Help may be coming soon for Pond Shore Road residents who have been calling for reduced speed limits to protect themselves, their children, cyclists, joggers and walkers who travel the narrow, winding road.
“I’m very pleased,” said retired teacher Don Gouthro on learning that the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DTI) may give the town the power to lower the speed limits on the provincially designated highway also known as Rte. 940.
Gouthro has been asking the town for 11 years to lower speed limits on a road where he regularly sees drivers travelling well over 80 in a 60 kmh zone.
“That was always the response, ‘it’s in the hands of the province, we cannot do anything because it’s in the hands of the province,'” he says.
“Now it seems the province is turning it over to the town, so maybe now that they do have control, maybe they will act and maybe we’ll get some results.”
During last night’s council meeting, Town Engineer Dwayne Acton referred to a letter from DTI granting municipalities more control over designated highways.
“We’ve never been able to set speed limits, so we’re wondering where this came from, what the requirements are (and) what do we have to do,” Acton added.
Councillor Andrew Black said the council committee on policy and bylaw had discussed the issue at length.
“Having information from DTI about setting speed limits is a first, so rather than just jump and change the speed limit, there’s a lot of things that need to be considered,” he added.
Black said recommendations for council should be ready by February.
For his part, Don Gouthro says that while he’s pleased the town may finally be able to act, he believes more RCMP enforcement including speed traps would also help.
Gouthro, whose grandchildren live across from his home at 81 Pond Shore, is hoping the town will reduce the speed limit from 60 to 50 kmh on his section of road and from 80 to 60 on the stretch from Mount View Road to the town limits near the NB Power lines.
“My daughter lives just this side of that blind hill and this weekend, a car came speeding over there and unfortunately, their cat was killed,” he says.
“It was more of a speeding issue than anything else and we’re thankful it was a cat and not a child.”