Customers leaving Tim Hortons on Cromer Avenue will soon see new signage.
Left-hand turns will be restricted from the lot onto Cromer Avenue, but only during peek times, according to Grand Falls-Windsor Councillor Darren Finn.
The actual time of the restrictions will be released at a later date.
Tim Hortons owner Duane Sutherland met with the public works and planning committee in late August, and according to meeting minutes, expressed concerns with the restricted left-hand traffic from his lot and the possibility of restricting left-hand traffic from Cromer Avenue into his lot.
All this after a recommendation came from a third-party traffic study completed last year on 12 intersections in town, one of which being where Tim Hortons is located.
At a council meeting in late July, council proposed changes to the configuration of the Tim Hortons drive-thru to improve traffic flow.
At the time, Finn said because most of the possible conflicts come from left-turning traffic, both in and out of the parking lot, limiting one of them was proposed as a solution.
Tim Hortons owner Duane Sutherland took issue.
Now, Finn said, they’ve come to common ground.
“Council didn’t change it’s mind because we still wanted to limit left hand turns, so we agreed to do that within a time frame,” Finn said. “It wasn’t a compromise or change, it was just using common sense. When we really looked at it…why would you limit anything before 7 a.m., there’s no one there. And there’s really not much traffic there after 3 p.m.”
Finn said he suggests customers and traffic on the street will appreciate sensible restrictions.
“We’re not trying to do things to negatively impact the business,” Finn said. “Our sole priority is to protect the public, and if you can make a left-hand turn with not a soul on Cromer Avenue at midnight, then why not make a left-hand turn.”
Sutherland said the majority of the population realizes Cromer Avenue is a busy street, and most have enough sense to realize crossing two lanes of traffic is not a good situation.
“The Town seemed more sensitive to our particular location so what our recommendation was, since most people don’t turn left during those crazy times, that they put up a sign that would limit the traffic,” Sutherland said. “Outside of those time frames, Cromer Avenue is not that busy, and it’s really not that difficult to cross traffic.”
But it’s the same situation if you were leaving parking lot on the other side of the street and turning left, Sutherland said.
“The Town saw it as a concern, even though I think that it doesn’t happen that often because most people have enough sense to know it’s easier to turn right and get into a safe lane and then turn around, or to go out Pinsent and turn around,” Sutherland said. “But for maybe those few people that don’t have that common sense, I’ve suggested we put up that sign and maybe they would look at it and think twice about turning left.”
Sutherland has also been doing work with doubling ordering lines and stations, which will increase the holding lane by six vehicles, and also result in moving vehicles into the lot from Cromer Avenue more efficiently, the minutes from the last council meeting stated.
Municipal Police Constable Pete Cornick said he is hoping that will help.
“A lot of other Tim Hortons have done it and have met with some success in freeing up the traffic off the roadway a little bit and still providing a good service to their customers,” Const. Cornick said. “That may work for us, we’re hoping it will.”