Bay Roberts re­ceives traf­fic study re­port

Draft re­port sug­gests con­vert­ing ‘Golden Mile’ to three lanes

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/THE COM­PASS

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.

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