PICTOU – Veterans Drive in Pictou’s west end will be a one-way street northbound.
Town council passed a motion by a 3-2 margin at its regular meeting on Monday to make the street one-way from Donromin Terrace to the Pictou Legion and strip mall one-way and for the designation to be reviewed after one year.
The matter, which has been discussed by successive councils and street residents for several years, was among many items that came up under new business on the meeting’s agenda and resulted in considerable discussion before the decision.
Kyle Slaunwhite, the wastewater treatment plant’s chief operator, presented council with four options that included having it remain a two-way street, making it one-way northbound or southbound, or closing the street completely to through traffic.
Slaunwhite referred to vehicle counts that suggested the southbound option would eliminate two-thirds of the traffic and the northbound alternative would reduce it by one-third, but he recommended status quo.
He said building a sidewalk would be a protracted venture due to uneven property lines that would require considerable surveying and land purchases.
By making the street two-way from Donromin to Haliburton Roads, the one-way portion in question was just 50 metres long.
Mayor Jim Ryan began the discussion by repeating is support for the northbound option, which he said would direct traffic on Veterans Drive to the shopping mall, not away from it, reduce traffic and create more right turn options and fewer left turns.
“I think it’s important to reduce traffic and that’s a start,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Dan Currie supported Ryan’s view and said emergency vehicles with their flashers on could still travel both ways on the street.
Coun. Malcolm Houser favoured the southbound option because it would divert more traffic.
Coun. Nadine LeBlanc supported status quo but drew objections from three residents of Veterans Drive who attended the meeting.
The debate hinged on Currie’s motion, which Houser seconded for the sake of discussion and eventually voted for the motion with Ryan and Currie.