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Pedestrian safety should be forefront of Halifax urban redesign, says expert

The manager of active transportation for Vancouver is in Halifax to share his ideas on improved street designs for walking and biking.

'We're also using raised crosswalks and that makes drivers slow down'

Vancouver has incorporated better signals, lighting, curb bulges and wider sidewalks in its 2040 urban transportation plan. (City of Vancouver)

The manager of active transportation for Vancouver is in Halifax to share his ideas on improved street designs for walking and biking.  

"We're designing our sidewalks for all ages and abilities," said Dale Bracewell.

Bracewell was brought to Halifax by a pedestrian advocacy group called Walk and Roll, the Halifax Cycling Coalition, the Planning Design Centre and the Halifax Region.

The Walk and Roll group is hoping to learn more about innovative traffic calming ideas to increase pedestrian safety.

In Vancouver, pedestrian bulges, an extension of curbs into the road, are used at intersections.  

"That creates greater visibility," said Bracewell.

"And we're also using raised crosswalks and that makes drivers slow down."

Protected bike lanes more widespread

Meanwhile, the Halifax Cycling Coalition is hoping to learn more about the use of protected bike lanes. So far Halifax only has one.  

The rest of the lanes in the city consist of painted lines on the road.

The wide spread use of protected lanes in Vancouver has encouraged more cycling.

"We're seeing more children, we're seeing more seniors, we're seeing more people actually biking for the first time," Bracewell said

Bracewell is hosting a workshop Wednesday morning for urban planners. 

He is also taking part in a public session called Passion for Place on Wednesday night at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic.  

About the Author

Pam Berman

Reporter

Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to pam.berman@cbc.ca

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