Clumsy drivers take toll on traffic posts

Two knocked over by vehicles; others defaced or vandalized

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Despite some grim prophecies, all hell did not break loose during the mid-day rush in Iqaluit’s downtown on Nov. 14.

That was when Iqalummiut were first asked to try out new back-in parking spaces along Queen Elizabeth Way, outlined with wooden posts.

The posts are part of a $300,000 pedestrian walkway project, intended to help protect those traveling by foot from lumbering trucks and roaring snowmobiles. Posts were first installed along the roadside of Queen Elizabeth Way and Sinaa Street in September.

Despite this, some pedestrians continue to ignore the poles and walk in the street, rather than outside them.

The pedestrian posts are partly intended to squeeze snowmobiles off downtown roads. Snowmobiles stopping near the Four Corners will also be expected to back into the new spaces.

The poles aren’t popular with everyone. Some have become vandalized and already carry chip marks or graffiti. At least two has been knocked over by swerving motor vehicles.

Some complain that wooden poles don’t belong in the Arctic, overlooking telephone poles that have stood in the town for decades.

City officials stuffed pamphlets with instructions on how to back safely into the new spaces into mailboxes, and posted large signs with pictures near the area.

They’ve also begun to run new, small snow-clearing machines, designed to clear the pedestrian walkways behind the poles.

The city is also discussing introducing parking fines through a new parking bylaw. Currently no fines exist.

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