Work ap­proved to ac­com­mo­date bus route

Har­bour Grace gives OK to widen­ing Hard Path Road at res­i­dents’ urg­ing

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

The chil­dren liv­ing on Hard Path Road could soon have ac­cess to a new bus route.

This is af­ter the Town of Har­bour Grace passed a mo­tion dur­ing its reg­u­lar coun­cil meet­ing on Sept. 9 that would see grub­bing done, the road widened and a bus turn­around cleared on the road.

The turn­around in­tended for any po­ten­tial school buses in the area would be just af­ter the un­der­pass for the Vet­eran’s Me­mo­rial High­way at the top of the Hard Path, while the rest of the work should hap­pen at the end clos­est to Danny Cleary Drive at the crest of the hill turn­ing up the road. It is mostly cos­metic work that is needed.

“There are a num­ber of kids who live in the area,” said Mayor Terry Barnes.

Some of the 10 chil­dren liv­ing on the road have to travel a kilo­me­tre to reach the bus stop at the bot­tom of the Hard Path.

At the con­clu­sion of the meet­ing, Barnes turned to su­per­in­ten­dent Pat Hearn and men­tioned he would like to see the work done “yesterday.”

The move was met with silent ap­proval and head nods amongst con­cerned res­i­dents in the gallery. It did not stop there, how­ever.

As other res­i­dents made their way into the coun­cil cham­bers, they were met with the same head nods and per­haps an added fist bump.

“We did our part and we’ll do what we can (to help),” said Barnes later in the week.

The mayor said the process for ap­prov­ing the work could go ahead be­cause res­i­dents in the area al­ready went door-to-door ex­plain­ing the sit­u­a­tion and at­tract­ing sig­na­tures for a pe­ti­tion. This meant coun­cil didn’t have to un­dergo the time con­sum­ing process of can­vas­ing the area look­ing for per­mis­sion to do work on the land of res­i­dents.

“That al­lowed us to go ahead and start the process,” said the Mayor. “It made the process a lot eas­ier.”

The process for the in­stal­la­tion of a bus route be­gan two years ago. Stu­dents catch the bus to ei­ther St. Fran­cis or Car­bon­ear Col­le­giate at the end of the Hard Path, leav­ing a log­jam of cars and par­ents at the bot­tom.

The ball is now in the court of the New­found­land and Labrador English School Dis­trict.

“The Dis­trict has de­ter­mined that a stop is not vi­able on Hard Path at this time as the road is nar­row, but most im­por­tantly, the road does not have an ap­pro­pri­ate turn­around avail­able for a bus. The Dis­trict has com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing a bus stop on the road once an ap­pro­pri­ate turn­around has been es­tab­lished,” NLESD spokesman Ken Mor­ris­sey told The Com­pass in an email. “As al­ways, safety is our pri­or­ity and the Dis­trict has also been in con­tact with of­fi­cials of the Town of Har­bour Grace about the pos­si­bil­ity of a turn­around be­ing in place and we will be vis­it­ing the site again in the very near fu­ture.” Lady lake road paving The work on Hard Path Road was not the only in­fra­struc­ture is­sue to get ap­proved dur­ing the meet­ing.

Coun. Kathy Tet­ford at­tempted to put some of the left over money from the Har­vey Street and Col­lege Lane pro­ject to good use. She made a mo­tion that would see $700,000 the town had ear­marked for the pro­ject put to­wards road paving at Kitchen’s Hill and the Lady Lake Rd. Ex­ten­sion.

The money had pre­vi­ously been made avail­able for the com­ple­tion of the Har­vey Street pro­ject. It ap­pears that pro­ject will not be com­pleted in the near fu­ture.

“I’d like to restart the pro­ject and what­ever the money can do to get it com­plete,” said Tet­ford. “I know it is late in the year and it may not get started now, but I would like to get the ball rolling and also ear­mark that money.”

The only coun­cil­lor to op­pose the mo­tion was Gor­don Stone. He cau­tioned that ear­mark­ing the money could hin­der any fu­ture de­ci­sion the town could make con­cern­ing in­fra­struc­ture.

“The only draw­back I see about ear­mark­ing the money is that I don’t want to tie our hands for the fu­ture,” Stone said orig­i­nally.

He sought to make an amend­ment to the orig­i­nal mo­tion. How­ever, Coun. Pat Haire ad­vised that it would be bet­ter for coun­cil to use the money for fear of it be­ing taken away.

With this new per­spec­tive, Stone re­lented on his amend­ment and voted in favour of the pro­ject.

“We did our part and we’ll do what we can (to help).”

— Terry Barnes

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

The Hard Path Road in Har­bour Grace will get some cos­metic work done in an ef­fort to get a bus stop there.

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