Nova Scotia

Residents worry Halifax bike lane will come at cost of parking, trees and safety

A proposal for a new bike lane on peninsular Halifax is getting pushback from locals worried about the potential loss of trees and parking.

More public consultation to come by end of year or early 2021

This bike lane on Devonshire Avenue was installed in 2016. Municipal planners want to install a bike lane connecting Lower Water Street to University Avenue. (Nina Corfu/CBC)

A proposal for a new bike lane on peninsular Halifax is getting pushback from locals worried about the potential loss of trees and parking.

The municipality's active transportation planners want to connect cyclists from Lower Water Street to University Avenue.

Six different options were discussed at a meeting Oct. 14, including four involving Morris Street. As many as 30 of 48 trees could be cut down if the street is used.

"Where and how you widen the street would determine how many trees would come down," said Larry Haiven, who lives in the Schmidtville historic district. "I mean we absolutely oppose that."

Another route would use Bishop and Clyde streets — a move resident William Breckenridge calls "just insanity."

"The street is way too narrow and there's too much construction," said Breckenridge, who lives on Clyde Street. "It's not safe."

Breckenridge said a route along South Street could work, but he said planners are not keen on it because it has a steep hill. Planners also seem to prefer a direct route rather than any options that zigzag through the neighbourhood, he said.

Haiven said residents are not opposed to cycling or bike lanes but municipal officials and the committee working on the project are "not taking the concern of the community as seriously as they should."

More public consultation will take place by the end of the year or early next year.

A final recommendation on the new bike lane route is expected to go to regional council by the end of 2021.

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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