Nova Scotia

Halifax's first protected bike lane could soon be reality

If council approves the new feature on Rainnie Drive near Citadel Hill, work could begin immediately.

Council still needs to appove new cycling feature

The protected bike lane on Rainnie Drive would look similar to this one in Ottawa. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

Halifax could soon have its very first protected bike lane. 

Right now, cyclists and motorists are wheel to wheel in the city where bike lanes are currently marked by painted lines on streets.

A proposal to create a two-way bike lane along Rainnie Drive between the Citadel Hill driveway and Gottingen Street could change that and will be discussed at municipal council meeting Tuesday.

"In this instance it's parking-protected bike lane," said Blair Barrington, a board member with the advocacy group Halifax Cycling Coalition. "So it runs along the passenger side door [of a parked car]."

If approved, work could begin immediately

If council approves the protected bike lane, the project could be absorbed into work already planned for curbs and the intersection of Rainnie Drive and Gottingen Street, part of a $103,086.71 tender awarded to Dexter Construction in early September.

Extra signage costs for the bikeway would total $8,550. 

The creation of a protected bike lane became possible because Rainnie Drive has been turned into a one-way street as a result of the roundabout construction at North Park and Cogswell streets. 

A report by city staff says if this section works well, the bike lane could be extended by 200 metres to Brunswick Street. 

"A connection between Brunswick Street and the Commons is a really important step forward, creating a proper network," said Barrington, with the cycling coalition. 

"So you can get from where you live and where you want to go without being dumped into the middle of a busy intersection."

Halifax officials say a protected bike lane could eventually be created along Brunswick Street. 

There are still plans to do a two-year pilot project involving a protected bike lane on the Dalhousie University campus — but concerns from a food vendor delayed the proposal that was approved by regional council last spring.

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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