Petition about safety issues at Whycocomagh intersection recognized
Calls for safety improvements at contentious intersection.
Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster says he hopes a petition circulated by a Whycocomagh girl will lead to safety improvements at a contentious intersection in the community.
Last week MacMaster tabled a petition in the legislature calling on the provincial government to install traffic lights at the intersection in Whycocomagh that connects Main Street, Trans Canada Highway 105 and Route 252.
The petition, which attracted 592 signatures, was the brainchild of Emma Munro, a student at Dalbrae Academy and a resident of Whycocomagh.
Munro couldn’t be reached for comment.
“It was supposed to be a letter for a school project but I felt the issue would get more attention with a petition,” she said in a news release. “Although not everyone was for the traffic lights, the people who did sign the petition felt very strongly about it. My hope is that the government does something to make the road safer.”
MacMaster said there have been concerns locally about that intersection for several years. In addition to local traffic, it’s also commonly used by travellers accessing the Marine Atlantic ferry from North Sydney to Newfoundland.
Highway 105 through Whycocomagh carries large traffic volumes and has many access points and the speed limit has been decreased to 60 kilometres per hour.
“For years there’s been concern in the community of Whycocomagh about the safety along that stretch of highway and not just Whycocomagh, but also in Waycobah,” MacMaster said, referring to the adjacent First Nations community. “It’s a highway and there are a lot of access points to it from various businesses.”
There was a recent meeting involving Department of Transportation officials where Munro read a statement and provided the petition.
MacMaster said the department has offered to come back to the community with options for potential safety improvements in the area.
“When there’s good discussion like that and good intentions, I think a good decision will come from it all,” MacMaster said.
A Department of Transportation spokesperson indicated in an email that the intersection is now under review for improvements and that staff has met with the local business group and the MLA to discuss their concerns regarding the intersection.
The exercise also demonstrates the potential impact that young people can have on an issue affecting their own community, he added.
“What caught my eye was Emma, being a young person in high school, took an interest in this and became an advocate for it,” MacMaster said. “When you can get that many people to sign a petition, it shows the concern that people have in the community.”
The Whycocomagh Development Commission also recently recognized Munro’s effort.