Traffic snarls still causing headache in Bay Roberts

·3 min read

The Town of Bay Roberts has voted to keep a right hand turn only sign after a lengthy discussion on traffic snarls along the main stretch of highway.

A report prepared by Director of Protective Service Justin Parsons outlined several of the concerns, along with potential remedies, and was read during the October 13 meeting.

That report was prepared following a vote of council in August. At that time, council had voted to keep the right turn only sign at least until they had more information.

“The intersection of Country Road and CB Highway near Powell’s Supermarket is a heavy traffic area with multiple entrances, exits, and businesses. This entices many drivers to cut through Powell’s parking lot to catch the traffic lights. Although this practise is not against the law it has been brought to our attention numerous times u the owner of the business that cutting through the parking lot may lead to a collision. Supermarket shoppers have to be very careful of through traffic while both walking to and from their vehicles along with parking and exiting the lot,” the report reads.

“On the contrary, we understand that many drivers use the thoroughfare though the parking lot to use the traffic light as it is a much safer option than attempting to make a left-hand turn at Country Road and CB Highway,” the report continues.

The report also noted that, due to a right turn only sign where Sawdust Road meets the Conception Bay Highway, drivers on Sawdust Road who need to travel north often use Country Road, causing further congestion in the already troubled area. The report also noted that council has received many speeding concerns on Country Road, which is a residential road but connects to LT Stick Drive and, by extension, the Veterans Memorial Highway.

The report recommended possible remedies to the traffic snarls: remove the right turn only sign from Sawdust Road and Conception Bay Highway (the report noted that businesses all along Conception Bay Highway permit left hand turns, making the Sawdust Road an outlier); install a set of traffic lights at the intersection of Sawdust Road; and, if and when traffic lights are installed at the Sawdust intersection, block access to Country Road from Conception Highway.

Mayor Phillip Wood noted that installing new traffic lights would be a budget item, and that blocking access from Country Road, in addition to be being dependent on installing the traffic lights, “would need more thought and discussion,” so that the first recommendation, regarding removing the right turn only sign, was the only recommendation that council could act on at the moment.

Several members of council noted, as per the report, that there are plenty of left hand turns along Conception Bay Highway already.

“So, there should be a no left hand turn on either on them if that’s the case,’ said councillor Geoff Seymour.

“It should be a blanket across, either no left hand turns for everyone, or no restrictions for everyone,” agreed Chief Administration Officer Nigel Black.

The motion was made and seconded, although Seymour argued that getting rid of the sign was a “step backward”

“Left turns along that stretch are dangerous. Every accident out there is a left hand coming off one side or the other. Removing it is a step backward. I think we’re on the right track making it right turns only.”

Councillor Dean Franey noted that a set of lights will need to be installed at some point in the future.

Mayor Wood and Councillor Franey were in favor of removing the sign, but the remainder of council voted to keep the sign in place.

The motion was made to file the report away for consideration during budget process time.

Council had voted previously during an August meeting to keep the sign up at least until they had received more information.

Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News