Tables laden with various goods are often set up by sellers on the property, once home to a service station and owned by Irving Oil. The property is located at the base of Reeves Street, a busy four-lane provincial highway, on the outskirts of town.
Residents of Embree’s Island have long complained that the sales represents a hazard to them as they enter and exit the subdivision, reducing visibility of oncoming traffic and resulting in several near-miss accidents.
“We’ve been hearing concerns from residents from the area, not only this council, but previous councils as well,” town CAO Terry Doyle said in an interview.
Town officials have discussed the issue with representatives of Irving Oil as well as the RCMP. They have indicated they don’t intend to put up fencing or take any other measures that might also serve to obstruct traffic in the area, Doyle said.
Following a recent council meeting where the issue was discussed, the town issued an advisory that the sales at the Irving property are not authorized in accordance with its vending bylaw. As an alternate location, the town invited vendors to set up at the nearby town-owned Prince Street Park area, adjacent to Granville Street.
The temporary location is intended to offer a safer environment for residents, vendors and motorists.
Prince Street Park is visible from the Irving property and is also visible from Reeves Street.
“Council thought it was a good compromise, it’s still very visible from the road, there’s safer access so you’re coming off a busy highway onto one of our streets but the street is certainly not as busy as Reeves Street and there is parking available on that site as well,” Doyle said.
The solution is only temporary and in the longer term council intends to look at other possible options, which Doyle said he expects to take place at a future committee of the whole session.
“We really want it to be a gradual change, so it worked out the way that council had wished it to,” he said.