In response to concerns raised in a recent letter to the town, an adjustment has been made with the traffic lights at a busy Bay Roberts intersection to address pedestrian safety.
In the letter tabled at the March 12 council meeting, a driver relayed concerns about vehicles on Bareneed Road making a left turn onto Route 70 — the Conception Bay Highway. The resident felt pedestrians given the signal to proceed at the same time vehicles at the four-way intersection received a green light were at risk of being hit.
“I am very vigilant and am driving with due care but can you imagine someone who doesn’t really pay attention - and we all know that happens - they could knock down those people and cause serious injury or worse - death,” the person wrote.
At the time, council tasked the municipal enforcement officer to look into the issue and report back to it. At the Tuesday, April 9 meeting, CAO Nigel Black reported the MEO contacted the consultants who set up the traffic lights. They indicated the traffic signals were operating as they should, but were also cognizant of the issue brought to council’s attention.
“So, what they’ve suggested and what we’re trying now is they put a delay on the (green) light — but it’s only a short delay,” explained Black, adding it would only activate if a pedestrian presses a button. The CAO said the goal is to give the pedestrian enough time to move into the intersection far enough that drivers will see them before making the left turn onto Route 70. As council noted at the March 12 meeting, pedestrians have the right-of-way in this scenario.
Also tabled at the April 9 meeting was new correspondence from a person who uses the crosswalks at the intersection. The Coley’s Point resident said they were made aware of the issue through an article published in The Compass.
“As a pedestrian who uses the crosswalks there, I fully support what the writer has stated are safety concerns,” the person wrote in a letter to council. “Not only does a pedestrian have to hope the vehicles to their left are going to stop for the red light but also have to watch to their right for vehicles exiting Bareneed Road. I have been crowded by drivers making the left turn from there coming within a couple of feet of the crosswalk before stopping, making me feel nervous about my safety.”