District 9 Residents Express Concerns About Driving Conditions on Egypt Road

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MOPC District 9 Coun. Peter Boyles, Pictou East MLA Tim Houston and RCMP speak with residents following a public meeting Thursday in Hillside concerning driving conditions on Egypt Road. 

A committee of concerned citizens has been established in hopes of getting a guardrail placed along a section of Egypt Road.

District 9 Councillor Peter Boyles hosted a public meeting Thursday at the Hillside Community Hall after hearing concerns from residents in the area about a curvy stretch of road in the area.

About 40 people attended the meeting including Pictou East MLA Tim Houston and Pictou Centre MLA Pat Dunn as well as a member of the RCMP.

“What can be done should be done if we can just get our government of the day to say enough is enough and this should never happen again,” said Coun. Boyles.

Residents at the meeting said there was a recent tragic collision on the s-shaped road and there are numerous other incidents with vehicles that are typically travelling over the speed limit making it dangerous for both motorists and walkers.

Residents suggested that a guardrail should be placed along an s-shaped section of the roadway while others thought straightening the section would be a better and long-term solution. There is some signage in the area indicating that motorists are coming into a curvy section of the roadway, but some people felt there was not enough signage in place.

Trenton Fire Chief Wayne Allain said his department considers it a dangerous stretch of road and said it is usually called out at least once every 12 to 14 months to a tragic collision in the area.

“We have had motorcycles off there, multiple small vehicles and trucks. Something has to be done. The guardrail should at least keep them on the pavement,” said Alain.

The Municipality of Pictou County had a speed sign located in the area which tracked speeds of vehicles for a two-week period in early August. The average speed was 66 km. The speed for the stretch of road which concerns residents is 50 km. About 11,000 vehicles travelled the road over this period and about 10,000 were in violation of the speed zone.

Coun. Boyles has already put in a request that council for the Municipality of Pictou County write the province asking for a guardrail to be put along the Egypt Road. It has not received a response to that request yet.

RCMP Corp. Kim Nippard said she has patrolled the area after speaking with Coun. Boyles but the times she was there, traffic numbers were low. She asked for more data from the Municipality regarding when traffic numbers are higher and will continue to monitor the area. She also said she will write a letter to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal requesting a guardrail be placed along the curvy stretch of road.

“It is not just here, there are a lot of areas that speed, reckless driving, and cellphone usage is a major issue. Last week I had five calls from Egypt Road on speeding and it’s hard because a lot of time you are calling when the speeder is going by and they are gone by the time we get there,” she said.

She said it’s important for people to have a plate number and description of the driver which will help the police investigation. A lot of people who call in complaints also will not give a statement or go to court to testify.

Pictou East MLA Tim Houston said he knows the local Department of Transportation of Infrastructure and Renewal is under the same budget constraints as every other provincial department but continuing to draw attention to the situation is a good way to get results.

“These are the types of stories we can start to put together to build a case,” he said.

He and Pictou Centre MLA Pat Dunn, who is also the Provincial Opposition’s transportation critic, said they will continue to bring the issue to the attention of Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines. The community committee, headed by Robyn MacInnis, will also work with all stakeholders in hopes of seeing a change in the area.

Anyone interested in learning more about the committee is welcome to contact robyn_doyle@hotmail.ca for more information.