Drive-thrus could cause chaos in case of an emergency, says Stephenville mayor

Staff ~ Transcontinental Media
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The traffic snarls around drive-thrus that prompted St. John's to ban new establishments don't seem to be a huge concern on the west coast.

However, in Stephenville snarl-ups in front of Tim Hortons on Main Street do pose a concern to Mayor Tom O'Brien.

He noted that congestion causes a problem for pedestrians and should an emergency vehicle need to get through it will be total chaos.

Stephenville - The traffic snarls around drive-thrus that prompted St. John's to ban new establishments don't seem to be a huge concern on the west coast.

However, in Stephenville snarl-ups in front of Tim Hortons on Main Street do pose a concern to Mayor Tom O'Brien.

He noted that congestion causes a problem for pedestrians and should an emergency vehicle need to get through it will be total chaos.

O'Brien said when you're responding to a situation with an ambulance or fire truck, minutes count and if there is a problem it could possibly mean a person's life.

"We've all heard of the golden minutes in emergency situations and traffic congestion could take some of those minutes away," the mayor said.

"All we're asking is drivers show consideration for the public as a whole by circling the block until such a time as you can get into Tim Hortons parking lot safely or pull off to the side of the road and walk in," he said.

O'Brien said the city's municipal enforcement officer, who started service in early December, will keep an eye on the situation.

In Corner Brook, if it is a problem, residents aren't complaining about it.

Const. Brad Saint, traffic services officer for the Corner Brook Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, said dispatch doesn't get many calls regarding traffic jams caused by drive-thrus.

"We're not getting repeat calls and complaints - I know they are in St. John's, they're having quite a problem with it," Saint said.

"I guess it's time associated, too. Obviously early in the morning during the coffee break times you get a little more congestion."

Organizations: Tim Hortons, Corner Brook Royal Newfoundland Constabulary

Geographic location: Stephenville, St. John's, Corner Brook

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  • Owen
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    There is an easy solution to the problem in Stephenville: open up an exit only lane directly onto Main St. from the drive-thru and block access to those who try to butt in from the street behind Tims. Doing this would effectively reduce the bottle neck that occurs at the Main St. entrance/exit. Right now there's not enough room at normal times of the day, let alone peak times because you have more traffic trying to leave than that coming in from Main St. In order to do this of course, the town would have to give up one parking spot on Main St. but it may save a life someday. Maybe it could be a cost shared venture between the town and Tim's.

  • Mary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    i dont blame this on the staff of tims .But the line ups would be faster with out the sandwiches and if people had there money ready after they place there order instead of women looking for the change in there purses or wallets at the window.Also Woman putting on lipstick or makeup at the window.Also staff talking to kidding around with the customers at the rush hours.Also when customers get to the window and order other stuff .Way to go tims staff .Tims staff are doing there best .If you only had to work at tims and see what those people have to go threw with customers u would not be there working long.

  • Owen
    July 01, 2010 - 20:10

    There is an easy solution to the problem in Stephenville: open up an exit only lane directly onto Main St. from the drive-thru and block access to those who try to butt in from the street behind Tims. Doing this would effectively reduce the bottle neck that occurs at the Main St. entrance/exit. Right now there's not enough room at normal times of the day, let alone peak times because you have more traffic trying to leave than that coming in from Main St. In order to do this of course, the town would have to give up one parking spot on Main St. but it may save a life someday. Maybe it could be a cost shared venture between the town and Tim's.

  • Mary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    i dont blame this on the staff of tims .But the line ups would be faster with out the sandwiches and if people had there money ready after they place there order instead of women looking for the change in there purses or wallets at the window.Also Woman putting on lipstick or makeup at the window.Also staff talking to kidding around with the customers at the rush hours.Also when customers get to the window and order other stuff .Way to go tims staff .Tims staff are doing there best .If you only had to work at tims and see what those people have to go threw with customers u would not be there working long.