The Halifax Regional Municipality is hoping to reduce collisions at some key left-turning intersections in the city, but at least one business group worries a lack of communication from the municipality could lead to another pilot project failure.
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Sue Uteck, executive director of the Spring Garden Area Business Association, says the speed bumps, to be installed at six intersections, could lead to confusion for drivers. While she’s willing to see if they will work, she worries about a repeated pilot project failure.
“As an association, we can live with the changes,” Uteck told Global News Saturday. “But it’s a lack of communication from the city all the way along. The bus pilot project failed because of a lack of communication and here we are having another implementation with no communication again.”
The speed bumps will be temporary and go into intersections, urging left-turning drivers to go around them, and slow down.
“Large intersections can provide an opportunity for drivers to take a wide left turn, which can be completed…at higher operating speeds,” HRM says on its website. “(But this) can result in dangerous conditions for pedestrians sharing the intersection.
“The intent of left-turn traffic calming is to reduce the turning radius of vehicles by tightening up the path of which a vehicle needs to navigate to make a left turn.”
“It happens so many times when I’m at the corners that the cars just really don’t pay attention and they almost run over your feet,” says Juanna Ricketts, a Halifax resident of about 12 years who frequently walks around the city.
The city says it expects the bumps to be installed in September at the following intersections:
- South Park Street and Spring Garden Road
- Lacewood Drive and Dunbrack Street
- Lacewood Drive and Parkland Drive
- Cobequid Road and Glendale Drive
- Joseph Howe Drive and Dutch Village Road
- Main Street and Major Street
“I’m not a big fan of speed bumps,” says Ron MacFarlane, who frequently drives through the city. “I am a fan of what they put in with the pedestrian light turning [white] before the traffic light turns green, I think that makes a huge difference with pedestrian safety.”
“I’d like to make Halifax more pedestrian-friendly,” says Matt Sheehan, whose lived in Halifax his whole life. “I think for a long time, we focused on making it easier for cars to get around. Right now, we need to focus (on eliminating) some of the traffic problems we’re having here.”
HRM expects the bumps to be installed in September, and will be removed prior to snow clearing efforts. But big rigs will otherwise have to drive over them.
“Left-turn traffic calming has been implemented in other jurisdictions, including Toronto and New York City, with promising results for increasing road safety,” the municipality states.
“I think it’s worth the experiment, and, hopefully, if it doesn’t work out, or it doesn’t solve the problem, I’m sure they can remove them,” says Alex Smith, a pedestrian in the city. “So, I think they should keep trying to rework the downtown and make it good for pedestrians and drivers alike.”
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