Bay Roberts receives traffic study report
Draft report suggests converting ‘Golden Mile’ to three lanes
The Town of Bay Roberts held a public meeting last week to discuss a traffic study it recently had completed. Business owners and residents listened as the group responsible for the report detailed their recommendations for the portion of the Conception Bay Highway that runs through the community.
For years, the Town of Bay Roberts has been looking at ways to quiet traffic along a popular road in the community.
The stretch of the Conception Bay Highway, known locally as “The Golden Mile” from the intersection of L.T. Stick Drive to the traffic lights at Water Street, has long been a problem area for the community.
“It’s a road we have to look at seriously to provide a safe environment for everybody both driving, walking and shopping,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood.
It’s a four-lane thoroughfare and has become a nightmare for motorists trying to turn left. That combined with high speeds have been the primary cause of numerous accidents in the area for the past several years.
With that goal in mind, Bay Roberts commissioned Harbourside Engineering Consultants to conduct a traffic study and on June 7 a draft report was presented to more than dozen residents, town officials and business owners who regularly use the Conception Bay Highway.
“We’re very pleased to see the public engaged in it and asking questions here,” said Wood. “Hopefully, there will be additional follow-up. Everyone is willing to do their part to make it safer.”
The group narrowed its study times to peak morning hours (7:45 to 8:45) and peak afternoon hours (4:15 and 5:15). They studied intersections and traffic patterns, conducted a study on the town’s traffic lights, as well as pedestrian movements.
They counted traffic volume — which came in at about 18,000 cars daily — and pedestrian traffic in the fall of 2015.
Over the course of the 45-minute presentation, Harbourside representative Mi- chael MacDonald carried the group through what they suggested and how they got to those conclusions.
Amongst those suggestions was something called a Road Diet, which would see the fourlane highway become a threelane road with the middle lane reserved for turning traffic only.
Sidewalks would then be built on both sides.
“Safety would the biggest benefit here,” said MacDonald.
Others included the installation of a roundabout at the bottom of L.T. Stick Drive, the highlighting of crosswalks and upgrades to the town’s traffic light equipement.
Conversation after the meeting was mostly positive. Some in attendance were not completely in favour of a roundabout installation, but could recognize value in other measures brought to the table.
Roberts businessman David Neville was pleased with what he heard and saw from Harbourside.
“I think it’s a great idea,” he said. “I think (road diet) would definitely slow down a lot of the traffic. When you think about it, people are flying. It’s just a free-for-all. That’s the biggest problem.”
Town officials were also pleased with the report and the suggestions made.
“I really like the idea of roundabouts,” said Wood. “It’s a safe way to keep traffic moving, but at the same time it’s a very economical way to look at roads versus overpasses.
“The whole idea of making the road a three-way is very intriguing. It’s a great start.”
All of the ideas are dependent on getting permission from the provincial government since they are responsible for the road.
Those in attendance were encouraged to ask questions and offer their own suggestions before the final report is released later this month.
Harbourside Engineering Consultants Michael MacDonald presents a draft of the Bay Roberts traffic study at the Search & Rescue Building in Bay Roberts on June 7.