Nova Scotia

Pedestrians, cyclists had uneventful 2016 and group hopes to keep it that way

The Halifax Cycling Coalition credits a combination of policy, enforcement and improved infrastructure.

Not a single pedestrian or cyclist was killed by a car in Halifax last year

More Halifax crossings have flags on them, one of the changes that may have reduced the number of deaths to zero last year. (CBC)

A Halifax advocacy group for safe cycling says it's feeling optimistic now that 2016 has ended without a single fatality involving cyclists or pedestrians hit by cars in the city.

"We're excited to see these numbers," said Kelsey Lane of the Halifax Cycling Coalition. "We hope it's the start of a trend towards zero pedestrian or cyclist collisions."

The coalition credits a combination of policy, enforcement and improved infrastructure for safer roadways.

Lane said programs like Heads Up Halifax, which encourages people to look up from their smartphones and be aware of their surroundings, are helping keep people safe. 

As well, the coalition said new bike lanes along Rainey Avenue and Hollis Street are helping form a network of safe spaces for cyclists. 

Bike lanes heading south

"We're seeing a lot of things at the city level like the Integrated Mobility Plan and the Centre Plan which are calling for pedestrian-first environments on our streets," said Eliza Jackson, chairwoman of the cycling coalition. 

"You see more people speaking up, demanding safer roads" 

The city's Integrated Mobility Plan focuses on more changes to Halifax roadways, including expanding the bike lane network into the south end.

The Centre Plan, the third phase of the municipality's urban design project, will touch on everything from the height of buildings to transit options in peninsular Halifax and Dartmouth within the boundaries of the Circumferential Highway.

The city said public consultation for a bike lane on South Park street will begin either this month or in February. That project coincides with a repaving project on the street.