BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — Bristol residents took it upon themselves Friday to make changes to an intersection where a boy on a bicycle was hit and killed by a car earlier this week.
The group installed temporary stop signs on Poppasquash Road in an effort to stop traffic where the roadway intersects with the East Bay Bike Path.
On Tuesday, a 6-year-old boy was struck while crossing the roadway and later died at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
Members of the group, such as Bristol’s Angus Davis, told Eyewitness News they know the R.I. Department of Transportation is studying the intersection but they did not want to wait months for a solution.
“Our concern is that while the policymakers do studies and argue over which department is responsible for the safety of this intersection, everyone agrees that there should be a stop sign here,” Davis said. “So that’s what we did. You know, action.”
State law prohibits people from installing their own traffic signs but in a statement Friday, RIDOT spokesperson Charles St. Martin said these signs will be able to stay for the time being.
“The Department is not aware of who posted those signs,” he said. “They do not appear to be posing a hazard, so we will let them stay while we develop a plan for addressing safety concerns at the intersection. Ultimately what we do here will be guided by the findings of the police report. As soon as we receive them, we will formulate a permanent solution.”
“We didn’t do anything that we think is wrong,” Davis added. “We’re just trying to accelerate a solution.”
“We believe is the appropriate solution for what is a very dangerous spot,” Matt Hayes of Bristol, another member of the group, said.
RIDOT surveyed the location on Wednesday and crews from the R.I. Department of Environmental Management trimmed the brush there to improve visibility.
There are already permanent signs at the intersection to stop bicyclists on the bike path.
RIDOT Director Peter Alviti said Wednesday his crews would spend the next six months evaluating the safety of every bike path intersection on state roads.