A malfunctioning traffic light was causing a bit of chaos at the corner of Connaught and Quinpool this morning, so …
The traffic copBy Richard Reesh Woodbury | Dec 2, 2010
There are a lot of anonymous people in this city, toiling away in jobs that directly affect you. In this new series of articles, we introduce you to them.
Ken Reashor doesn’t have an easy job. As the head of Traffic & Right of Way and Transportation & Public Works Services for Halifax, he’s a lightning rod for criticism. “You have to be prepared to take a lot of flak from people,” he says.
A civil engineer by trade, the native of Florence, Cape Breton took on the role in 2003 and has been on the hot seat ever since. Whether it’s traffic, downtown parking or the winter parking ban, everybody has a gripe. The winter parking ban actually led Reashor to delist his home phone number because of frequent and harassing calls.
Much like a politician is supposed to make decisions that benefit us in the long-term—and not our short-term wants—Reashor faces the same dilemma. “We do not want to be continually trying to build for traffic that we don’t want to have, which is not sustainable,” he says. “If you make it that convenient, then they’re not going to go to transit very easily and they’re not going to bike, walk, carpool and all these other things we want to do.”
Asked if he would tell people what he did for a living at a party, Reashor says he would tell them he worked for HRM. “It tends to monopolize the conversation because everybody’s a transportation engineer,” he says. “Everybody has an opinion on how things should be done and why we’re not doing this or why we’re not doing that.”