By Craig Westcott/November 4, 2022
At least one CBS councillor is getting a little alarmed by the number of motor vehicle accidents on Peacekeeper’s Way.
“It’s another week and another motor vehicle accident on Peacekeeper’s Way,” councillor-at-large Joshua Barrett pointed out to his colleagues at the Tuesday might public council meeting.
“I have to say it’s incredibly concerning to see the number of collisions that have occurred this year on the highways. It was a very refreshing reminder when we got elected last year that the number one priority for the Town of Conception Bay South is the safety of residents and staff,” Barrett added. “I’ve been chatting with our fire chief over the past few days and for 2022 our fire department has responded to a total of 12 motor vehicle accidents to date on Peacekeepers Way. That includes five cases with injuries and at least one fatality. And depending on the accident, this could be multiple vehicle collisions or an ATV collision, or a motor vehicle and pedestrian collision. These are incidents our fire department has responded to. I’m sure provincial authorities have likely responded to other events as well.”
The bypass links the Manuels Arterial Highway with exits and on ramps at Long Pond, Foxtrap, and Legion Road before spilling onto Route 60 at Seal Cove. It was finally completed in January 2014 at a cost of more than $25 million. It was originally supposed to be a four-lane divided highway like the rest of the Manuels arterial, but the PC government of the day opted to make it a two-lane highway with oncoming traffic because of the cost that would have been involved in twinning it. A major problem with the highway, in addition to the high-speed limit the government has allowed for the two-way traffic, is the shortness of the merge lanes onto it from the feeder roads. There are also few areas that are marked for passing. Because the road is so heavily used, it’s inadvisable to try taking advantage of the short passing areas. The road has seen a number of serious accidents since its completion including some that involve fatalities.
“I know that these incidents are typically classified as accidents, but I believe in most cases accidents are preventable, if we’re adhering to the rules of the road,” Barrett said. “So, for residents, I would like to encourage you to please be safe as we go across our town. I know there are a number of blind turns, and we don’t always know what’s on the other side, so let’s proceed with caution.”
Barrett said CBS is a growing town and is seeing an increased level of traffic.
“I’d like to join our fellow MHAs in asking the Province to consider improving and enhancing the safety of Peacekeepers Way,” he added. “It’s a tremendous asset for the town, but I want to make sure we ensure it remains an asset and not a liability, or unsafe for fellow residents.”