Nova Scotia

Bayers Road may soon have up to six lanes

An extra lane needs to be added to Bayers Road by 2016 to deal with all the cars heading downtown from outside the city, Halifax region traffic planners say.
This is what Bayers Road would look like if expanded to six lanes. (CBC)

An extra lane needs to be added to Bayers Road by 2016 to deal with all the cars heading downtown from outside the city, Halifax traffic planners say.

They also think much of Bayers Road, a major route used by commuters as they make their way onto the peninsula, will need six lanes within 25 years.

Fourteen homes would be affected if the street is widened to five or six lanes between the CN rail overpass and Connaught Avenue.

Traffic would whiz right by the edge of Jim Strachan's house if just one additional lane were added. 

Strachan has lived along the route between Oxford Street and Connaught Avenue for more than four decades.

"Well, they were saying six feet off of my lawn," he said Friday. "That would put the sidewalk about 18 inches from my front step."

Bayers Road resident Jim Strachan opposes widening his street. ((CBC))
Strachan can't even imagine what a six-lane thoroughfare would look like, and he doesn't think it's necessary.

He argued that removing some street parking would help the congestion without destroying the neighbourhood.

"No parking on the outbound lane, on the left-hand side going out, from Oxford to Connaught, 24 hours a day and it should be marked 'Tow Away Zone,'" he said.

Jerry Blumenthal, the area councillor, said he'll fight any road-widening plans, but he will support a bus-only lane.

Bayers Road in Halifax could be widened to six lanes in 25 years. ((CBC))
"I mean the biggest thing that's wrong with transit right now is even Express buses have to get into traffic. So, what are you going to do? Put more traffic here?" Blumenthal said.

"The buses are going to have a hell of a job unless they have their own lane."

The city also has long-term road widening plans for other routes. That includes five to six lanes for part of the Herring Cove Road, and an expansion to four lanes for Barrington Street between the harbour bridges.  

In 2010, the Halifax Regional Municipality and the province bought some homes along the route.

Council plans a thorough debate of the road network plan, but that may not take place until the fall.

A consultant's report says there are other options to widening roads, including road tolls to gain access to the peninsula.