We believe in the power of data. Our work is driven by best practices, studies, and learning from around the world about the impact of cycling on cities. This page contains various research conducted by the Halifax Cycling Coalition, including student reports, internal research, briefing documents, and more.

All Abilities Report

We worked with Jillian Banfield, Halifax Bike Mayor, in 2020-21 to develop a report about “all abilities” cycling in Halifax. Jillian designed an online survey where people were invited to respond to 2 questions:

  1. Was there a time when cycling enabled mobility for you or someone you know? For example, riding an e-bike when a sprained ankle made walking difficult. Please share that story or experience.
  2. What does “all abilities” mean to you when it comes to cycling? This can be anything! Examples of aspects you could comment on are the design of a cycling lane, the way you want to feel when cycling, the kinds of interactions you want to have while cycling.

She then analyzed the results and wrote a report and blog post to share them with the public and representatives of the Halifax Regional Municipality. In general, the responses to this survey are a call to action for Halifax to rapidly design and implement cycling infrastructure that is radically inclusive.

HCC Intercept Surveys

We conducted an intercept survey on South Park Street on August 15, 2018. What is an intercept survey you ask? To conduct the survey we intercepted people on the sidewalk on South Park Street and asked them four questions:

  1. What mode of transportation did you use to get here?
  2. What is the purpose of your visit?
  3. What is your home address?
  4. Do you think a protected bike lane on this street would be beneficial?

More than 20 volunteers helped to collect more than 900 survey responses. The survey was designed in partnership with the Dalhousie Transportation Collaboratory (Dal TRAC).

The South Park Street intercept survey report found that 2% of people arriving at South Park Street that day traveled there by bike. The study also concluded that 83% of people who took part think that a separated bike lane on South Park Street would be beneficial.

We conducted the intercept survey in 2018 before a new curb-protected bike lane was installed in 2019. We intend to replicate the survey in partnership with the Halifax Regional Municipality now that the protected bike lane has been installed to see if there is a difference in how many people are arriving at South Park Street by bike.

Establishing a Baseline Report

The Nova Scotia Health Authority published a study titled Establishing a Baseline: Active Transportation and Health Indicators in the Halifax Region in June 2018. At the beginning of the report, Nova Scotia’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Trevor Arnason is quoted as saying:

“Finding ways to identify AT specific indicators and to track and measure progress is essential to encouraging long-term and smart investment in AT.”

We played a role in developing the Establishing a Baseline report by being a member of the Active Transportation and Health Indicators Working Group and providing data for the report.

Counting the number of people riding bikes

We purchased several Eco-Counter tube bike counters that have been used to do short-term counts in various locations in Halifax and Dartmouth, usually on streets where protected bike lanes or local street bikeways are proposed in HRM’s Integrated Mobility Plan. Eco-Counters are devices that connect to tubes that are laid in the street, which count each person that cycles over the tubes. The data is made publically available on a website and the daily totals are tweeted at @bikehfxstats on Twitter, along with stats from permanent bike counters that are cut into the pavement along cycling routes. We have been working with the Halifax Regional Municipality to gather baseline data, with the intention of counting the number of people riding bikes on key streets after protected bike lanes have been implemented.

Research on bike share systems

Travis Fong completed the following research on bicycle share during the summer of 2015 as part of his Bachelor of Environmental Science and Sustainability at Dalhousie University. He concluded that the bicycle share would attract 1,500 annual members and 6,000 day users, and would require a capital investment of $1,500,000 and an ongoing operational subsidy of $86,000 per year. Click here to view the full report.

Research on protected cycling lanes

In January 2015 we released our landmark On Track for 2020 research. This report outlined the potential for protected bicycle lanes on the Halifax Peninsula and in Downtown Dartmouth, outlining a pilot network of 37km of protected bicycle lanes costing $1,500,000, and calls for the city to add 63km of traffic-calmed residential streets. Download a copy now. Many of the HCC’s recommendations from On Track 2020 have been incorporated into HRM’s Integrated Mobility Plan, also known as the IMP. The IMP calls for a minimum grid of bike lanes and traffic-calmed residential streets to be implemented by 2022.

Impacts of Bicycle Infrastructure in Mid-Sized Cities Study

Researchers at Simon Fraser University have been studying the impacts of bicycle infrastructure in three mid-sized Canadian cities; Victoria, Kelowna, and Halifax. The project is being conducted between 2016 and 2022 and some results are already in. From this research, we know that the presence of connected bicycle routes (or lack thereof) was the #1 factor when deciding to ride (or not) for 60% of Haligonians. This finding demonstrates how critical it is for us to implement the minimum grid of AAA bike routes in Halifax.

Subscribe to our mailing lists to receive regular updates on cycling in Halifax.

Select the emails you'd like to receive:

If you’re not already, please consider becoming a member.