Cape Shore residents block highway
© Elizabeth MacDonald photo
With handmade signs, protesters from the Cape Shore blocked the road (Route 100) at the intersection of Point Lance road on Thursday, May 3. They are hoping to draw attention to the poor state of the roads in the area, which many say is affecting tourism, and their own pocketbooks through vehicle damages.
People living on the Cape Shore are demanding government do something about the roads in the area.
To that end, about 50 people from the area blocked the road heading into Point Lance, and Route 100 at the Point Lance intersection, to draw attention to the problem.
They stopped all traffic trying to pass, including school buses heading to St. Bride’s K-12 school, Fatima Academy on May 3, and planned to stop the mail from being delivered as well.
Protester Maude White works at the Gannet’s Nest restaurant near the turn off to Cape St. Mary’s during the summer moths. She said the poor state of the roads is one of the main topics for discussion for tourists.
“When the tourists complain about the roads here, we know it is bad for business,” said White. “Many say they will never come back here. That’s just not good.”
She added that the protesters are aware there are many roads that need work in the province, but they obviously need more care than simply patching, which she said doesn’t last long.
Philip Gardiner is from Point Lance and said he spoke to Placentia-St. Mary’s MHA Felix Collins about the issue recently and was told there was no money for new pavement this year.
“But this is 2012. They spend money advertising the province’s tourism, and get people here, but don’t put money into the roads. Gravel patching is no good. They may as well use cookie dough and sprinkle it with icing,” he said. “It does as much good.”
The roads throughout the region have some good spots, but many areas are laden with potholes, which residents say, is dangerous since drivers spend a lot of time driving on the wrong side of the road just to avoid hitting the rough patches. It is also costing residents money, protesters say, for repairing damages to their vehicles they believe they would otherwise not have incurred.
Residents cited a litany of problems they’ve faced, including having to replace struts, bearings, rims, more often than they should, they said. The local ambulance operator Reg Careen spoke with CBC Radio that morning and told them the bolts on the roof of the ambulance he drives actually rattle loose because of the road conditions. He said if he had to transport someone with a back problem, they would have a difficult ride over the road to get to the Placentia hospital.
Gardiner said the protest was to show government they were not going to tolerate these road conditions any more.
“We will see if anything comes from this protest. If not, there will be something else happening in three to four days. We are not going to stop.”