UPPER NAPPAN – Blair Lake Road residents are disappointed but determined after the provincial Transportation Department rejected their request for changes to the intersection of Highway 2 and the regional hospital.
Cumberland municipal council was recently notified that a safety review conducted last fall by the department showed that current speeds are normal and that neither a speed limit reduction nor a traffic light are warranted.
“It also indicated that there were not a high number of collisions or excessive speeding,” CAO Rennie Bugley said. “Essentially, the response was there is no need for changes to Trunk 2 or at that intersection.”
Marilyn Thompson, who submitted a petition to the county and the province on behalf of area residents, said she’s disappointed with the province’s response but said residents aren’t about to give up.
Residents want the speed limit reduced to 50 km/h through the intersection and want a traffic signal placed there. The speed limit was reduced from 70 km/h when the regional hospital opened in 2003.
The Blair Lake Road resident said she met with Barbara Baillie, the department’s northern district director, last fall and together they watched traffic on the highway for a 30-minute period.
“She did not feel this was an accurate way to determine the rate of traffic. She spoke with her co-worker while observing the traffic and suggested the county should occur over a period of time, particularly during the tourist season when the campground is open and walkers more visible,” Thompson said. “This would provide a realistic check on traffic from the hospital, Blair Lake Road and traffic from Amherst, Highway 104 and from Springhill.”
She expects the department to take another look at the situation this summer or early in the fall.
Thompson said she has also met with Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar, who said he would bring residents’ concerns forward. Skabar told her the town and county are working on building a sidewalk from Amherst to the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre and once that’s completed lights would be a certainty.
“I understand that we will know more about this in the spring. We are anticipating that we will hear some good news from the county,” said Thompson. “If the county and Amherst work to solve this safety issue, then we will look to the provincial government to do its part to complete the job.”