Why­co­co­magh pe­ti­tion

Pe­ti­tion about safety is­sues at Why­co­co­magh in­ter­sec­tion rec­og­nized

Cape Breton Post - - Front Page - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

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.

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