Nova Scotia

Don't widen Bayers Road: residents

Halifax regional council is facing a roar of disapproval over a plan to widen Bayers Road.
Many residents oppose the plan to widen the busy road. (CBC)
Halifax regional council is facing a roar of disapproval over a plan to widen Bayers Road.

More than 200 people packed a public meeting Wednesday night. Many don't want more cars travelling through their neighbourhood.

"Folks, let's put it to rest. Let's not change Bayers Road," said Roy O'Hearn, earning him a round of applause from the crowd.

O'Hearn has lived along the busy route in Halifax's west end for 30 years. He says the area is already suffering and he's not interested in dealing with any more traffic.

Municipal traffic planners say an extra lane is needed by 2015, but six lanes of traffic could be in place within 25 years to deal with the congestion.

Jenna Musgrove fears for the children who would have to cross a wider Bayers Road to get to school.

"I don't like the fact that my child has to cross four lanes of traffic. Having to cross six lanes of traffic that may be speeding at a quicker pace, I'm uncomfortable with [that]," said Musgrove.

One extra lane could be added by 2015. (CBC)

Opponents to the plan got a boost from homeowners in the Chebucto Road area, whose road was widened a few years ago.

"If this project goes through, people will be coming off [Highway] 102 and still thinking that Bayers Road is a highway because it will look like a highway," said Jim Gill.

Janice Stephenson was one of several presenters who called for a better transit system, as well as more bike lanes and walking trails.

"We all have to get out of our cars. The issue is how do we get people to do that," Stephenson said.

Halifax regional council is expected to vote on the issue later this month, but the municipality has already bought a few properties on Bayers Road in case. 

Mayor Peter Kelly has come out against the plan to widen the busy road.

"In my opinion, this is not the way to move forward. Instead, we should be exploring alternative ways to smooth traffic flow, ones which won’t involve the destruction of up to 80 private properties or end up costing taxpayers more than $20 million," Kelly said in a letter on the municipality's website last month.