Warwick neighbors fed-up with broken traffic light after three accidents

Neighbors in Warwick are now fed-up with a busted traffic light at the intersection of Main and Buttonwoods Avenues after three accidents happened in just weeks since the light went out.

Right now, the traffic light is flashing yellow on Main Avenue, and flashes red on Buttonwoods Avenue.

Neighbors like Renato Gutierrez and Michael Pella-Sabourin said it’s been at least three weeks since the light was last operational and it’s become a disaster.

“Without the traffic light it’s just treacherous,” Gutierrez said. “It’s unbelievable it’s like a race track.”

“We hear a lot of screeching, we hear a lot of honking, we hear a lot of swearing, people are frustrated,” Pella-Sabourin said.

According to accident reports from Warwick Police, they have responded to three accidents at that intersection since the light went down, but neighbors report that there could be even more.

The first documented accident occurred on June 3 where no injuries were reported.

The second accident happened on June 8 where one man was transported to the hospital.

Video obtained by ABC 6 of that accident shows a motorcyclist on Main Avenue getting t-boned by another car pulling out of Buttonwoods Avenue. The man thrown off his bike, and at one point, was upside down.

The accident report said the bike went 140 feet down State Highway 113 after impact.

The driver was wearing a helmet and survived, but in that accident report, police note that the city is aware of the situation and a part was ordered by the city.

Then just this past Sunday, a head-on crash took place at the intersection where three people were taken to the hospital, and Gutierrez witnessed the whole thing.

“Loud bang and I barely heard any screeching so you know they barely had time to stop. They just crashed head on,” he said.

On top of that, the busted traffic light is right in front of St. Rose of Lima School, where summer programs are taking place.

Gutierrez and Pella-Sabourin said it’s a matter of time before someone gets killed.

“I mean kids are constantly crossing the street they’re going to get hit. They should have the opportunity where the light stops and they can cross the street,” Pella-Sabourin said. “It’s horrible.”

“It’s not too complicated it’s a traffic light in a very bad intersection. We just need some action here,” Gutierrez said.

In a statement, Mayor Joseph Solomon said the issue is a top priority of the city.

“The safety and well-being of everyone who lives, works, and travels through Warwick is my utmost priority. When I learned of the issue with the traffic light at Buttonwoods and Main, I immediately worked to find a solution, even though this is a state road,” Solomon wrote. “Unfortunately, the mechanism inside the traffic light is approximately 30 years old, so parts are not easily available.”

Solomon is now saying the city is taking a new plan of action to fix the problem.

“The City has taken it upon itself to replace this light with a new one. We continue to make this a high priority and await its replacement. I would like to note that the traffic light is still functioning as a blinking caution light, and the rules of the road do still apply,” Solomon said.

No word yet on when that new traffic light will be replaced.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island