TRURO – Traffic problems in Lower Truro and McClures Mills were the focal point of a Ward 1 meeting Monday in Truro.
About 30 people attended the gathering, which was hosted by Ward 1 town councillors Raymond Tynes and Cheryl Fritz.
Wellington Court resident Doug MacKay spoke about how frustrating and dangerous the traffic is in that part of the town.
“The whole area is a mess traffic-wise. You never see any policing there and the cars never stop at Lawtons on the red light,” said MacKay, adding the discussion about a potential roundabout along the connector road “has been going on for 20 years.”
Truro police chief Dave MacNeil said there is policing in that area but added, “we go to more traffic accidents near Tim Hortons on Willow Street than anywhere else in town.”
Andrew MacKinnon, the town’s director of public works, said a lot of the problem comes from a backlog of traffic on Willow Street and “Willow Street and the connector are not efficient enough. It’s to the point now that we need a dual left turn lane (in either direction), which means a bigger intersection or a roundabout.”
MacKinnon said a study on the area has been ongoing for a few years and officials are “fine-tuning it.”
That was welcome news to some who said it could take up to 15 minutes to get through the traffic.
Ruthann Williams, a Wynn Park resident, said often the traffic “just creeps” along and “you could walk faster. When tourists come … some will turn and leave.”
“I know it’s frustrating. We all want it done yesterday. There isn’t an immediate answer,” said Fritz, reminding residents that studies have to be completed, major decisions have to go through budget deliberations and processes have to be followed in detail.
“Everything you are saying does not fall on deaf ears,” added Tynes. “We plan on making big headway in 2014.”
Tynes added plans continue on a potential interchange in Hilden that would help enhance the Truro Industrial Park and reduce truck traffic on Willow Street and McClures Mills.
Another issue that came up was four-way stops on Arthur Street and whether or not they will be a thing of the past. MacKinnon said rerouting traffic to Young and Lorne streets has helped but more re-alignment work at that intersection would reroute even more traffic from Arthur Street, therefore, eliminating stop signs.
“We need a piece of property from First United Church and the Lorne MacDougall (law firm)” for more progress to be made.
Other residents were concerned with the lack of sidewalks.
One person wants sidewalks along Robie Street in front of the mall, which is expected in “three or four” years, said MacKinnon.
Another resident, Harold Delaney, requested a crosswalk on Lower Truro Road. Right now, there’s a sidewalk on only one side of the road.
Bicylists not obeying rules of the road was a concern for George Ellis.
“Seventy per cent of them have no helmet, no respect or regard … they cut in front of you,” Ellis said.
Other topics briefly mentioned were speeders on Robie Street, loud sirens going off regularly at all hours, and 50 km/hr being too high of a speed on Prince Street.