Feedback mixed on proposed bike lanes in Halifax

Some residents are worried about how the bike lanes will affect parking spots and pedestrians.

Municipality planning north-end, west-end bikeways

Halifax planners are eyeing north-end and west-end bikes lanes. (Robert Short/CBC)

There was mixed reaction Tuesday at a public feedback session to discuss to two proposed local bikeways for peninsular Halifax.

Mike Arthur, who lives on Gladstone Street near the Halifax Forum, welcomed the proposed bike lanes, saying they would make it easier for him to get to a trail he enjoys off Joseph Howe Drive.

"It's only two kilometres away, but there's no safe way for me to bike there," said Arthur. 

Transportation planners have suggested a number of options for both a north-end route that would run between Cogswell and the top of Novalea Drive, and a west-end route that would run along Almon Street between Windsor and Connaught.

Daniel Stone lives in the Westmount subdivision. He worries the proposal will increase collisions between cyclists and pedestrians in his residential neighbourhood.

"Children use footpaths in the area four times a day," said Stone. "So if bikes are going to come down here, it may not be heavy but all it takes is one."

Residents take a look at the proposed routes for new bike lanes on peninsular Halifax. (Pam Berman/CBC)

Some residents worry about the removal of on-street parking to accommodate the bike lanes. But Halifax transporation planner David MacIsaac said that's not an issue for most of the options.

"On one part of Creighton Street only, one of the options could involve some parking removal, but for every other street the parking would remain as it is right now," said MacIsaac.

That came as a big relief to Lee el Rabahi, who owns a store along Isleville Street and was worried about the impact on his business. He thinks a protected bike lane along Gottingen Street would be best.

"Some areas work, some do not," said el Rabahi. "To me it would be safer for everybody."

There will be more public feedback sessions at the Community YMCA on Gottingen Street on Thursday. Online surveys will be available from Oct. 24 until Nov. 16.

Transportation planners hope to make recommendations to regional council in early 2019.