TRURO - Constructing a roundabout at the intersection of McClure's Mills Road, James Street and Lower Truro Road to fix traffic problems will only create more, says a resident of the area.
Bill Crouse has been living on the corner of James Street and McClure's Mills Road for the past nine years and says the traffic problems in the area aren't enough to install a $263,000 roundabout.
"It's sort of like shooting a mouse with an elephant gun," the 65-year-old said. "It's not a lot of money but it's our money and I think it could be better spent somewhere else."
The issue came up during Monday's Truro Town Council meeting following a presentation on the project by Andrew MacKinnon, the town's director of public works. Drivers looking to turn left from both James Street and Lower Truro Road onto McClure's Mills Road sometimes must wait several minutes for a break in traffic to proceed.
MacKinnon, also the town's traffic authority, said the problem will only get worse with increased traffic going to the new hospital and civic centre, just metres up McClure's Mills Road from the proposed roundabout.
"I don't think it will be a waste of money," Mayor Bill Mills said. "I think it will work. It's going to take some practice, and education will be a part of it."
But Crouse disagreed, saying it will only clog up traffic further, especially vehicles trying to enter town toward the Willow Street intersection, which is located just 150m from the proposed roundabout. Crouse said traffic is sometimes backed up past his property trying to get through the Willow Street lights and will only cause the roundabout to grind to a halt.
"This is supposed to slow traffic down even more," Crouse said. "It's nuts. It's just crazy."
Mills said Crouse's concerns would typically only come into play during big events at the civic centre, just as there are problems at the intersection of Queen and Lorne streets during Canada Day fireworks and Truro Bearcats playoff hockey games.
Although the proposed project would not alter any of the neighbouring properties, Crouse said he's concerned a roundabout would cause his property value to plummet.
"If I was looking to buy it knowing this, I wouldn't buy it," he said. "We've done a lot of work to the house, it's the one thing we have left for our kids and what's this going to do? I 'm really concerned."
Crouse said he would rather see a ban on left turns from both James Street and Lower Truro Road, or right and left-turning lanes on both streets to free drivers looking to turn right from getting stuck behind those looking to turn left.
"When you come out of Park Street, the first thing you see, no left turn," he said. "What's wrong with that? It's a $250 fix. People get used to it."
Mills said Crouse made some valid suggestions, which will be looked at by the town.
"Those recommendations were excellent," he said. "I think it's one of the better suggestions we've had and I think they should seriously consider it."