Nova Scotia

Halifax bike parking spot repeatedly vandalized

Bike parking installed on Cornwallis Street last week has been vandalized repeatedly.

The bike corral has been hauled off the street and damaged three times in one week

The Cornwallis Street bike corral is not secured to the street permanently because it is a pilot project. (Stephanie vanKampen/CBC)

Halifax's newest bike parking has been vandalized repeatedly since it was installed on Cornwallis Street last week.

The five-piece bike corral weighs around 120 kilograms and would be extremely difficult to move, according to Kelsey Lane, executive director for the Halifax Cycling Coalition. 

Lane said the bike corral was moved off the street and on to the sidewalk three times in five days.

The heavy wooden planters that both weigh the corral down and mark its location were tipped over and chipped.

Lane said nearly every time, a silver Volkswagen station wagon was parked in its place. 

'Disheartened'

"We were very disheartened to see that," said Lane. "Especially since this is a piece of infrastructure that the community wanted, that the community voted for, and then you have one person coming and taking it out for their own purposes." 

The bike corral cost more than $3,000 and was paid for through the municipality's District Capital Funding program. Lane said the program allows community members to vote for projects they would like to see realized.

Lane said the Halifax Cycling Coalition received positive feedback from business owners and people living in the area before applying for the funding. 

Pilot project

"Within 10 minutes of putting the racks on the pavement, we saw six to eight bicycles come and park there," said Lane.  "It was astounding, we were really, really inspired to see this." 

Lane said the coalition has a permit from the municipality to install the bike parking, which takes up one street parking space and provides up to 12 bicycle parking spaces.

The corral is a pilot project, intended to last just a few months, until winter. Lane said because it's a pilot project, the permit does not allow for the corral to be drilled into the pavement and secured. 

Cameras coming

The cycling coalition has alerted the Halifax Regional Police about the vandalism, and intends to set up video cameras to catch the vandal in the act next time. 

"We tried to take the softer approach initially, just informing the owner of the vehicle that this is a legitimate project," said Lane. 

The coalition has left notes on the bike corral and on the silver car that parks in the space. 

"We're really replacing one spot for 12 bicycles to be able to park there. It's really not that much to ask," said Lane.