Nova Scotia

Marchers urge changes for Hammonds Plains Road

People in the Hammonds Plains area are hoping their walking protest drives home the point that their busy road isn't safe.
Marchers say a section of Hammonds Plains Road is unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians. (CBC)

People in the Hammonds Plains area are hoping their walking protest drives home the point that their busy road isn't safe.

About 60 people marched down a section of Hammonds Plains Road on Sunday, as part of Rally for Lanes.

Minna Harjupanula and other bicyclists say the busy road connecting Bedford and Tantallon is a hazard.

"I'm afraid to bike out here because it's so fast and there's no shoulder and even when you go for a walk you have to walk in the gravel," said Harjupanula.

Hammonds Plains is one of the fastest growing areas in the Halifax Regional Municipality. About 15,000 people live in several large subdivisions.

Gary Karasec, one of the organizers of the protest, said the road is mentioned in one bike map put out by the municipality.

Reported accidents on Hammonds Plains Road:

2007: 122 collisions

(22 injuries, 100 no injuries)

2008: 131 collisions

(23 injuries, 108 no injuries)

2009: 127 collisions

(1 fatal, 29 injuries, 97 no injuries)

2010: 148 collisions

(24 injuries, 124 no injuries)

2011: 67 collisions so far

(13 injuries, 54 no injuries)

"There is a warning that says novice riders use caution. But really what it should say is all riders should wear body armour," he said.

About 14 homeowner associations have united to lobby for change.

Municipal Coun. Peter Lund, who represents the area, took part in Sunday's march. He suggests a parallel trail on one side of the road.

"Essentially it's a paved sidewalk," Lund said.

The proposal would fit in with new laws that came into effect June 1 requiring motorists to give cyclists one metre of space when passing them.