The Trinity Conception Square Shopping Centre (TC Square) has one of the largest parking lots in the region, so it’s not uncommon for people to gather after hours.
But on Sunday, May 31 the gathering ended with a visit from the RCMP.
Almost three-dozen vehicles lined the outer perimeter of the rear parking lot at the mall after 8 p.m. Within a few hours, there were dark black tire treads and burnt rubber all over the pavement.
Video surveillance, which The Compass has seen, shows a gold coupe (appears to be a Sunfire or Cavalier) speeding, drifting and spinning erratically across the asphalt, leaving marks behind it.
The driver of the same vehicle then places his bumper against the concrete base of a light pole, and proceeds to floor his gas pedal, creating a lot of smoke from his front tires. A large pile of black rubber is now embedded in the pavement.
Another vehicle, a brand new black truck, is also seen doing donuts on the parking lot in the footage.
TC Square property manager Wally Snow told The Compass Thursday some of the spectators likely came from the Bay Wheels Car Show in Bay Roberts.
“People come here to take part in extra curricular activities after car shows,” Snow said.
Last year, he had to barricade the parking lot after a car show in Carbonear, so vehicles couldn’t gather there. He believes he may have to continue to do the same.
Snow explained the entire parking lot is under surveillance 24 hours a day, and video is recorded and kept for a length of time. The recordings are high quality.
Snow noted that the mall parking lot is private property, and he felt lucky line painting had not been completed yet this year.
“It would have been a waste of money,” he said.
Meanwhile, two RCMP cruisers did arrive two vehicles showed up to disperse the crowd.
Staff Sgt. Greg Hicks did confirm for The Compass there were several traffic-related complaints made during the weekend of the car show and officers were assigned to patrol the areas where vehicles are known to gather afterwards.
Speed bumps and fire lanes
Another concern that has been plaguing the TC Square is speeding traffic in front of the building.
Visitors to the centre Thursday morning were greeted by speed bumps at both the Dominion and Walmart entrances.
“People need to slow down,” Snow emphasized.
The sections where the speed bumps are placed are also cross walks. Snow hopes this deters people from not stopping for pedestrians and to be more careful going across the parking lot.
Something that Snow also hopes gets addressed soon is the constant parking of vehicles in the fire lane in front of the building.
“We have requested the assistance of the Carbonear (municipal enforcement officer),” he explained. “Not every day, but stopping in every once and again could help deter people from parking there.”
Snow believes there is much more that can be done in the future to help promote a safe parking lot, and he is on board to do whatever he needs to. The security cameras and speed bumps are likely just the beginning. He noted there could be more speed bumps added in the future.
“We have come a long way in the last few years,” he said. “And there’s more we are looking into.”