Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 26, 2023 – The 2017 HRM Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP) put people who are pedestrians and cyclists before all other road users in a plan to upgrade our streets for the safety and equity for road users of all ages and abilities. We are running three to five years late on the 2017 Council’s unanimous approval of “completed by 2022” plans.
Staff proposals to the Transportation Standing Committee do not address the core aims in the IMP to prioritise active and sustainable mobility and transportation over cars. They further delay another piece of a complete and comprehensive cycling network, already years behind schedule.
The staff recommendation allows pushing completion to at least 2027, at a time when there is a dramatic growth in cycling and use of micro-mobility devices.
Almon Street Bikeway Extension Recommendations
Work on the Liverpool local street bikeway should proceed as fast as possible, as a tactical intervention.
However work on a complete all ages and abilities (AAA) upgrade on Almon from Gottingen to George Dauphinee should take place and be accelerated. Delaying implementation is not acceptable.
Halifax Cycling Coalition asks that the committee direct staff to proceed immediately, using interim tactical methods, if required, for expediency:
- between Gottingen and Agricola: one-way protected bicycle lanes and one-way vehicle traffic;
- from Connolly west to Connaught one-way protected bicycle lanes and one-way vehicle traffic;
- from Connaught to George Dauhinee a local street bikeway is acceptable due to the much lower traffic volumes, if and only if good protection is provided at the intersection itself, speed limit is reduced to 30 km/h, parking of this short segment is eliminated to avoid a dooring hazard and traffic calming is employed.
- As in Councillor Cleary’s successful motion of 30 March 2023, focus on a structured and proactive approach to plan, design, and evaluate infrastructure projects that is consistent with the objectives of the Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP). The plan in the IMP for Almon was sound, yet 6 years later we are still proposing to wait many more years for more analysis.
- Halifax is already a lively cycling city. The municipality is reaching out through seasonal advertising to suggest people new to cycling should try it, and they are.
- The transformational shift to cycling and micro-mobility must be matched with the commitment made in the IMP to deliver a safe AAA network by 2022.
- Cyclist injury incidents were up 20% in 2022 over the 2018/19 baseline levels – a complete reversal of HRM’s Vision Zero commitments to reduce injury and fatal incidents 20% by 2023.
HRM must act decisively and swiftly to deliver a safe network, and support growing enthusiasm for cycling. The Almon Street Bikeway Extension we support here is a step in the right direction, but an interim tactical solution must be installed given delays.
About Halifax Cycling Coalition
Halifax Cycling Coalition is the voice of people who cycle in Halifax Regional Municipality. We work hard to make cycling safe, convenient, and attractive by improving conditions for cycling and providing events and education. We are a non-profit volunteer-run organization dedicated to advocating for safe and comfortable bicycle infrastructure.