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Councillor calls for reduced speeds near popular tourist spot in Shediac, N.B.

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With the Summer heat on full blast this week, people are flocking to the beach in whatever way they can and for those lucky enough to live close to Parlee Beach in Shediac, that means by bike or foot.

Both Gould Beach Road and Belliveau Beach Road saw a steady steam of foot traffic on Wednesday as neighboring cottages, houses and campgrounds made their way to the popular tourist attraction, but the route has some safety concerns.

“50 is too fast,” said Ward 2 Pointe-du-Chene Councillor, Harry McInroy.

“30 is much more reasonable for the conditions, but also there are people who will speed regardless of what the posted speed limit is.”

McInroy has put a call out to the Province’s Department of Transportation asking for both Gould Beach Road and Belliveau Beach Road be reduced from 50 km/h to 30, similar to the main entrance on Parlee Beach Road.

The two roads run parallel to the main entrance and while there’s no access to the beach with a vehicle, both see high foot traffic.

“My biggest concern is obviously I don’t want to see an accident. Nobody wants to see anybody get hurt,” said McInroy.

“When people are on vacation, sometimes you see people riding bikes and it’s kind of obvious that maybe they only ride them a week or two of the year so you have to understand what the atmosphere is like and young children walking down with their parents they’re all excited to go to the beach, carrying their floaty or something like that and they may stray out into traffic. In driving this road you have to be very very careful.”

McInroy posted his email to the Department of Transportation publically this week pointing to previous “traffic speed study statements.”

In his email he said that by lowering the speed limit down to 30 km/h it would “align the speed limits on all of the major access roads from Main Street, Shediac to Parlee Beach and Parlee Beach Campground, and would include the total of the three of the much travelled main accesses to Parlee Beach.”

CTV News reached out to the Department of Transportation (DTI) on this subject.

In an email on Tuesday, spokesperson Jason Hoyt said the department has not received any complaints regarding speeding in the area.

When asked specifically about McInroy’s email on Wednesday, CTV News did not hear back by publication.

DTI did say that “residents can contact the local enforcement agency regarding concerns of drivers exceeding the legal speed limit or driving without proper care and attention. Enforcement is a critical part of ensuring that appropriate speed limits are followed on New Brunswick roadways. Setting appropriate speed limits facilitates enforcement efforts.”

However, McInroy believes reduced speeds are a good first step, and after hearing from multiple residents who have voiced the same concern, he think’s it should be possible.

“The one thing that crossed my mind is the status of [Gould Beach Road] and Belliveau Beach Road may be different in the legal sense from Parlee Beach Road because it’s in a provincial park, but the province owns Gould Beach Road and Belliveau Beach Road and it also makes the law, so I think there’s a way it could be achieved,” he said.

“I’m waiting to see what the response will be.”

CTV News also reached out to the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture to speak with someone from Parlee Beach to see if they’ve heard or seen similar concerns, but did not hear back by deadline.

For more New Brunswick news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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