Targa causes trouble for Lethbridge local service district
Targa Newfoundland 2017 has begun.
The high-speed races and stylish cars draw plenty of excitement.
But the Lethbridge local service district is not excited for Targa.
The Lethbridge road was scheduled to close from approximately 8:30 a.m. until 10:25 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13, to allow for Targa races, while the Brooklyn road was scheduled to close from approximately 8:45 to 10:40 a.m.
Closures that the LSD do not welcome.
“The Lethbridge and Area Local Service District does not condone these events and received numerous complaints from residents of the area last year. However, we do not have the authority to act on anything on this main road through our communities as it is a Crown Controlled Road,” read a public notice released by the Lethbridge and Area LSD.
“Last year some residents lost work time, missed medical appointments, delayed travel plans, and in many cases they had not been informed that the roads in Brooklyn and Lethbridge were closed,” explained Kay Young, chairwoman of the LSD.
“Some residents went out to their vehicles and were denied access to the road. There is also the element of danger!” she told The Packet
Young also claimed that the LSD was not informed by Targa that the roads would be closed, and that they only found out through the social media grapevine.
She says that the local fire department and schools received word of the road closure, though the LSD did not.
“They didn’t even call us to advise they were coming again this year,” said Young.
Targa, however, said they “ensured that every house in the district of Lethbridge received a letter regarding the Targa event and road closure this year.”
Young said she has not received or seen such a letter.
“We communicated with Targa last year and requested that they change their hours for Brooklyn and Lethbridge or leave these communities off their itinerary this year,” read a Facebook post from the Lethbridge & Area Local Service District.
“Obviously it fell on deaf ears or they deliberately ignored us, as we are a LSD and not a council. We were not informed this year but learned through another source,” the post continued.
In response to previously raised concerns, Targa said it had changed the timing of the closure from 8:30 a.m. to 8 a.m. to accommodate student transportation.
Targa also claims that though they were unable to reach the chair of the LSD, they were able to speak with “other members of the LSD and the community.”
“Targa makes every effort to inform, engage and involve all members of each and every one of the 60 odd communities that Targa runs through well ahead of the event, so we are, of course, concerned by this news,” the response from Targa stated.
Targa also said that safety is their top priority, which is why the roads will be closed for just under two hours.
The public notice gives contact information for Targa Newfoundland and the Department of Transportation and Works, and encourages residents to call if they desire to express their displeasure.
The public notice also tells readers to “feel free to contact the RCMP directly” if there is debris/litter left around the community after the event.