Lower the speed limit, says town
Harbour Grace wants speed on section of Jamie’s Way decreased
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.