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Pond Shore Road residents call for lower speed limit

Pond Shore Road is an area of town where speeding has become the norm and residents are growing increasingly concerned over their safety.   GOOGLE IMAGE
Pond Shore Road is an area of town where speeding has become the norm and residents are growing increasingly concerned over their safety. GOOGLE IMAGE

“It’s definitely an unsafe situation”

SACKVILLE, N.B. —

Paula Green is scared to pull out of her driveway each morning. The Pond Shore Road resident said she has experienced so many near-miss accidents from cars speeding through her area of town, it’s frightening. And she’s terrified it’s just a matter of time before someone is killed.

“There’s a fatality going to happen . . . and I don’t want it to be me or someone I know,” she said.

That’s why Green has initiated an online petition, asking for residents to support changes that would help make their community safer – ones that include lowering the speed limit, increasing signage, and more vigorous monitoring by the RCMP.

Green said it is common for speeds to exceed 100 kms per hour on Pond Shore Road and for residents who live within town limits this is unacceptable.

“It’s definitely an unsafe situation,” she said. “It’s an issue we’re constantly aware of.”

Green said she often finds herself having to roll down the window and listen for oncoming cars as she heads to work in the morning but she’s still nearly been hit on several occasions. She said by the time the speeding cars reach the crest of the blind hill and see her, it’s nearly impossible for them to react and slow down in time.

She said the last straw for her, and the main reason she launched the petition, was a hit-and-run accident over the holidays where her neighbor was rear ended by a car going at an excessive speed. She said her neighbour had slowed to turn left into his driveway and a truck came over the hill and hit him. She said the car was badly mangled and her neighbor is lucky to be alive.

The change.org petition has about 65 supporters to date and is growing daily.

Green said she recently returned to Sackville after living away for more than 20 years and purchased the home across the road from her parents on Pond Shore Road. Having grown up in the area, Green recalls the area wasn’t even safe back then to run or bike due to the speeding cars. Those safety concerns have only continued to grow with increased development, she said.

“There are now 18 kids living along the small stretch of road between Uphill Drive and the blind hill just past my driveway at 100 Pond Shore. This includes two bus stops. When I grew up, there were just two of us,” she said.

With three children herself under the age of nine, Green said she is angered by the situation.

“Canada Post told us that it's too dangerous to have a mailbox at the end of our driveway due to the blind hill and the speed on the road,” she said. “And the school also told us that it's unsafe to have a bus stop at our driveway for the same reasons. My kids now have to walk along this unsafe road to the next house to get the bus. It's unsafe for the bus to stop, but not unsafe for my five-year-old to walk?”

Green said residents along Pond Shore Road live within town limits and pay taxes accordingly – but cars speed through there like they are on the freeway.

She said she is in contact weekly with RCMP about her concerns but hasn’t noticed any significant increase in their enforcement or monitoring.

The petition calls on the town to: lower the speed limit from 60 km/hr to 50 km/hr in the stretch from Uphill Drive to Mount View Road and from 80 to 60 km/hr from Mount View to Aboujagane Road; to post signage for the blind hill, hidden driveways, bus stops; and for the RCMP to increase their speed radar traps and monitoring.

Cpl. Brian Villers of the Sackville RCMP confirmed police have received complaints about speeding along Pond Shore Road and have made a number of extra patrols there in the past few months.

“However, this is an area that we are going to have to focus more specifically on,” he said.

Villers said RCMP plan to enforce the speed limit more strictly in this area over the coming weeks.

He also urged more people to report the time of day they notice the incidents are occurring, so police can target specific times to be more effective.

“Anytime we get multiple complaints about speeding vehicles within the town or within a residential area, it is a concern and something we want to resolve through education and enforcement,” said Villers.

He said it would be up to the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastrastructure (DTI) to determine if the area would necessitate increased signage or reduced speed limits, since Pond Shore Road is a municipally-designated highway.

This is not the first time this issue has been raised. After residents voiced their concerns back in 2009, the council of the day attempted to address the issue when it requested DTI consider lowering the speed limit. But that request was denied and councillors became even became more dismayed when the town was ordered to remove a number of signs, including the blind hill and windy road signage.

“I think it’s outrageous,” said Coun. Virgil Hammock at the time, “because clearly it’s a curvy road, clearly it’s too fast, and clearly it’s a blind hill.”

Fellow councillor Bob Berry agreed.

“That is a very dangerous section . . . and I think we should find way to force them to somehow cut that to 50,” he said.

Green said while she’s not sure her petition will bear significant weight, her biggest hope in all of this is to simply urge people to slow down, no matter where they are in the community.

“I just want people to recognize that we live in a small town and safety needs to be paramount.”

For more information or to sign the petition, click here.

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