Top News

Kensington town council discusses options for Commercial Street and Broadway Street North

A vehicle carefully turns left onto Broadway Street North from Commercial Street in Kensington. The town council discussed possible changes to improve this intersection at its recent monthly meeting. This turn is increasingly difficult when the parking space in front of the Kensington Food Basket closest to the corner is occupied.
A vehicle carefully turns left onto Broadway Street North from Commercial Street in Kensington. The town council discussed possible changes to improve this intersection at its recent monthly meeting. This turn is increasingly difficult when the parking space in front of the Kensington Food Basket closest to the corner is occupied. - Jason Simmonds
KENSINGTON, P.E.I. —

Kensington town council is ready to address a dangerous corner that police chief Lewie Sutherland describes as a “recipe for disaster”.

Sutherland, councillors, Mayor Rowan Caseley and chief administrative officer Geoff Baker discussed the intersection where vehicles turn off Commercial Street by the Kensington Food Basket and C&B Corner Café onto Broadway Street North for over 20 minutes during council's recent January meeting. Caseley raised the subject in his monthly report.

“It’s a daily occurrence of nearly having accidents there,” Sutherland told council. “People can’t see.”

Sutherland explained the biggest problem is for vehicles heading west by the Food Basket. He noted reduced visibility results from vehicles parked closest to the corner, especially when the parking spot next to the corner in front of the Food Basket is occupied.

“You have to get out in the road to see, and it’s too late sometimes,” added Sutherland.

One of the options discussed is to make Commercial Street a one-way street from Broadway Street North to Woodleigh Drive.

Sutherland feels “that makes a whole lot of sense.”

He said this option would require getting used to, but one advantage is there will be no loss of parking spaces. He said another possibility to make the intersection safer is to remove a parking spot in front of the Food Basket and move the handicap zone back from the corner.

“If we did that, you could see,” said Sutherland.

The police chief added vehicles parked near the stop sign on the north side of Commercial Street is also a problem.

A vehicle drives down Commercial Street towards Broadway Street North from Woodleigh Drive in Kensington. The town council discussed a couple of changes to that area at its monthly meeting recently. One of the suggestions is to make Commercial Street a one-way street towards Woodleigh Drive. - Jason Simmonds
A vehicle drives down Commercial Street towards Broadway Street North from Woodleigh Drive in Kensington. The town council discussed a couple of changes to that area at its monthly meeting recently. One of the suggestions is to make Commercial Street a one-way street towards Woodleigh Drive. - Jason Simmonds

 


Disagrees

Baker disagreed with converting Commercial Street into a one-way street. He said there would be a “much more intense concentration of traffic at each intersection.”

He noted the intersection at Woodleigh Drive and Commercial Street sometimes is congested with lineups for the Tim Hortons drive-thru. He also worries about speed.

“I think we have an average speed along Commercial Street of about 19 kilometres an hour," said Baker. "I think if you convert that to a one-way, you can rest assured that’s going to go up. 

"I don’t believe any business along there is going to be happy with converting it to a one-way.”

Baker agreed with Caseley’s recommendation in his report to improve visibility at the intersection.

He said except for the Commercial Street and Broadway Street North intersection, Commercial Street is probably one of the safest streets in Kensington. Baker added Commercial Street is narrow, which results in people slowing down and typically giving way to oncoming traffic. 

“It’s a daily occurrence of nearly having accidents there. People can’t see.”

- Lewie Sutherland

Baker said the "safest alternative is to modify the street parking spaces.”

Baker asked Sutherland how many incidents in the last couple of years were related to visibility north and south on Broadway Street?

He also inquired how many incidents were related to the narrowness of Commercial Street?

Sutherland answered that “99 or 95 per cent of them at that intersection is visibility.”

Baker suggested the town could meet with the provincial department of transportation to discuss how possible changes could happen.

“It would be helpful, I believe, to have a transportation engineer’s perspective on this as well,” added Baker.

Sutherland said he likes both options discussed, and he told council this needs to be looked at “as soon as possible.”

A truck looks to turn onto Broadway Street North while a vehicle turns onto Commercial Street in Kensington. The town council discussed possible changes to improve this intersection at its recent monthly meeting. - Jason Simmonds
A truck looks to turn onto Broadway Street North while a vehicle turns onto Commercial Street in Kensington. The town council discussed possible changes to improve this intersection at its recent monthly meeting. - Jason Simmonds

 


Consult businesses

Coun. Wade Toombs suggested the town consults with the area businesses.

"I'm not there; it's them that has to deal with our decision one way or another," said Toombs. "If they like one more than the other, that certainly makes me feel better. “You are not going to make everybody happy, but maybe there is one (option) that they can agree with more.”

Everyone agreed that improvements are required as soon as possible. Caseley suggested council gather more information for the next committee of council meeting.

“Basically, what we are doing tonight is starting to talk about what is the best solution with minimal impact that will be reasonably acceptable and try and get something done,” said Caseley. “I agree with the (police) chief – let’s not wait until we wish we had done something. Let’s do something before it is too late.”

Council also agreed to look at two other areas where visibility is sometimes an issue. Those include where School Street meets Broadway Street North and Pleasant Street and Broadway Street North.

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories