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Port aux Basques council tackles traffic troubles and more

This crosswalk on a curve near Shopper’s Drug Mart and the Bank of Montreal in Port aux Basques prompted a resident to send a letter to council. – J. Rene Roy

PORT AUX BASQUES -Port aux Basques council held their latest meeting at the town fire hall on a wet Thursday afternoon on Aug. 18, 2020. Only Counc. Justin Blackler was not in attendance, as he was still enjoying vacation time. Here are some of the highlights.

Beach parking lot

A delegation of Kyle Lane residents spoke about issues arising from tourists who are camping overnight in the Grand Bay West beach parking lot, including trespassing, harassment and garbage. The residents are seeking a sign that clearly prohibits overnight parking in that lot. Mayor John Spencer observed that many towns and communities have a designated spot for overnight campers and that a local entrepreneur is continuing efforts to establish a campground within the town limits. Until that is completed, council is worried about potentially driving away tourists, which benefits the town financially.

Speeding and safety

The Port aux Basques detachment of the RCMP has been using a speed sign to monitor problem areas around town. Mayor John Spencer said the final report revealed that over 60 per cent of motorists on Grand Bay Road consistently exceeded the posted speed limit. Another motorist was clocked at 108 kph on Grand Bay West Road and another was found to be driving in excess of 90 kph on Regional Street. The RCMP will continue to examine ways to combat speedsters.

“They’re going to bring in a specialized piece of equipment to slow people down,” revealed Spencer, who observed the detachment had also increased early morning patrols but were hampered by people posting their location on Facebook. “They’ve got an unmarked car they use as well, but it doesn’t take long for an unmarked car to become a marked car.”

Post office pothole

Complaints about a large pothole at the entrance to the Canada Post outlet continue to come into the town office, but council insists that the problem isn’t theirs. One resident reported that he was told by Canada Post the town would fix the pothole, but council will send out a letter to the Crown corporation noting that it’s on their lot and they are the ones responsible for fixing it.

Block the bus

Council voted unanimously to donate $100 to Peaceful Communities for its annual Block The Bus campaign. The campaign helps to provide school supplies for approximately 60 families in the Southwest coast region.

Crosswalk caution

In order to comply with municipal regulations regarding distancing, ones near the 50 Plus Club and the corner near The Source were removed and a single one painted across Main Street near the Bank of Montreal and Shoppers Drug Mart. However one resident was prompted to write a letter to council after observing that motorists often do not stop for waiting pedestrians and are usually travelling at excessive speeds in that area. Despite the fact that it may violate regulations, council wants to see the crosswalk near The Source painted back in so that people can choose to cross elsewhere.

Matthews Lane

Council may in fact have already assumed ownership of Matthews Lane, way back in 1943. A resident brought forward a deed that revealed the road, which council had thought was a right of way, is in fact town property and therefore their responsibility. Council will examine the document which may clear up the question of ownership of that road once and for all.

Farmers market

Deputy Mayor Todd Strickland noted that a recent food vendor who set up a temporary point of sale across near the war memorial proved so popular that it took him 15 minutes to gain entry into the hospital parking lot. He suggested and council agreed that it might be worthwhile to examine setting up a vendor’s market at a designated spot somewhere in town, like the train museum parking lot, to ease congestion and help promote more vendors and local artisans to the area.

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