WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders who regularly drive down Main Avenue should pay close attention to changes being made to the roadway.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) warned drivers that starting this week, the street would undergo a “road diet” between Route 5 and Jefferson Boulevard.

The changes were supposed to be implemented Monday, however, the two-day installation will begin Tuesday instead because of the rain.

The four-lane roadway will be reduced to three lanes, with one lane in each direction and a two-way left-turn lane in the center.

The goal of a road diet is to reduce speeding and crashes by narrowing the lanes.

Studies show that a road diet can help reduce crashes by nearly 40%, according to RIDOT. Over the past five years, there have been 59 crashes along that stretch of Main Avenue, including one that was fatal and 14 that caused injuries.

The looming changes to the roadway, however, are receiving mixed reactions among residents.

“I just think it’s a great idea for safety,” Warwick resident Jim Kennedy said. “Traffic on that road is crazy and it will make it a little bit safer for everybody.”

Other residents tell 12 News that narrowing the lanes will create traffic headaches for drivers, especially during the morning and evening commutes.

“At certain times of the day, the traffic is very heavy out there with two lanes going each direction,” one resident explained. “When you cut it down to one, it’s going to be much worse.”

Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi believes Main Avenue has needed to go on a road diet for a long time.

“There are pretty much two kinds of accidents there,” Picozzi said. “It’s either head-on or they hit a telephone pole.”

“There’s a lot of side roads over there turning onto traffic,” he continued. “Usually when there’s an accident on that road, it results in severe injury.”

While Picozzi hopes the changes won’t create traffic jams, he believes the trade-off of having safer roadways is worth it.

The changes may not be permanent, according to RIDOT. The state and city plan on assessing the safety improvements and traffic pattern over the next six months to determine its effectiveness.