Coun­try Road traf­fic in­creas­ing

Coun­cil ap­proves 12 new res­i­den­tial ap­pli­ca­tions

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BYNICHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

Res­i­dents in the Coun­try Road area of Bay Roberts are con­cerned about an in­creased level of traf­fic.

Deputy Mayor Bi l l Sey­mour brought those con­cerns to the coun­cil cham­bers dur­ing a May 8 meet­ing.

He said he spoke with one res­i­dent who counted over 200 cars pass­ing by her front win­dow over the course of one hour.

“The road was not built for that vol­ume of traf­fic,” said Sey­mour.

He fig­ures the change in traf­fic pat­terns be­gan last sum­mer as mo­torists at­tempted to find quicker ways around con­struc­tion ac­tiv­i­ties along the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way.

The de­lays have since ended, but Sey­mour be­lieves many mo­torists have con­tin­ued us­ing Coun­try Road as a short­cut from the CB Ac­cess Road to the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way.

That in­cludes large com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles des­tined for stores in the com­mer­cial dis­trict along the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way and Water Street.

“The road isn’t wide enough for all of this traf­fic,” said the deputy mayor.

Res­i­dents who en­joy the oc­ca­sional stroll have also raised con­cerns over the in­creased traf­fic, and Sey­mour agrees with them.

“There isn’t any room for walk­ers to get off the road,” he said.

Both sides of the road are ei­ther drive­ways for res­i­dences or ditches.

To cut down on the amount of traf­fic, Coun. Clarence Mercer sug­gested installing tem­po­rary speed bumps.

While there was no res­o­lu­tion reached dur­ing the meet­ing, Sey­mour said dis­cus­sions will con­tinue. Much ado about curb­side re­cy­cling An­other item raised at the meet­ing was the is­sue of curb­side re­cy­cling.

Aided by the spot­light be­ing shone on il­le­gal dump­ing in the prov­ince, Coun. Mercer said he would like to see the town get a jump on curb­side re­cy­cling rather than wait­ing un­til next year to map out an ap­proach.

“I’d like to see a plan pre­pared now so that it can be rolled out for next year,” he said. “There’s a lot of foot­work to be done be­fore start­ing such a pro­gram and we’ve been putting it off and putting it off for the last cou­ple of years.”

Mercer, along with other coun­cil­lors, sug­gested that Bay Roberts be­gin look­ing at what other towns are do­ing.

“Once we have enough in­for­ma­tion, we can go ahead and start up with some knowl­edge in­stead of with­out knowl­edge,” said Coun. Melvin Walsh. “So, that next year we can do it right and not have to be cor­rect­ing things all the time.” Mayor Philip Wood agreed. “I would like to see us move be­fore next year,” he said.

Wood won­dered if it would be pos­si­ble to start a pro­gram with card­board and pa­per, but one big ob­sta­cle stands in the way of any so­lu­tion — the dis­tance of the town from Robin Hood Bay in St. John’s.

“Un­for­tu­nately, I don’t see any progress be­ing made on Har­bour Grace,” he said, al­lud­ing to pro­posed bulk waste man­age­ment site in the town. “I was hop­ing it would be a valu­able re­source for the town.”

The site is de­signed to help al­le­vi­ate the il­le­gal dump­ing in the re­gion.

One prob­lem that Bay Roberts is bound to run into is the lack of gold stan­dard for curb­side re­cy­cling when it comes to town’s that are not quite ur­ban cen­tres, and coun­cil rec­og­nized that.

Mercer said the time is now for mem­bers of coun­cil to put their heads to­gether and work out a plan.

“I would like to see some mean­ing­ful dis­cus­sion,” he said. Eval­u­at­ing boundaries Bay Roberts has be­gun the process of re-eval­u­at­ing its mu­nic­i­pal boundaries with the in­ten­tions of ex­tend­ing them.

The town re­cently re­ceived an ap­pli­ca­tion for res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment in the Rocky Pond area. It re­ceived a sim­i­lar ap­pli­ca­tion in 2010.

The town has the op­tion of ac­cept­ing the ap­pli­ca­tion as is, or it can ex­plore the op­tion of the ex­tend­ing its borders to the other side of Rocky Pond in Shearstown.

Choos­ing the lat­ter, Wood said the process of ex­tend­ing the town boundaries to in­clude the pro­posed area of de­vel­op­ment would al­low for Bay Roberts to ser­vice the site and col­lect taxes.

Chief ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cer Nigel Black said the process is a lengthy one as it in­cludes the Crown Lands di­vi­sion, as well as neigh­bour­ing towns.

New home ex­plo­sion

Pre­vi­ous to last week’s coun­cil meet­ing, Bay Roberts had pre­vi­ously ap­proved 14 new res­i­den­tial ap­pli­ca­tions.

With an ad­di­tional 12 ap­proved at the meet­ing, that num­ber jumped to 26 this year.

“It is cer­tainly un­usual for one meet­ing to ap­prove that many. I’m not sure if it’s a record but it’s the most I’ve seen dur­ing my time on coun­cil,” said Wood.

He said the num­ber of ap­pli­ca­tions ap­proved did not in­clude a cou­ple of sites in Co­ley’s Point that still needed site vis­its.

“There were more re­ferred to plan­ning,” said the mayor. “It’s a bumper year.”

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

Com­pass file photo

Bay Roberts deputy mayor Bill Sey­mour

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