Village hopes new crosswalks help to slow motorists on West Street

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Warwick -West Street residents have long suffered with their road. It is used by motorists to cut to the town quickly-sometimes way too quickly-and was in bad shape after last winter. Even with the huge potholes, drivers still drove much to fast for this residential neighborhood. The village is hoping that will soon change. After a total repaving of the road, the village didn't just mark its crosswalks with the family white stripes. Instead, the crosswalks are marked with "red bricks," a more aesthetically pleasing look but also one with a purpose. "We are hoping this will help to slow people down," said Mayor Michael Newhard. "They are a different texture, different color. When you drive over them, it makes a different noise. It really is an effort to slow people down." Although the crosswalks look like red bricks, they are really just black top that has been cut. "They reheat the macadam, take a half inch thick wire pattern and push it in," said Steve Sisco, department of public works supervisor. "Then they epoxy coat it red to make it look like brick." It is much cheaper than actually using bricks but still more expensive than just painting white lines on the black top. This is an experiment of sorts. The village came across the idea from a vendor who came in to give them alternatives to the standard crosswalks. The crosswalks were installed along West St. at the intersections of Main Street, Wheeler Ave., Howe Street, and Pond Hill Ave. Newhard said that if the traffic slows down a bit at these four, highly used areas the village will definitely look into installing them at other high-traffic intersections, such as along South Street and Forester Ave. Sisco is not finished yet. His department is set to paint a 10 inch white line on either side of the crosswalks to really make them stand out. Sisco said the residents he spoke to are happy about the new crosswalks. "The residents are hoping the crosswalks will slow down the traffic, and they like the way they look," he noted. One resident who did not wish to give her name, said the crosswalks are very nice but she doesn't see how they will slow down traffic. "You really can't see them until you are upon them," said the resident. "So far, drivers are not going slower." Sisco is still hopeful. "If this holds up, we'll do it in other places. We're just trying to figure out how to slow people down