Motorcyclist injured after hitting curb of new bumpout on Yarmouth's Main Street

Published on June 16, 2017

The driver of a motorcycle travelling south-bound on Yarmouth's Main Street was taken to hospital after hitting the curb of a newly installed bumpout and losing control of his motorcycle.

© Tina Comeau

YARMOUTH, N.S. – Less than a week after Main Street reopened to traffic the RCMP responded to an accident after a motorcyclist hit one of the bumpouts where a thru-lane for traffic used to exist. 

The motorcyclist was taken to hospital. The extent of the man’s injuries were unknown at the time of this posting.

The Friday morning, June 16, accident happened at the intersection of Main and John streets. The configuration of Main Street at this intersection has changed due to the installation of bumpouts. Whereas before there used to be two lanes for traffic side-by-side heading south – a straight lane and a left-turn lane – now there is only one lane of traffic for vehicles heading south.

“He was travelling southbound on Main Street and didn’t observe the new curb installed by the town recently,” said RCMP Corporal John Stoddart about the driver of the motorcycle. “He hit the curb and lost control of his bike.”

“He couldn’t sit down, he was in a lot of pain. His hip was sore,” he said. “EHS gave him some medication to help with the pain and took him to the hospital.”

This man was from Shelburne County and was likely used to there being two lanes southbound at that intersection. Now, instead, there is a parking space and then the bumpout. And since the bumpouts are still just cement and/or gravel surfaces they may not stand out as much on approach as they will when there is greenery and benches installed.

RCMP Corporal John Stoddart walks past a motorcycle that hit the curb of a newly installed bumpout on Main Street on Friday, June 16.
Tina Comeau

The bumpouts have been installed at several intersections by the town as part of a downtown streetscape project. They were installed while a section of Main Street was torn up for months as part of a sewer separation project that involved replacing sewer and storm water infrastructure beneath the street.

The intention of the bumpouts – which in the majority of cases replaces what was previously unused no-parking zones – is to create pedestrian friendly areas. They will eventually include benches and greenery. They also are aimed at making crosswalks safer due to shorter distances across Main Street.

Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood said the town was alerted to the accident.

"We are aware of the accident but have no details as to what occurred," she said.

" We hope the driver is ok. We will review the incident from our perspective and determine if any further measures are warranted," she said when asked whether there are any measures the town may take to alert people to the bumpouts as people get used to Main Street's new configuration.

When it comes to the bumpouts on social media people fall in the ‘love them’ or ‘hate them’ categories, or somewhere in between.

But bystanders on Main Street Friday morning weren’t surprised to see an accident had occurred.

“It may be the first but it won’t be the last,” said one man.