Cemetery Street.
  • Not being able to intersect directly with No.Main st from Smithfield Ave traveling West to East requires you to go way out of your way to Frost/Cemetery St. This creates 2 problems: additional traffic fuses in with Bonanza bus traffic and taking a left hand turn onto NoMain from the right hand lane of Frost St. forces those cars to come dangerously close to colliding with another car turning left in the left lane because of the sharpness of the turning radius.(cars tend to drift from the right lane onto the left). Iv’e seen many close calls where cars have nearly hit each other. There seems to be plenty of space to create a two way traffic flow.
  • It’s about time.
  • I think NO, for sure. We use this intersection frequently. It IS annoying to have to “go around” coming up to the East Side from over the highway, but a two way would very slow and chaotic. Too busy. And lots of car exhaust while they sit there. Honking for cars to turn right on red and run over the pedestrians. A BIG mistake, I believe, and then they WON’T want to change it BACK. It would help if the road behind Rite Aid & Walgreens could be made more like a “real street”- cleaned up with curbs, more level, lanes painted and not riddled with pot holes, with a speed bump if necessary. (I see people live there; they would probably appreciate a sidewalk too.) Now, it’s tedious and annoying, and it DOES look like you might be going the wrong way, off the main roads, to someone new coming into town from 95. Doesn’t give a good first impression of Providence, either. Downright “hanyukish” (Yiddush for kind of unkempt barnyard-ish I think). Thanks for collecting our opinions on this!
  • Would the change make a slower-moving and more pedestrian-friendly intersection? Certainly it is a visually unappealing intersection now, so I tend to support any investment on the grounds that it could be coupled with other improvements. But the disadvantage is that if you are trying to get home to Summit quickly from Pawtucket, this new intersection could be slow. I would like to know how many cars use the Nashua St. bypass and whether making Smithfield two-way would result in traffic backing up all the way to the 95 onramp. If not (and it seems unlikely), I’d support making it two-way.
  • We feel that this is necessary so as to alleviate any more problems that continue to arise at this intersection.
  • The change to two way makes logical sense. Coming south on 95, you get off at a north main exit, yet the road doesn’t lead directly to north main. Or coming from silver spring you run into the same problem. I think Frost street should be made two way from North Main also.
  • Please make it easier for pedestrians to cross Smithfield Ave. It’s impossible now.

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