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Letter to Bay Roberts council worries left-turning vehicles bound to hit pedestrians crossing busy intersection

With the implementation of new traffic lights, the town of Bay Roberts hopes to see the intersection's safety improve.
A driver wrote the Town of Bay Roberts recently to complain about an accident waiting to happen at a busy intersection with traffic lights. - Twitter photo

Councillors says issue boils down to drivers properly understanding right-of-way at crosswalks

BAY ROBERTS, N.L. —

The general consensus in the council chambers seemed to be everything is working as it should with traffic lights controlling the flow at a busy intersection in Bay Roberts.

New traffic lights were installed a year ago at the intersection of Bareneed Road and Route 70 following the completion of a traffic study prepared for the town.

However, in a letter to council that was tabled at the Tuesday, March 12 meeting, a driver reported an incident where they were leaving Port de Grave and coming towards the intersection to make a left-hand turn onto Route 70. The writer said some pedestrians had received the walk signal to cross Route 70 while they had a green light to proceed also. The driver said they had to come to a full stop in the middle of the intersection to avoid hitting the pedestrians.

“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.

Bay Roberts Coun. Dean Franey.
Bay Roberts Coun. Dean Franey.

Coun. Dean Franey said as far as he is concerned, there is no issue.

“There’s only a delay on the walking signal for a left-hand turn arrow,” he said. “So, when you’ve got a left-hand turn arrow to turn up Bareneed Road, there’s no walk signal. Coming down Bareneed Road, when that light turns green, that light is not green for you to turn left. You can only turn left if you have the right-of-way. Pedestrians get the right-of-way. The light is green, you can go straight. That’s the way lights work everywhere.”

There is no left-turn signal for drivers leaving Bareneed Road. Franey went on to state this whole issue is simply a matter of drivers needing to be aware of the rules of the road, adding he would not support making any changes to the way those traffic lights operate.

Deputy Mayor Walter Yetman noted while the intersection is set up as a four-way intersection, it’s more so a three-way one, as the area directly across from Bareneed Road is parking lot space for a pair of buildings. Thus, traffic coming from that direction is limited.

Mayor Philip Wood suggested council consider adding a sign for motorists leaving Bareneed Road advising them to watch for pedestrians crossing the road. Yetman added the town could choose to stop all traffic if a pedestrian activated a push button.

Council decided to bring the matter to the municipal enforcement officer and have him report back to council with possible solutions to address safety concerns.

SEE RELATED:

'New traffic lights, crosswalks at busy Bay Roberts intersection'

editor@cbncompass.ca

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