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From dead seal to online vote, Main Street Port au Choix drawing attention to town

["Main Street in Port au Choix also made the CAA's list of Worst Roads in Atlantic Canada."]
["Main Street in Port au Choix also made the CAA's list of Worst Roads in Atlantic Canada."]

Sadie Noel didn’t know what to think when she went on Facebook over the weekend and saw a picture of a dead seal in a pothole on Main Street in Port au Choix.

“I couldn’t see any just cause for the seal to be put in the road,” the town councillor said Monday.

Many others felt the same way and the seal has since been removed.

The man alleged to have placed it in the pothole is said to have done it to create attention about the state of the town’s main road. The Western Star contacted the man, but as of press time he did not respond.

But Noel said there are other ways to get attention.

In the past couple of weeks that has included protests and a petition.

Noel agrees the road is terrible. In fact, the lifelong resident of the town doesn’t use it. Instead, she and most others take a back road to avoid the pothole-riddled street from the Foodland to the council office.

“You can’t take your cars out over it,” she said. “You’d destroy your car because the holes are so deep.”

Last week alone Noel heard of three cars having to get towed out of the holes. The drivers were from out of town and were visiting for a hockey tournament.

The road is maintained by the Department of Transportation and Works, and the town council doesn’t really know what to do to get it fixed, Noel said.

She said the road normally gets bad in the winter, but this is the worst she’d ever seen it and she’s concerned it will only get worse as the spring thaw continues.

On top of the attention generated by the seal in the pothole, there’s something else about Main Street that is causing her concern. A campaign by the Canadian Automobile Association has it listed as one of the 10 worst roads in Atlantic Canada.

As of Monday afternoon, Main Street was at Number 9 on the list and was the only road from Newfoundland and Labrador included.

“We’ve got a nice little town here,” said Noel, who is concerned about the harm the attention could do to the town’s tourism industry.

She wonders if tourists will still come to visit the town and see the historic sites or just drive by.

Noel said it may be wishful thinking, but she hopes something is done soon.

Voting on the 10 worst roads is open until midnight and the final list will be released in early May.

Top 10 worst roads in Atlantic Canada, rankings as of 3:20 p.m. Monday

1.    Pine Glen Road, Riverview, N.B.

2.    Mountain Road, Christmas Island, N.S.

3.    Dawson Road, Hillsborough, N.B.

4.    Brae Harbour Road, Coleman, P.E.I.

5.    New Brunswick 616, Keswick Ridge, N.B.

6.    New Brunswick 105, Upper Kent, N.B.

7.    Louisville Road, River John, N.S.

8.    Gordon Road, Miramichi, N.B.

9.    Main Street, Port au Choix, NL

10.   Clark Road, Summerside, P.E.I.

Source: Canadian Automobile Association

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