Drivers not slowing down for yellow pedestrian light
A new pedestrian crosswalk with a flashing yellow light near Carbonear General Hospital is already being ignored by motorists, say town officials.
© Photo by Melissa Jenkins
A traffic specialist is recommending that this new pedestrian-activated crosswalk light near Carbonear General Hospital be modified to a solid red light, instead of a flashing yellow.
During the biweekly council meeting on Oct. 21, public works director Brian O’Grady said the lights are barely causing people to slow down, leading to safety risks.
A traffic expert was brought in to inspect the crosswalk —which links a new parking lot on High Road South to the hospital — after complaints of speed issues and a pedestrian-vehicle collision in September.
The expert recommended the yellow pedestrian-controlled light should be changed to red, to promote a full stop.
Although O’Grady said he has never seen a crosswalk with a red light, he felt it was worth discussing with council.
“Cars don’t slow down with the flashing lights,” Deputy Mayor George Butt stated during the meeting.
Mayor Sam Slade added, “I see no problem seeing a red light there.”
A motion was made by Coun. Ed Goff to approve the new light, pending approval from the Department of Transportation and Works.
Meanwhile, rumble strips are going to be inserted into the pavement around the crosswalk as well to remind people there is a crosswalk ahead and the maximum speed limit is 30 kilometres per hour.
The contractor will return in the coming weeks to complete the job, O'Grady explained.
Numerous vehicles have been parking at the recreation facility on Valley Road across from Carbonear Academy, and being left there until at late as 8 p.m. said recreation director Rob Button.
Button has determined some of these vehicles belong to residents who commute to jobs in Long Harbour and Bay Bulls, who drop their vehicles off before carpooling to their destinations.
Parking extends from the tennis courts to Paddy's Garden. However, Button noted that, in some cases, these vehicles are being parked in front of the pool, where demand for parking is greatest.
A solution was determined by the council that notices will be placed on the windshields of those who continue to park in these spots that they must find other parking. It was even determined they can use the parking area closer to Paddy’s Garden.
Hedge disrupting line-of-sight
Council discussed a hedge located on Crowdy Street that has been a concern to pedestrians and drivers. The hedge is privately owned, but it has grown over the road, impeding sightlines for motorists.
Councillors were very vocal about the concern, adding something must be done quickly. It was suggested the town send workers up with chainsaws to trim back the hedge, since it was a public safety concern.
“If it’s not clear sight, we have the right to make clear way,” Slade said.
Butt agreed, saying it needed to be cut down.
“It has been ongoing long enough,” Coun. David Kennedy added.
Town administrator Cynthia Davis noted a letter had already been sent to the resident, but so far the hedge is still overgrown.
Davis has previously been in contact with the town lawyer, and suggested to return to him to find out what else they should do before cutting it down.
Skatepark in operation
The new skatepark in Carbonear is open, and students from Carbonear Academy and Carbonear Collegiate have had the opportunity to test it out.
More than 20 youths gathered with skateboards, scooters and BMX bikes at the Valley Road park Oct. 28 to enjoy the new facility.
The park was four months in the making, with a month-long delay from the anticipated opening date in September.
Youths using the facility didn’t appear to mind the delay after finally getting to step foot on safe and user-friendly equipment. They no longer have to risk getting hit by cars on parking lots or public streets, which is where they previously skated.
The park is just one of many upgrades being suggested by the council’s recreation committee.
Button noted there is a four-year plan in place to upgrade more of the local areas to user-friendly and updated equipment, with a focus on Crocker’s Cove playground, which has recently lost a slide.
Basketball hoops have arrived for Crocker’s Cove as well, along with bike racks for various locations around town.
There was also a suggestion for some upgrades to the Carbonear Recreation Complex, but specifics were not discussed.