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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Speeds remain steady on Gottingen

Controversial bus lane doesn’t appear to have impacted driver speeds, despite the fears of local business owners.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 3, 2019 at 3:48 AM

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Average traffic speeds on Gottingen remain the same, and are even a tiny bit slower, now that HRM has installed the street's much-discussed bus lane.

According to the city's own internal numbers, north-bound traffic from Uniacke to North Street is moving on average at 52 kilometres per hour. It’s the exact same speed that HRM recorded on Gottingen back before construction on the transit priority measure began last June.

Southbound traffic from Uniacke to North, meanwhile, has slowed marginally from 50 to 49 km/hr, while speeds from Falkland to Cornwallis have slowed from 44 to 43km/hr in both directions. Those figures are to the 85th percentile and an aggregate of all vehicle types travelling the road.

“As you can see in the table below the operating speed has effectively stayed the same since implementation of TPM,” Erin Blay, service design and projects supervisor writes in an internal email. “What I don’t have (yet) is the disaggregated data by vehicle type. We hope to have this shortly.”

The bus lane has been criticized since its inception by local business owners and community members for potentially creating an unsafe, high-speed corridor along a street also home to storefronts and residential properties.

CTV Atlantic cited the bus lane as a potential factor in the death last month of Thomas "Willard" Comeau. It was later reported that Comeau was struck by a truck driver reportedly blinded by the sun.

“This has always been a pedestrian-oriented commercial district with a lot of residents out, and I know there have been other accidents lately, so this is very tragic and I want to know more about what happened,” Patricia Cuttell Busby, executive director of the North End Business Association, told CTV.

But city hall’s numbers suggest the new lane has had little impact on speeds, save potentially slowing drivers down.

City hall collected speed data along Gottingen Street before construction on the controversial bus lane began last June, and then again after the work was completed in December, to make sure the figured weren’t artificially affected by construction work.

As recently reported by the Chronicle Herald, 76 people died on Nova Scotia's roads last year—12 of those being pedestrians. It was the most pedestrian deaths on provincial roads since 13 people were killed in 2006.

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