Middletown Town Council Seeks Input on Proposed “Road Diet” to turn East Main Road into One Lane Each Direction

The Middletown Town Council is inviting residents and business owners to share their opinions regarding a proposed “road diet” for the upper section of East Main Road. Initially proposed by BikeNewport last month as a safety measure for the area north of Wyatt Road, the concept has sparked a diverse range of reactions from the community.

Advocates of the proposal argue that it would significantly enhance safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers alike. However, opponents fear potential traffic congestion and safety hazards. In light of these varying perspectives, local leaders stress the importance of gathering input from all stakeholders.

Council President Paul M. Rodrigues emphasized the need for inclusivity in the decision-making process. “There are a lot of opinions out there, and I certainly have mine,” Rodrigues stated. “But I’m just one voice here, and hearing from our residents and businesses is an important part of this process.”

To facilitate community engagement, the Town Council has scheduled a public hearing on the matter during its regular meeting on April 15 at 6:30 pm in Town Hall. This forum aims to ensure a fully informed and thoughtful decision-making process, aligning with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s (RIDOT) impending deadline of April 19.

Meanwhile, RIDOT has announced plans to resurface East Main Road north into Portsmouth, regardless of the outcome of the proposed road diet.

BikeNewport presented the road diet plan to the council and community during its March 4 session. The proposal entails the installation of a center turn lane and dedicated space for bicyclists. Detailed information about the plan can be found here.

In response to media coverage of the potential project, RIDOT expressed its reservations in a letter to the town, highlighting potential challenges associated with the road diet. Further details are available here.

Although the council initially intended to make a decision on April 1, it has opted to gather additional feedback before moving forward with the proposal.




Like Newport Buzz? We depend on the generosity of readers like you who support us, to help with our mission to keep you informed and entertained with local, independent news and content. We truly appreciate your trust and support!