To the Editor:
We're extremely concerned over here in Edgewood that the council is summarily ignoring our pleas that we do not want another gas station in Edgewood adding more traffic to our one egress road out of the neighborhood. We have one road to get westbound out of Edgewood since TF Green Blvd though Roger Williams Park went one way towards Providence. Park Avenue is one narrow road that is constantly backed up. The traffic engineer hired by Cumberland Farms rated the intersection of Warwick Avenue and Park Avenue a D – a barely passing grade. This same traffic engineer estimated 80 cars per hour turning in and out of a Cumberland Farms gas station were it to be put at that corner. Nobody discounts that the buildings at Warwick and Park Avenue are a disgrace. However, adding a 9th gas station to Edgewood isn't progress. Nobody comes to Edgewood for the gas stations, they come for our walkable, old school neighborhood. Out of the nine gas stations within a mile of this location, two of them aren't serving gas anymore because there just isn't enough need for that. We have a law on the books from 2012 protecting all those houses on Warwick Avenue from being knocked down to make way for “progress”/new development. As part of the Cumberland Farms gas station plan, a large two-family home at 135 Warwick Avenue is scheduled to be knocked down to make a driveway for a gas station. The ordinance Signed by Mayor Fung can be found at web.cranstonri.org/clerkdocs/2012Ordinances/Passed/2012-31%202010%20Comp%20Plan%20Future%20Land%20Use%20Density%20Amend.pdf. If our city officials don’t obey the laws on the books, why do we even have these elected leaders to write ordinances/laws for the city of Cranston? In 2012, the city council issued an ordinance to correct inconsistencies in the 2010 Comprehensive Plan of the City of Cranston. The city council saw the need then to protect the housing stock. Mayor Fung obviously saw the need to protect Edgewood housing stock in 2012. When issuing his recommendation of Ordinance 12-2-4, now retired Planning Director Peter Lapolla stated, “Given that Councilman Stycos’ reasons for reclassifying the lots identified about basically reflect the logic the City originally used in developing the Future Land Use Map, upon motion made by Mr Smith and seconded by Mr. Motte, the [planning] Commission unanimously voted to adopt a resolution approving Ordinance 10-12-4 and recommended it’s passage by the City Council.” Fast forward to last week’s planning commission meeting, one of the new commissioners asked why was this 2012 ordinance issued against lot 2-1343 – 135 Warwick Avenue – to maintain it as residential in the Future Land Use Map. No one could remember, although I have since found that 3 members of that very same 2018 planning commission who voted in favor of changing 135 Warwick Avenue to a C3 commercial zone, also voted in 2012 to keep 135 Warwick Avenue a residential zoned lot. How is anyone supposed to trust our “elected officials” if they make laws and then summarily dismiss them in the name of feathering their buddy's nest?