Traffic a concern as Colfax Dunkin’ gets a yes vote

Traffic a concern as Colfax Dunkin’ gets a yes vote

PAWTUCKET – A new Dunkin’ store has another early approval at 1 Colfax St., a busy location between Concord Street and Smithfield Avenue.

Representatives from JFJ Holdings and SEM Properties, at the June 3 meeting of the Pawtucket Board of Appeals, received approval of a use variance for a multi-tenant structure and dimensional variance for a sign not in compliance with regulations. The City Planning Commission approved a master plan for the project on May 21.

The applicant is proposing demolition of the existing building, which previously held the Car Store, and construction of a new single-story commercial building with 33 off-street parking spaces on a 37,283-square-foot parcel. It will hold a Dunkin’ store and another tenant.

Members of the Board of Appeals learned that the existing Dunkin’ store located inside the Speedway station across the street will be relocated to the new building. Approximately 60 to 65 percent of Dunkin’ stores are located in freestanding buildings, according to representatives from the company.

Answering questions on traffic, the applicants said a traffic study showed the average delay in turning left from Colfax Street onto Smithfield Avenue is 24.7 seconds during an especially busy month of May, and the gap for those turning right is about four seconds.

About 20 new trips are expected during the morning study period (6:30-7:30) with a Dunkin’ in place, and an extra 16 in the afternoon (4:30-5:30). That’s new traffic in addition to the cars that are already traveling the roadway.

Board members suggested that the city might want to install a cautionary blinker in the future for those trying to turn left from Colfax Street.

Attorney Michael Horan said there will also be efforts to obtain crash reports for the area.

The board asked Jim Semenkow, former owner of the Car Store, about traffic concerns, and Semenkow said traffic has long been an issue. He said his business generated about 250-300 sales each month with a service department. During promotions up to 30 people would visit each day.