Yesterday morning I had to go visit my doctor on North Main Street in Providence. After a circuitous but reasonably quick detour, I found my way to Rt. 10 North and traveled comfortably to make my appointment. Afterward, I went to my office and had a meeting until 1:50 PM and headed back home. I was on Valley street where the entrance to Rt 10 was still blocked, so I went to Pleasant Valley St. and as I approached the intersection I started taking video clips from the window as I drove. Where you will see in the video below “About 2:05 PM” I am driving towards Pleasant View and you can catch a glimpse of the river on the left.
Getting on to Rt. 10 South was easy and the freeway was almost empty. So I made it to Park Avenue in good time, you will see the time just before I turn left and merge the traffic on Park Ave. From there to my house the distance is about 3.2 miles which took me about two hours to drive. Talk about bumper-to-bumper traffic!
As I made a right turn on Broad Street, you may hear me announcing the time, 3:47 PM. I had a short distance ahead but a long time to go yet. You see, Providence is on one side of Pawtuxet River and Warwick is on the other side. There are a few bridges that will connect the road, but several of them were closed due to traffic. So, it seemed like the entire traffic from Providence to any destination in Warwick was going through the small, historic Pawtuxet Village where the bridge over the river is fully operational. Although it is two-lane, two-way traffic, it is better than getting stranded on one side or the other.
As the convoy approached Pawtuxet Village I thought I could see the road ahead being clear, which did not make much sense at that point. However, when I drove through the village and over the bridge I saw what I thought to be the ONLY cause of the slow moving traffic. People eager to see the flooded river were parking on the sides and looking over the railings. There is nothing wrong with parking of course, as there are designated parking areas. But, the people crossing the street, getting in and out of the parking spaces must have created enough interference to cause a huge backlog of traffic extending about 3-4 miles. As I crossed over the bridge, the road suddenly became empty and I made it home in a couple of minutes after that point, one full mile. So a backward calculation tells me that I traveled about 2 miles in 2 hours!
I thought it would have been a good move on the part of the emergency crews to prevent people from stopping to look at the river. But, then, they must have been swamped with emergencies to tend to. So, I am making a plea to anyone who may read this post to alert people if they are in that neighborhood not to block the traffic as it terribly inconveniences hundreds, perhaps thousands of people simply trying to go to their destinations. The following video covers a time span of about 2 hours and 30 minutes (no it is not that long!!) and I recorded it as I drove, thus the choppy feeling; but I like it.
This too shall pass!