Nfld. & Labrador

Cafe owner says traffic changes at bottom of Signal Hill safer for customers

The owner of a coffee shop at the base of Signal Hill says a traffic pilot project in the area seems to be reducing many of his safety concerns.

The Battery Cafe's Robert Salsman says new crosswalks, one-way traffic resulting in less aggressive driving


The owner of a coffee shop at the base of Signal Hill in St. John's says a traffic pilot project in the area seems to be reducing many of the problems he's been complaining about for more than a year.

Robert Salsman owns the Battery Cafe on Signal Hill Road; last year he launched a petition to have the city address what he called a disaster waiting to happen due to confusing road rules in front of his business.

The Battery Cafe owner Robert Salsman launched a petition last December to get the City of St. John's to address safety issues for his customers. (Courtesy The Battery Cafe)

Three weeks ago the city brought in temporary changes which rerouted sections of Duckworth Street and Plymouth Road from being two-ways and made them a one-way loop.

Salsman said while it's only been a few weeks, the changes seem to be making a difference in the safety concerns he was worried about. 

"I can say anecdotally that the number of screeching tires and yelling and horns honking at that intersection over the last couple of weeks has decreased — a lot," he told the St. John's Morning Show.

"It looks a little confusing. It's still evolving – [it's] still a work in progress – and some cars are still going the wrong way. But my observation is that the solution is working."

The City of St. John's temporarily reconfigured Duckworth Street, Plymouth Road and Quidi Vidi Road last month to make a one-way loop in the area. (City of St. John's)

Salsman recognizes the changes may not be welcomed by everyone in the area, especially residents who can now only turn one-way when they leave their driveways.

However, he said the new configuration, and the two new crosswalks that have been painted, seem to be working.

"We used to get people walking diagonally across the intersection, now they tend to stay on the crosswalks," he said.

The traffic pilot project is set to end sometime before December, and Salsman acknowledged the new configuration might not work during the winter months.

"Generally speaking overall, the results are positive for both the neighbourhood and for the people who drive through there every day," he said.

Temporary traffic islands were installed at the corner of Duckworth Street and Plymouth Road last month to help guide traffic through the newly introduced one-way loop. (City of St. John's)

With files from St. John's Morning Show