2020-12-23

Hazardous driving habits impacting new Marriotts Cove roundabout

by KEITH CORCORAN

Some westbound drivers navigating the sole roundabout in Lunenburg County are responsible for creating a unique, and dangerous traffic problem.

A civic politician in the Municipality of Chester (MOC) raised the issue during a recent council meeting. Councillor Sharon Church said she's received phone calls, and an email, about the habit some motorists have adopted when approaching the Chester-side of the Marriotts Cove roundabout, near the village.

Some vehicles on Highway 3 approaching the roundabout where Marriotts Cove Road and Wake Up Hill Road intersect are turning left into oncoming traffic, instead of travelling right in a counter clockwise direction around the centre island.

Drivers are using the quick-and-hazardous left turn into the roundabout as a form of shortcut to make a further left turn onto Marriotts Cove Road, said Church, who represents the Marriotts Cove area, told council.

"I've had people [tell me they] are very concerned. They say, 'Oh, we don't go that way anymore, we go up to the [Highway] 103 and go around'," Church reported during the meeting, live-streamed online.

The $1.2 million roundabout opened earlier this year. It was intended as a safer alternative to the tight, sharp curve on Highway 3, which previously existed at the intersection.

Not all motorists know how roundabouts work, Church opined. "Love it or hate it, it's there," she said.

"There are a lot of people in this area who don't know places where there are roundabouts."

It was suggested the province's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) install more signage. "Do not turn left?," Allen Webber, MOC's warden, quipped as some councillors responded with brief chuckles.

"All we can do is contact [TIR], tell them what the issue is, and if they have a method" to see if it can help address the matter, Webber added.

Staff agreed to reach out to TIR for educational materials and add roundabout safety messaging in the municipal newsletter.

Current signage at the Marriotts Cove roundabout meets national guidelines, a TIR spokesman told LighthouseNOW.

"Please follow the rules of the road," Steve Warburton advised drivers in an email to LighthouseNOW.

"Enter the roundabout when there is a safe gap in traffic. As you near your exit, use your right-turn signal to let others know you plan to exit."

Anyone needing a refresher on roundabout rules can go to https://novascotia.ca/tran/roundabout/roundabout.asp on the internet.

Although there are no immediate intentions for such, the Town of Bridgewater approved a downtown and waterfront plan nearly eight-years-ago that included concepts for two roundabouts.

The plan, approved in April 2013, showed renderings for roundabouts at the corner of Victoria Road and King Street, and at the corner where Glen Allan Drive, North Street and Aberdeen Road intersect.

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