The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) today released the results of a speed study on the Newport Pell and Jamestown Verrazzano Bridges, and on Route 138 between the 2 bridges through Jamestown.
During an 8-day period last month, RITBA utilized field devices to analyze traffic speed data collected at different times of the day and night. Overall, approximately 39% of vehicles were traveling between 1-10 mph over the speed limit, 24% were traveling 11-15 mph over the limit, and 29% were traveling in excess of 15 mph over the limit. The average speed was 53 mph for the Newport Pell Bridge, 59 mph for the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, and 56 mph for Route 138. The speed limit is 40 miles per hour on the Newport Pell Bridge, 45 miles per hour on the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge, and 50 mph on Route 138.
A breakdown of speed limit exceedances by infrastructure component below emphasizes the issue that exists on the 2 bridges in particular.
Speed Limit Exceedance Summary:
“People are driving too fast on the bridges – and some are traveling at unacceptably high rates of speed,” said Lori Caron Silveira, Executive Director of RITBA in a statement. “With this data we now have the information we need to work with our partners in law enforcement to best address this critical safety issue.”
“We’re working with our partners in local law enforcement and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority to immediately increase enforcement,” said Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety in a statement. “Drivers need to know that there will be consequences for driving too fast.”
“This is a quality of life issue in Jamestown and an issue citizens are concerned about,” said Chief Edward Mello, Jamestown Police Department. “The information provided by this study allows us to pinpoint where and when we need to increase our patrols, allowing us to design the most effective enforcement effort.”
A summary of the speed study is below.