Nova Scotia

Report recommends ban on gas-powered vehicles in Halifax parks, trails

Complaints about motorized vehicles on Chain of Lakes trails in Halifax have prompted city staff to recommend a ban on gas-powered, or high-powered electric, bikes and scooters.

Electric-assist bicycles, or e-bikes, would be OK as long as their motor under 500 watts

The only motorized bicycles permitted in Halifax parks and trails would be electric and couldn't exceed 30 km/h, says a recommendation from Halifax city staff. (CBC)

A new report is proposed Halifax municipal council consider banning gas-powered vehicles and electric bicycles that go more than 30 kilometres per hour from city parks and trails. 

The report was prompted by a former municipal councillor, Linda Mosher, who spoke in July 2016 about complaints she received regarding motorized vehicles travelling on the Chain of Lakes trail.

In response, staff looked at policies in other cities across Canada and recommended Halifax enforce its bylaws on vehicles in parks by using the province's definition of bicycles as laid out in the Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act.

Halifax municipal council will be asked to consider a ban on gas-powered bicycles being used in city parks and trails. (CBC)

The bylaw says wheelchairs and bicycles are the only vehicles permitted in parks and on trails. The Motor Vehicle Act definition of bicycles excludes gas and high-powered electric vehicles.

"In order to prevent any public confusion and assist in enforcement, consistency is needed in determining what types of bicycles are permitted in parks and trails. Adopting the definition for bicycle from the Motor Vehicle Act appears to be the most appropriate way to do this," the report says.

"Adoption of the definition for bicycle will enable the use of electric-assist bicycles of a modest size and power, but will not allow the use of gas-powered bicycles."

Some cities, such as Calgary, Windsor, Hamilton, Vancouver and Montreal, do not allow any bicycles in parks and trails unless they are human propelled.

The report will be discussed at council's regular meeting on Tuesday.


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