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LETTER: Questioning St. John’s traffic ‘fixes’

Traffic lights are returning to Rawlins Cross starting Friday as the pilot project reconfiguring the intersection into an experimental traffic circle is coming to an end.
Traffic lights have returning to Rawlins Cross as the pilot project reconfiguring the intersection into an experimental traffic circle is coming to an end. - Keith Gosse

I really don’t know if I am amused or irritated by the City of St. John’s endeavours to fix traffic problems over the years. They label them “pilot projects,” which I believe is an ambiguous term to cover themselves from liability.

They put a speed bump-out on Old Topsail Road, which I believe was taken out the next year. Not cheap. They put another bump up on Kenmount Terrace to slow traffic which had to be taken out the next year because it proved that it was more of an impediment to traffic and safety as opposed to slowing traffic. They tried to reconfigure the intersection at the bottom of Signal Hill, Temperance Street area and created an immense traffic conundrum.

It was a disaster.

Then they tried the meter program on Harbor Drive which you could only use if you had data on your phone. Money wasn’t any good.

That sort of eliminates a lot of people.

Then there’s Rawlins Cross. Now this is funny. A fortune spent implementing it and now another fortune removing it. It would be interesting to see what this project actually cost dollar-wise.

Bicycle lanes. They had a survey done, (not cheap) painted the lines and put up the signage. Fell by the wayside. Last year they had another survey done at the cost (I think) of $189,000 which has never come to fruition and probably never will. But they do have the plans which have cost a considerable amount of taxpayers’ money.

Now here’s the clincher — spend $32,000 to put in candlesticks (Candlestick-style traffic pylons) in four areas of the city to separate people.

This city is full of places with narrow spaces. The Gould’s doesn’t even have sidewalks. They picked four.

Was there a study done and who picked them?

This is ludicrous. When you see someone coming toward you, normally they stop and they move outside your space or comfort zone or vice versa.

People are in convenience stores, gas stations; department stores etc. standing next to one another (six-feet apart) all over town and council thinks that this stupid $32,000-idea is a game changer.

Am I missing something?

The city’s finances have to be in hard shape with little revenue generation. This initiative is very frivolous spending on council’s behalf, especially since the provincial government announced that by September that they may be broke.

The Feds can’t keep spending like they are. There is only so much in the pot and at the end of the day someone has to pay the piper. This latest $32,000-initiative is like trying to put a Band-Aid on a dam.

William Sheppard
St. John’s

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