Halifax begins consultation process for bike lanes
It seems a lot of people in Halifax have a lot to say about proposed new bike lanes in their neighbourhoods.
The first in a series of public meetings on the city’s plan to add bike lanes in the north end attracted quite a few people, including Lee Elrabahi, who has been running the Hydrostone Groceteria for 16 years.
A steady stream of loyal customers make their way to the corner store, often pulling up out front, where a 15-minute time limit is usually more than enough.
These days, though, the owner's a little concerned about parking -- with good reason.
As part of its Integrated Mobility Plan passed last year, the city has refocused priorities to walkers and cyclists, introducing ever more bike lanes and shared paths.
Dozens gathered at the Forum on Tuesday to hear the latest proposals for the north and west ends.
Less than a block away, the CNIB is disappointed to hear protected bike lanes may be in the works for their part of the street.
“I assume people won't even be able to pull up in front of CNIB and let people off now,” said Shelley Adams, the children and youth program lead for the CNIB.
But the city insists nothing is written in stone right now, and, in many cases, bike lanes will naturally evolve by simply slowing traffic down.
“Most of the facilities that we're showing here are local street bikeways and those are traffic-calmed streets where the bikes and the cars share the road,” said David MacIsaac, HRM’s active transportation supervisor.
“If we have streets in our city that eight-year-olds and 10-year-old and 15-year olds can't bike on, we don't have safe infrastructure,” said Halifax Regional Coun. Shawn Cleary.
Elrabahi was glad to hear the news at the information session.
“We're not gonna lose any space - any parking space - everybody will continue the business as usual,” he said.
The second session at the Halifax Forum took place at 6 p.m. Tuesday night, and there are two more at the YMCA on Gottingen Street on Thursday.
Wednesday, an online-survey will start on the city's website as it seeks even more input into this new round of bikeways,
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Bruce Frisko.