Litter, speeding complaints nothing new

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I just read a very discouraging letter in Tuesday’s Telegram from a visitor to our province. (“Sorry Newfoundland, you are not what I expected,” page A6, Aug 6.)

Unfortunately, his experience in N.L. is not unlike what we all live through on a daily basis.

We have letters and photos sent to the city over a 40-year period complaining about the speeding and the constant dumping of garbage in our beautiful neighbourhood.  

There’s also a photo enclosed taken Monday showing exactly the same situation, with Tim Hortons cups, pop tins, chip bags and the like dotting every two feet of the roadside and riverbank (at the bottom of Whelan’s Lane in St. John’s.)

There’s another shot with a full truck load of debris dumped 20-30 feet from the Waterford River, but no action was taken or contemplated against the dumper and the city simply sent in a truck and workers and, at our great expense, they cleaned up this mess.

Along with residents and members of Waterford Valley Rotary and Northeast Avalon ACAP, we’ve done two major cleanups in that area this spring and have also done “spot cleaning” since then when we come upon a fresh load of trash.

But despite these efforts, the problem continues and it would really be worth your while to drive that half mile of open space and see for yourself how right that gentleman was.

In reference to speeding, in the last year or so, I’ve lost two side mirrors from my vehicle and neighbours have had similar and more serious damage done on a regular basis as motorists continue to “fly” through our neighbourhood with no regard for anybody or any real consequences for continually threatening our lives and properties.  

This is not a new problem, as my first letter on that subject was to Mayor John Murphy in 1975 and we’ve got records of ongoing complaints to the police and the city over the 38 years since then.

But the problem, like the littering, is still with us.  

After almost 40 years of complaining, we are assured that “traffic calming” is coming our way next year at a cost of $500,000 or so, and that should help our situation.

But that initiative will not solve the problem, just move it from our road to yours.  

It’s not a pretty picture and those who come from away, like this gentleman from North Carolina, seem to notice and care a lot more than we do.

Bill Stoyles

St. John’s

Organizations: Tim Hortons, Waterford Valley Rotary

Geographic location: N.L., Waterford River, Northeast Avalon ACAP North Carolina

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Recent comments

  • Debbie
    August 08, 2013 - 14:27

    I agree with you Bill. There is such a mess everywhere (in the city and around the bay) - from fast food bags and coffee cups on the roadside to old rusty cars and rotting wood on people's property. There is just no respect. And, speeding, well....I can't even begin to express how disgusted I am with that. I just saw 2 cars speeding down my small street (where children are playing in their front yards!!!!) in the amount of time it takes me to read your letter. It's terrible. Oh, the last time I saw a patrol car on this street - just to do a drive along to show the law enforcement's presence - about 3 months ago. To both residents and government officials (of all levels) - wake up and get some respect. You are embarrassing yourselves.

  • EDfromRED
    August 08, 2013 - 14:07

    The main problem NLers have is pettiness and ignorance. It seems like culture has gone by the wayside here, with people desperate for status buying motorcycles to ride on weekends and 60 inch flat-screen TV's to watch CSI on. Ignorance has become a way of life. No wonder libraries are getting budget cuts, the government will probably turn them in liquor/tobacco/lottery shops. Years ago NTV & CBC would run local shows celebrating our arts, culture and lifestyle. The most broadcast and representative image we have of ourselves now are skeet's doing a perp-walk on the news.

  • Bruce
    August 07, 2013 - 12:15

    It takes a STRANGER to pay more attention maybe.

  • Anna
    August 07, 2013 - 09:34

    Why won't any council look at hiring people just for traffic enforcement? Our police have too much to do already with all the crime and drug use,. If a group was hired to just catch speeders it would be more beneficial than the six rubber mats on Old Topsail Road along with the round a bout. All that has done is moved the traffic to Waterford Bridge Road and Cornwall Avenue where drivers continue to speed. This traffic enforcement might even help those of us who use the crosswalks. Yesterday, on NL Drive, a driver stopped for me and the young lady behind him wasn't paying attention as she was going too fast, so she had to go around him and drive on the wrong side of the road. This was at eight in the morning, so luckily there was no one crossing on the other side. Regarding the garbage problem, this council's way of solving that is to have a clean up once a year and use volunteers to do their work. I don't think that problem will ever be resolved as long as no one takes initiative at City Hall.

  • Rox
    August 07, 2013 - 09:06

    Well said Bill. You are 100% correct. This province (St. John's and other areas too) is a mess (litter-wise and many other ways too). I applaud the tourist and yourself for trying to shed some light on the problems. It is obvious that most people either don't care or decide to just overlook the problems. And, I'm sure you'll agree with me Bill, isn't ignorance just another form of support.

  • hua mulan
    August 07, 2013 - 08:59

    How is traffic calming going to cure the crazies from using the roadways as runways and/or the insane from using our roadsides and parks as dumpsters? Everyone gets uncalmed each time any one of us drives anywhere, seeing at least one example of the crazy and the insane. A first step could be a mandatory head check for those 'known to police' as repeating violators....augh, a whole new self-help group is born: ."Hi my name is hua and one drive in my car makes me into an arsehole... it is seven hours since my last drive, but I really did make it into the intersection before the orange turned to red, honestly, and I didn't see the senior with the cane nor his huge red 'stop sign' as he was walking in the crosswalk, and i really did think that route 160 meant that 160 was the speed limit...honestly...".

  • Ed Power
    August 07, 2013 - 08:10

    Well said, Mr. Stoyles. As Walt Kelly's comic strip character Pogo famously said, "We have met the enemy and he is us".