January ATAC Update

The Active Transportation Advisory Committee (ATAC) meets once a month. Normally we would meet at Halifax City Hall, but currently we are meeting virtually over Microsoft Teams. We get updates from HRM staff at the meeting about active transportation projects underway in the municipality.

We have a permanent seat on ATAC because we are an active transportation stakeholder. The seat is normally filled by our Executive Director, or sometimes a board member of HCC. The meetings are an important way for HRM staff to share information with the public. Normally anyone can attend and observe the meeting, but for now, the meetings are happening virtually and only members of the committee can participate. The meetings are not being broadcasted for others to watch.

We wanted to share some of the information we received with you at the January ATAC meeting since the meetings are closed to committee members only. The meeting took place on January 21st, 2021.

HRM staff shared general updates about active transportation projects in HRM and an onboarding presentation for new committee members. You can view the agenda and staff presentations on the HRM website.

Active Transportation Staff Update

David MacIsaac, Active Transportation Supervisor at HRM, provided updates from his department. There were no presentation slides. These are our notes:

  • They’re doing a lot of work to get the capital budget ready for council consideration – David will talk the committee through the active transportation budget when it becomes public
  • Active Transportation Plan for Bayers Lake Business Park is underway – info on Shape Your City
  • Functional planning for connecting the Woodside ferry terminal to the Shearwater Flyer Trail is underway. There is a 3km gap on Pleasant Street. This is one of the next projects that will be out there for public engagement so stay tuned!
  • Peninsula South Complete Streets project will be out for public engagement soon too
  • Community Active Transportation Grant Program – issued proposals for AT capital projects, launching education and promotion grant program this spring and they will host a webinar with groups who might apply. David will invite everyone on the ATAC committee to the webinar.
  • Collaboration with the Province of NS – the province is doing engagement to determine future user groups for Shearwater Flyer Trail (owned by Province, operated by trail association), trail association asked the province to restrict ATV use on the trail
  • Larger studies and policy development coming to council soon – making recommendations to council soon about shared micromobility and rural active transportation approach
  • Reports coming to Transportation Standing Committee/community council/regional council – report asking council whether or not HRM should take on operation and maintenance for three AT facilities (St. Margaret’s Bay, BLT, and Shearwater Flyer), AT crossing at Highway 101, exit 2, report to Dartmouth Marine Community Council on the Dahlia-Oak-Crichton local street bikeway, report on Rural Active Transportation Framework, report on the extension of active transportation facilities in Kings Wharf (downtown Dartmouth)
  • Projects constructed recently – South Park Street protected bike lane phase 2, new signals at Coburg-Vernon-Seymore (Vernon-Seymore local street bikeway)
Rural Active Transportation Framework

Megan Bakos, Active Transportation Planner at HRM, presented about the upcoming Rural Active Transportation Framework and their work on it to date. There is currently no clear way for rural areas of HRM to get active transportation upgrades. The framework being developed is meant to provide clear and flexible criteria to allow for adding active transportation infrastructure (sidewalks, paved shoulders, bike lanes, multi-use trails, etc.) in rural places.

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