Nova Scotia

Bike lanes on Halifax's Devonshire Ave. would improve safety, city says

Halifax city staff will present a proposal to add curb bump outs and bike lanes to Devonshire Avenue in Halifax's North End.

Proposed curb changes and bike lanes will be presented Thursday evening at the Needham Centre

This is an example of how a bump out, pedestrian ramp and bicycle lane could look. (Dan Burden/Halifax Regional Municipality)

Proposed changes to Devonshire Avenue in Halifax's north end could improve safety for both pedestrians and cyclists, city staff say.

Staff are recommending curb extensions — or "bump outs" — be added to intersections along Devonshire, said Hanita Koblents, an active transportation co-ordinator for Halifax. 

"Devonshire is overbuilt. It's very wide open, so as a result the average speeds are quite a bit higher than they should be," Koblents said Thursday.

"By bumping out the curb, we'll be reducing the pedestrian crossing distance and also making the pedestrians more visible."

The bump outs would mean reducing Devonshire from four lanes down to two lanes, but parking would not be affected, she said. Narrowing the street should reduce speeds and that would make it safe for those who use the new bike lane, she said.

The painted bike lane would start at Isleville Street, go down Duffus Street onto Devonshire and end at Barrington Street.

Proposed changes to Devonshire Avenue in Halifax would mean bicycle lanes between parking and vehicle lanes. (Halifax Regional Municipality)

"We realize Barrington isn't a great place to bike, but it is the entrance to two major employers in the city: [Department of National Defence] and the Irving Shipyard," Koblents said.

Devonshire Avenue will be re-paved next year, so the bike lane and curb extensions could be done at the same time.

Details of the plan will be outlined at an open house Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Needham Centre. The proposal will go to regional council the first part of 2016.

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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