Lower the speed limit, says town

Har­bour Grace wants speed on sec­tion of Jamie’s Way de­creased

The Compass - - NEWS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

The Town of Har­bour Grace coun­cil is hop­ing a let­ter writ­ten to the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment will lead to the de­crease in speed limit along a sec­tion of Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial High­way near Jamie’s Way.

Cur­rently, the speed limit is 100 kilo­me­tres per hour, which is stan­dard for a high­way in New­found­land. But un­like most other turn offs, there is no over­pass to cross the high­way lo­cally re­ferred to as the Vet­er­ans.

Those turn­ing left from Har­bour Grace to­wards Til­ton of­ten run the risk of driv­ing through on­com­ing traf­fic. When the driver gets into the south­bound lane, they have to hit 100 km an hour with­out a merge lane.

The same goes for traf­fic turn­ing left from the high­way onto Jamie’s Way. Ve­hi­cles must cross in front of on­com­ing traf­fic at cer­tain times.

A mo­tion made by public works com­mit­tee mem­ber Hay- ward Blake at a coun­cil meet­ing ear­lier in Au­gust was ap­proved by all four mem­bers in at­ten­dance.

“Make a mo­tion that we ap­proach trans­porta­tion and works and ask that the speed limit on Vet­er­ans (Me­mo­rial High­way) prior to Jamie’s Way com­ing in to Har­bour Grace ... be low­ered to 70, all the way down. We can’t do that, it has to go through (the depart­ment of ) Trans­porta­tion and Works,” he ex­plained.

Nu­mer­ous ac­ci­dents have been re­ported on that sec­tion of high­way since its first year of op­er­a­tion in 2002-03. Sta­tis­tics on the num­ber of ac­ci­dents were not avail­able, but the depart­ment con­firmed there have been com­plaints about that sec­tion of high­way since it opened.

“There have been com­plaints and re­quests to lower the speed limit at this lo­ca­tion, but this in­ter­sec­tion is de­signed for and meets all the cri­te­ria for a 100kph posted speed,” spokesper­son Bradley Power wrote in an email. “Driver ex­pec­ta­tion is based on the de­sign pa­ram­e­ters and phys­i­cal fea­tures of the road­way which, in this case, all sup­port the posted speed of 100kph.”

He con­firmed that it would be hard for traf­fic turn­ing onto the Vet­er­ans from Jamie’s Way to judge the speed of an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle if they are ex­pect­ing 70 kilo­me­tres an hour, when they may be driv­ing in ex­cess of that.

There have been changes to speed lim­its along pro­vin­cial highways in the past, although they are rare.

“Speed lim­its have been changed on pro­vin­cial roads in the past, but only in a very small num­ber of cases. It is the ex­cep­tion, rather than the rule,” said Power.

The town has still reached out to the depart­ment for con­sid­er­a­tion of the change. They had not re­ceived a re­sponse from the depart­ment as of Fri­day, Aug. 28.

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