Cyclists present Crosstown-Connector

The Halifax Cycling Coalition is asking the community for feedback on its plan to encourage bicycling around Halifax.

by Rawb Leon-Carlyle

Agricola St. is the main proposed route of the Halifax Crosstown-Connector. The addition of bike lanes would mean a major reduction of on-street parking. (Rawb Leon-Carlyle Photo)
Agricola St. is the main proposed route of the Halifax Crosstown-Connector. (Rawb Leon-Carlyle photo)

The Halifax Cycling Coalition (H.C.C.) held a public meeting Thursday asking the community for feedback on its plan to encourage safe bicycling around Halifax.

“We’re here to talk about one route,” said key presenter David MacIsaac, “but every time I think about that one route, I’m thinking about how can it fit into what we’re going to have with the overall network here.”

The Crosstown-Connector project would create bike lanes connecting Halifax’s south end to the north end, and possibly to bike lanes on the Bedford Highway.

The proposed route, presented on the H.C.C.’s website, runs from Young Ave and through South Park St. in the south end, and runs along the length of Agricola St. in the north. However, this route is one of four routes for the Crosstown-Connector that were discussed in Thursday’s meeting.

Members of the community discuss the Windsor connector route. (Rawb Leon-Carlyle Photo)
Members of the community discuss the Windsor connector route. (Rawb Leon-Carlyle photo)

The meeting saw more than 100 people in attendance. Those present included Councillor Dawn Sloane and other councillors, as well as a few business owners from Agricola St. who often interrupted the presentation.

Participants were encouraged to give their opinions on the different proposed routes, referred to as Connaught, Windsor, Novalea-Gottingen, and Agricola.

One key issue in the meeting was parking space.

MacIsaac said that setting up bike lanes on Agricola St. would mean getting rid of 87 parking spaces north of North St. Those at the meeting reacted to this with a chorus of groans and low whistles.

A few business owners from Agricola said the reduction of parking spaces will mean fewer customers. However, the H.C.C. argues that increased cyclist traffic might mean even more business for Agricola.

Aside from parking spaces, the proposed routes were evaluated based on the complicity of the intersections, width and slope of the roads, traffic, and how well the bike paths would connect to existing or future paths.

Local street bikeways were proposed as a fifth alternative to the above routes, and involve using signage and traffic calming to turn residential roads into mixed-use roads. On these routes, motorists can expect to encounter heavy cyclist traffic and would accommodate cyclists at heavy intersections.

The H.C.C. will meet again for a similar public meeting at Maritime Hall at the Halifax Forum on Tuesday, April 3.

Maps of the four proposed Crosstown-Connector routes
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