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Stephenville council approves Empire Avenue ‘No Exit’ test

While traffic entering Empire Avenue in Stephenville like this pickup truck will still be permitted during a trial next year, the stop sign will be swapped out for a “No Exit” sign resulting in traffic not being able to exit onto West Street in the foreground.
While traffic entering Empire Avenue in Stephenville like this pickup truck will still be permitted during a trial next year, the stop sign will be swapped out for a “No Exit” sign resulting in traffic not being able to exit onto West Street in the foreground. - Frank Gale

Empire ‘No Exit’ trial will result in other problems: Coun. Gibbon

The Town of Stephenville is going to have a 90-day trial with “No Exit” signs placed at the end of Empire Avenue preventing motorists from turning onto West Street.

While Mayor Tom Rose said the move could save the life of a person, maybe even someone living on Empire Avenue, Coun. Don Gibbon struck back, saying he is strongly opposed to the idea.

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He voted against the motion at Thursday’s regular general meeting of the Stephenville town council and was the only council member to vote nay.

Coun. Mike Tobin was absent from the meeting.

But this trial is a little ways off yet as the test is planned for March, April and May of 2018 since it was felt it wouldn’t be fair to have it all during the winter months.

Gibbon doesn’t believe residents of the area want it and said having a “No Exit” on a street that has about 45 homes is going to cause problems for Crestfield Avenue, Colonial Avenue and Rose Avenue since it will result in an increase in traffic on those streets.

He said he lives in the area and sees a number of children riding their bikes and playing around there.

Rose said it’s the responsibility of parents not to have their children out playing around the street. He admits the trial is not a perfect fix, but said it merits a good decision to keep people safe.

While Gibbon said he never heard of any accidents at that intersection, Rose said there have been major car accidents there.

During a check with the Bay St. George RCMP on Friday morning, Const. Ken LaSaga said he and police members who were on hand couldn’t remember any major accidents at that intersection, just some minor ones.

At the end of the trial, the town will go to residents of the area for their opinion on how it worked.

Rose said safety is a big responsibility. At the meeting council also approved SNC Lavalin to provide consultation services for the design, tender and contract administration for the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of Queen Street, Minnesota Drive and Prince Rupert Drive.

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