Saint John — In June, city worker Claude McMasters painted lines on Charlotte Street as part of the city’s annual street-paining exercise. When he finished at King’s Square, his next assigned street was Germain. Instead of packing up his portable painter, he took a shortcut through the City Market and painted a line down the middle.
“Wasn’t that line always there?” said Nancy Sherman of Jeremiah’s Deli early Friday morning. “I’m sure that line was always there.”
Wally Turnbuckle, who works at Pete’s Frootique and busks with his bongo drums at the top of the broken escalators on his time off, also never noticed the line. “I thought tourists were just getting kinder,” he told this reporter. “I guess I shouldn’t have assumed Americans would become nicer for no reason.” Several cruise ships have been in the port so far this season, and all market vendors interviewed agreed that foot traffic has been much more orderly than in previous years.
Even Mayor Mel Norton was surprised. “You know, I haven’t tripped over any damned baby carriages yet this summer! That must be why.”
Newly retired city manager Pat Woods was not so optimistic. “We’ve noticed problems at the market’s intersections in the past — they’re particularly troublesome. The line helps patrons walking up and down, but when a person wants to cross it or stop and shop, they get confused,” he said. “I think they may have to paint traffic circles, and if those don’t work, they should install stop signs or even traffic lights.”
Deputy Mayor Shelley Rinehart sees this as a money-making opportunity for the city. “We should have a police officer in there ticketing people. If you don’t use proper hand signals, then — whamo — 80 bucks.”
In his brief trip to the market, this reporter observed that traffic control was generally orderly, with only one incident of road rage.