When one of the main arteries allowing traffic to flow into the downtown core is closed, the impact on the community is far greater than an inconvenience.
Despite efforts to mitigate flooding on Park Street, heavy rains, fluctuating temperatures from highs to double-digit lows and storm surges caused a three-day long closure last week and another one early Sunday morning.
Barricades placed near the Main Street entrance to prevent traffic on that stretch of road were moved while there was still dangerously high water. A visitor to the area unfortunately realized too late one night that the road was impassable when his car became stuck in floodwaters. As temperatures dropped well below zero that evening, his car was frozen in the middle of the road.
It is very concerning that someone would have removed the barricades, a careless act which could have resulted in serious injury or even death if conditions had been worse.
A fixed gate, located near the Marshland Drive and Lorne Street intersection did not allow for such an event to occur.
Perhaps it is time to explore a way to safely place a second fixed gate that would prevent such an event from occurring in the future.
There is a degree of frustration felt during a morning commute by those that use Park Street to reach their chosen destination when it is closed.
Some mornings, traffic has been backed up kilometres along Main, College, Pictou, Queen, Walker and other streets that connect to those.
Traffic is also increased along Highway 2 when Park Street is closed as people head to Central Onslow to connect with Highway 102 to avoid congestion in the downtown area.
Park Street has been prone to flooding for years and despite ongoing efforts to resolve the issue, a solution has not been found.
If the closures cannot be stopped, perhaps there are ways to improve traffic flow throughout the town when they do occur.
People should also be reminded that moving barricades puts the safety of others and their vehicles at risk and is a completely irresponsible act.