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New traffic lights, crosswalks at busy Bay Roberts intersection

With the implementation of new traffic lights, the town of Bay Roberts hopes to see the intersection's safety improve.
With the implementation of new traffic lights, the town of Bay Roberts hopes to see the intersection's safety improve. - Twitter photo

BAY ROBERTS, NL — Some new and improved street lights in Bay Roberts aim to increase safety along one of the community’s busiest streets.

Bareneed Road in Bay Roberts sees plenty of traffic throughout the run of a day. As numbers of vehicles and pedestrians in the area increased, safety slowly decreased, in part due to the outdated streetlights that originally managed traffic where it meets the Conception Bay Highway.

This safety concern is something the town council of Bay Roberts had been keeping an eye on for some time, and in September of 2017, finally issued a tender for new traffic lights and crosswalk signs to be implemented by an engineer, with hopes that the area will become a safer place for residents.

Though the process of issuing the tender, ordering the necessary equipment, and installing the lights took a few months, they were officially activated mid-January of 2018.

Mayor Phillip Wood told The Compass the lights are a major improvement to what was originally in place, and he, as well as the rest of council, are pleased to see the usually congested area flowing more smoothly and safely.

“We’ve done a number of traffic studies on several different roads in Bay Roberts, and basically it’s all in an attempt to make the place more pedestrian friendly, as well as vehicle friendly,” said Wood. “One of the areas that was identified as something of a priority was the replacing of those lights. Route 70, as many people know, is an extremely busy road, and the lights that were there were, well, one word that was used was ‘archaic.’”

These old lights, which were purchased from St. John’s, fit the need of Bay Roberts at the time of their purchase. However, as the community grew, more and more traffic began to flow through the town’s main roads, resulting in a need for better lights, Wood explained.

One of the major changes to the light system in the area is a turning arrow leading into Port de Grave, which was not at all present with the old lights. Wood hopes to see this change make some major improvements to traffic congestion, and general confusion, for commuters coming and going to Port de Grave.

“Sometimes one car turning left into Port de Grave, if you’re heading to say St. John’s, could delay the whole flow of traffic there for a while, so that light will hopefully fix that,” Wood said of the new arrow.
It wasn’t just drivers that the town had in mind when implementing these new lights, however. Pedestrians crossing the road near the intersection, running errands or other day-to-day activities, were a common site. With no proper crosswalk, such activities could get rather risky. A new crosswalk implemented along with the lights introduces a new, safer means of going to and from locations on either side of the intersection for those travelling by foot.

“With the stadium there, it’s very difficult for many people going up to say, Tim Hortons or Dominion, to simply cross the road, because there were no crosswalks,” Wood added. “Now, we’ve enclosed crosswalks there, which will hopefully allow pedestrians to move a lot easier.”

With approximately two weeks clocked so far with the new lights, Wood is so far impressed with the upgrade, and says he is pleased to see the community getting safer for all its residents.

“Overall, we’re just hoping it makes the whole area safer for all – drivers and pedestrians.”

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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