Macdonald Bridge bikeway project moving forward

proposed macdonald bridge approach

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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