Nova Scotia

Halifax Cycling Coalition calls for more bike lanes, safer streets

Dozens of cyclists gathered to remember Loresa Makonin, a cyclist who died following a collision on Purcells Cove Road.

'Most people who bike in this city have a story of a close call' - cycling group member

Dozens of cyclists gathered this morning to remember Loresa Makonin, who died after colliding with a propane truck on Purcells Cove Road. (Submitted by Blair Barrington)

Almost a hundred cyclists gathered Saturday morning in Halifax to retrace part of the route taken by a woman killed earlier this month in a collision.

Her death resonated throughout the cycling community, said Blair Barrington, a board member with the Halifax Cycling Coalition, which organized the memorial ride.

"I think most people who bike in this city have a story of a close call, to varying degrees," Barrington said. 

Loresa Makonin was cycling on Purcells Cove Road when her bike collided with a propane truck.

Fred Connors looks at the photo he took of Loresa Makonin 25 years ago. (CBC)

"Loresa embraced cycling the way a warrior would," her friend Fred Connors said at the time.

"She liked the challenge of being a cyclist on the road. She was immensely athletic and immensely competent on a bike."

More protected bike lanes needed, group says

The city needs more protected bike lanes, such as the one being installed on Rainnie Drive in Halifax, Barrington said.

The protected bike lane on Rainnie Drive will look similar to this one, except it won't have a curb dividing the parked vehicles and bike lane, but it will have plastic posts acting as a barrier. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

"It creates that physical barrier and there's no loss of parking," Barrington said.

"Nobody loses. You just get a much safer ride."

Assessing intersections and signaling and improving education would also help, he said.

More mutual respect required, cyclist says

Russell Deveau attended to show support. He cycled to work throughout his 20-year career, he said. 

Cyclist Russell Deveau attended Saturday's memorial ride in Halifax. (CBC)

"A lot of drivers don't realize the cyclists have certain rights, too, and no matter which group you're in, there's always bad drivers or riders," Deveau said.

"People have to learn to respect other people, no matter if you're walking riding a bike or driving."

Police say Makonin was travelling along Herring Cove Road when she collided with a truck making a lawful right-hand turn onto Purcells Cove Road. Police said they won't be laying charges. 

"It's really important that we could come together as a community and show respect and support for her family and friends," Barrington said.

With files from Stephanie vanKampen


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