Reeves Street lane reduction is a must, mayor says

PORT HAWKESBURY: Government funding for the Destination Reeves Street project is subject to the project advancing in its current form, says Port Hawkesbury’s Mayor.

Destination Reeves Street is a plan that features beautification and façade improvements, along with reducing Port Hawkesbury’s main throughway from its current four lanes down to three.

The highly controversial lane reduction aspect of the project has created debate among town councillors – at November’s regular meeting council defeated a motion to hold a plebiscite for the lane reduction – and is a hot topic in the upcoming by-election for the vacant council seat.

Following December’s regular council meeting on December 4, Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton said council simply can’t remove the plan for the new road design and expect to keep the funding for the remainder of the project.

“If you were to dig out one of those essential elements that hinges on a complete street project, then it would cease to be a complete street project,” she said. “That would probably require a resubmission of a new proposal that would be quite different than the original.”

As Destination Reeves Street stands now, it likely wouldn’t happen if town officials had to resubmit their proposal and make another funding request.

Chisholm-Beaton said the reduction of three lanes will be done as a pilot project, so residents can try the road for themselves, before making an informed decision if they want to keep the re-designed roadway.

“They can actually speak from a place of experience instead of speaking from a place of fear,” she said previously speaking on the project. “We [can] expect our citizens will be empowered by the experience by driving on that road during the pilot phase to make an informed decision.”