No simple solution on Sydney-Glace Bay highway
Province says reducing speed limit or adding traffic signals could make it worse
A recent accident on the Sydney-Glace Bay highway, one of the busiest stretches in Nova Scotia with 17,000 vehicles daily, has sparked another call for further safety measures. Suggestions include adding traffic lights, a turning lane or a reduction in the 80-kilometre-an-hour speed limit, especially near the Kyte's Hill turnoff.
A man on a motorcycle was killed there last Friday in a collision with a car.
But a spokesman for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said Thursday there's no simple solution.
Gerard Jessome said traffic lights at that location are not the answer, and could result in increased collisions, particularly rear-end collisions.
"By putting traffic signals in the wrong location we can increase the number of collisions, rear-end collisions and sideswipes," he said.
"Traffic signals are put to better manage traffic flow through busy intersections, and they must also help improve the traffic flow through a certain area. If there's a deterrent to the traffic flow it can cause problems in a particular area."
He also said a reduction in the speed limit could also cause impatience among drivers.
"With the speed differentials that can cause problems because people tend to travel the speed with which they're comfortable in a particular roadway, and if you do have slower-moving vehicles there you have a greater speed differential."
He also said there's a need to keep traffic flowing.
Jessome said ultimately the answer could lie in closing the current entrance to Kyte's Hill. He said there's a long-term plan to create a new access road to that neighbourhood closer to Sydney.
But he adds it's a complicated project that would take some time to complete.