Government looks at reader’s concerns about Heart’s Content barrens
Since the publication of my last letter in the Nov. 18 edition of The Compass (“Shoulder too small along Heart’s Content barrens”), I have heard back from the minister of transportation’s staff. I won’t give any names here — he is the staff member of Transportation and Works who called me after I sent the unanswered email to the department dated Oct. 14 to Premier Paul Davis. In fact, I received a phone call just 20 minutes after I forwarded the original email to Premier Paul Davis – that was quick! I also received an email from Premier Davis advising this would be investigated and he copied it to several people including the Minister of Transportation and Works. The employee who called me drove the Heart’s Content barrens and took photos of the shoulders on Nov. 22, after which he left a voicemail message at my home saying he agreed that there is an issue there and that several members of the department would be meeting on this with Minister David Brazil. I did receive an email from Minister Brazil on the issue, but he did not really commit to anything, only saying it would be investigated. He also apologized for the lack of response to my email.
On Dec. 9, the same employee of Transportation and Works called me again and advised that they have had a meeting on the issue and basically the shoulders are smaller cause the road is
Like I said to him, had they acted on my email in mid-October while the road was being worked on, it could have been fixed by now!
now wider — where I don’t know, as I for one haven’t noticed any wider road in there! I gave him my opinion on that. The group at the meeting disagree that it could cause an accident with the ‘ridging’ as they call it. They think the weather — rain I guess — will wash the gravel to the same level and they really can’t do anything now until spring! Like I said to him, had they acted on my email in midOctober while the road was being worked on, it could have been fixed by now! They also don’t feel that the differences in height would cause accidents — I disagree. So, I said that is not going to prevent someone pulling over in the wrong place in there this winter and flipping their vehicle over and that I am not satisfied with this. He is coming out again on the Dec. 20th weekend to take some more photos and do some more follow up and will call me that day and I may meet him in there.
He also advises that with the ‘Move Over’ legislation, if the shoulder is not wide enough, people will not be ticketed! So, he advises to just move over as far to the right as possible and in the case of the barrens, that’s not very far in some areas! So, if anyone gets ticketed in there, I guess you can get your ticket waived — I will believe that when I see it! He also tells me that the issue with the unanswered email should not happen to anyone again, as those emails will now go directly to the minister’s office. Feel free to email on this issue. Maybe if enough of us did that, something would get done. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, be safe out there, do not pull over very far —just in case there’s no shoulder there — and especially when the snow comes! If I do not hear from the transportation employee on the Dec. 20th weekend, I will be calling him again. I really have my doubts folks if anything will be done in there in the winter months, but rest assured I will be on their cases again as soon as the spring hits! Maybe some of you will be too now that you all have the email address!
Be safe this winter on the Heart’s Content barrens and watch out when pulling over for anything!
Oh, and our new Liberal member Steve Crocker has been versed on this issue and is also following it. Eileen Matthews writes
from New Perlican