NEWS

One-way proposal for Rolfe Square withdrawn

By PAM SCHIF
Posted 6/30/21

By PAM SCHIFF An ordinance amendment seeking to make Rolfe Square a northbound one-way street has been withdrawn by its sponsor. Ward 2 City Councilwoman Aniece Germain last week confirmed she has removed her proposal from consideration. The move came

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NEWS

One-way proposal for Rolfe Square withdrawn

Posted

An ordinance amendment seeking to make Rolfe Square a northbound one-way street has been withdrawn by its sponsor.

Ward 2 City Councilwoman Aniece Germain last week confirmed she has removed her proposal from consideration.

The move came days after the City Council’s Ordinance Committee had voted to delay action on the measure until September, pending completion of a traffic study.

It also came shortly before Mayor Ken Hopkins, Ward 6 Councilman Matt Reilly and other city officials gathered at Rolfe Square to oppose the move.

In an email, Germain outlined her reasons for removing the proposal from the council’s docket, as well as her initial rationale for bringing it forward.

“I do not want to go back and forth with the mayor. This ordinance is not a personal affair. We have an issue (speeding) that constitutes a safety concern. I put forth the ordinance as a remedy because we have an enforcement problem in the city,” Germain wrote. “Some business owners are reaching out to ask for the one-way. I went there myself to talk to many other stakeholders who agreed with the proposal. I understand some pushback, but I thought we could follow the law, which is the Charter, by having a traffic study. I hoped to have a transparent and accurate traffic study to help the ordinance committee members make an informed decision.”

She continued: “We need to find a solution, and I think we all want a safe neighborhood at the end of the day. According to the Charter, a traffic study should be conducted, and the decision would be made based on the recommendations. I withdrew the ordinance because, unfortunately, I cannot expect fair and accurate study results due to its polarization. The mayor already directed his people to oppose the ordinance regardless of what the outcomes would be. Therefore, I do not want to waste taxpayers’ money on a study when it is obvious that the results are already known.”

The June 23 press conference attended by Hopkins, Reilly and others in opposition to the one-way change went forward despite Germain’s withdrawal of the ordinance amendment.

“As I stand here today, we’re very happy that has occurred,” Reilly said. “I cannot be more proud of the people of Cranston. This was opposed by not only the mayor of Cranston, but also by the Cranston Police Department, the Cranston Fire Department and the numerous business owners here on Rolfe Square as well as many residents here in Cranston.”

Added Hopkins: “The residents spoke and demanded that their elected officials represent them.”

The mayor also touted recent improvements made to Rolfe Square, which he asserted have helped enhance safety.

“This beautifully renovated district will continue to thrive,” he said. “We have been working to improve this district. There have also been collateral safety improvements implemented for pedestrians and motorists. There are now lights on every pole, doubling the lighting in the area at night. The overgrown trees replaced, sidewalks have been improved and refinished. New crosswalks improve visibility for our motorists.”

City Solicitor Chris Millea, Economic Development Director Franklin Paulino, Fire Chief James Warren and Police Maj. Robert Quirk also attended the press conference.

“Rolfe Square is our direct access to the southern part of Pontiac Avenue, Garden City and the state institutions. We use this street all the time,” Warren said, reiterating previously stated concerns over response times.

Quirk echoed Warren, saying: “Our biggest concern … is response times. Our goal is to get our officers as quickly and safely to the calls of service. In emergency situations, seconds do count.”

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