Cap-Pélé — Hot coffee and fresh-baked donuts — the 2 things driving people to Tim Hortons. And through traffic lights.
Since this summer’s installation of traffic signals at the intersection of Acadie Road and Chemin Bas-Cap-Pélé, the horde of Tims customers have cast a blind eye to the red, yellow and green signals. The popular hangout for caffeine fans has been the site of numerous traffic incidents. For years, drivers swerving in and out of Tim Hortons’ parking lot have caused many accidents and close calls. The new traffic lights were meant to improve the dangerous intersection; however, the intersection is even worse now, with the number of crashes and incidents only going up. The problem is exacerbated during the busy tourist season.
This problem would be fixed if only people followed traffic laws, but the Tim Hortons patrons The Manatee spoke to had their own thoughts on the matter.
“It’s terrible,” sputtered Donalda Landry, a Pizza Delight waitress. “The traffic lights are causing so much trouble,” she said, slurping on a mocha. “They expect me to actually wait for the stupid thing to turn green? That’s idiotic.”
Truck mechanic Bert Ouellette was incredulous. Gripping a box of a half-dozen muffins, he said: “Why would I stop just because of a stupid light when the Tims is right there? It’s right there, man. Right. There.”
Jimmy à Jim Jacob, lobster fisherman, was slightly sympathetic. “Sure, I might cut across 3 lanes of traffic just to jam my giant truck in the drive-thru lane. That’s a hassle for some folks, but the people know me here. They know that when I need my chocolate glazed, I need my chocolate glazed.”
Others are acting in protest, however misguided. “Red means stop,” stated regular customer Émerise LeBlanc matter-of-factly. “And as we all know, red was also Hitler’s favourite colour. I’m not supporting communism.” Her husband Léo-Paul added, “The traffic lights are nothing but a show of force by mayor Debbie Dodier. She wants to control us like slave robots. Like that one summer when she asked us to conserve water. Pretty soon she’ll force us to brush our teeth.”
Tim Hortons representative Margie Melanson understood the problematic history of the intersection. “We at Tim Hortons are fully aware of the safety issues of our location and are always working on improving the well-being of our customers and non-customers. We are taking the situation very seriously. That said, the mornings here are absolutely insane. It’s a raging mad free-for-all. We are actually afraid of these impulsive, reckless people. They’re monsters.”