The city announced last week that the Macdonald Bridge bikeway project is moving forward, as we expected. They are currently seeking a designer to figure out the approach on the Halifax and Dartmouth sides. In September, council directed staff to do detailed design on a ramp to access the bridge from North Street, in addition to the existing ramp from Barrington Street. This is expected to cost $2 million, but it is the only option that doesn’t require cars to slow down. Council also asked for changes to the Dartmouth side, which we anticipate will include a protected intersection. This is expected to cost less than $200,000, likely less than $50,000.
The much-anticipated improvements to Macdonald Bridge bicycle lane access is being celebrated by the public, as shown by today’s letter to the editor in the Herald:
Bikeway upgrade needed
Over the years, I’ve attended at least two public meetings — maybe more — held to collect feedback on how to improve the Macdonald bridge bikeway, a cross-harbour cycling strip with access challenges universally condemned when it was built 17 years ago.
And I’ve seen risk-taking cyclists, on the Halifax side of the bridge, foolishly slip their bikes under the railing (on a corner) as soon-to-be-surprised motorists head off the bridge and drive down to Barrington Street.
This planned upgrade is a necessary project that’s just one component of the Halifax region’s slowly improving cycling network. But much more needs to be done before the city is a safe, accessible and enjoyable place in which to ride bikes.
Michael Lightstone, Dartmouth
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