Red light! Iqaluit's first traffic lights cause social media stir
Traffic lights, a first for the capital city, have social media abuzz with sarcasm and disbelief
Work has begun on Iqaluit's Federal Road — and with it, a first for Nunavut's capital: traffic lights.
The project, which began Monday, involves paving a long stretch of the road, from Qaqqamiut Road to Ikaluktuutiak Drive. This stretch is a busy hub in Iqaluit, serving as an entrance to the city from the airport terminal. Traffic is down to one lane in parts of the road while work is completed.
However, it's the lights, which were installed to help with traffic flow during the project, that have locals abuzz on social media. Typically, Iqaluit does not have any traffic lights, making the features a curiosity for residents, rather than the commute-halting nuisance they're often seen as in larger cities.
Some residents took to Twitter to share their disbelief — some pointing out that despite the lights, construction workers were still on site directing traffic flow:
I like how Iqaluit doesn’t trust this new fangled traffic light nonsense and has *three* flag men to back up the machine.—@kivalliqboy
There is a traffic cop who stops you when it's green. Dunno about hopscotch. <a href="https://t.co/mGzweoNqgy">pic.twitter.com/mGzweoNqgy</a>—@Teirersias
While others simply remarked at the novelty of the situation:
Imagining a traffic cop standing there all day making and remaking that stop line with his heel like we as kids for hopscotch _____🚶♂️—@CTFTNobles
Sneak peek: my Iqaluit mayoral candidacy will be based on our yearning for a simpler time before traffic lights and roads that are less than 30% paved.—@kivalliqboy
Guys, a traffic light is blowing up on social media here in Iqaluit, in case you wanted to know where we were at as a society—@will_hops
Permanent lights have been discussed in the city before. They were considered in 2009 as part of a revamp of the city's road system. However, they were ultimately not pursued after concerns the price tag was too expensive for the short amount of time they would save commuters.
"Is it right for us to spend a half a million dollars so I can get home three or four minutes earlier?" asked then-councillor Glenn Williams at a meeting discussing the proposal.
There is no word yet on how long the lights will remain in place, though a release issued by the city stated that paving of the road is scheduled to begin in July and will continue throughout the summer.
With files from Michael Salomonie