Midtown 'AAA' Bikeway Connections

Midtown bikeway routes for investigation (yellow lines)

Yellow lines --> Midtown Bikeway routes for investigation. Blue lines --> Connections to other planned AAA bicycle routes


We are working to build more safe, comfortable and convenient cycling connections for people of all ages and abilities. The Midtown All-Ages-and-Abilities (AAA) Bikeway Connections project will bridge the gap between existing and future AAA bikeways and allow more people to get to where they are going by bicycle.

We want to hear from you about how we can make these streets great cycling routes for everyone. Municipal employees are hosting a workshop-style session where residents will have the opportunity to contribute ideas and shape the future of the Midtown AAA Bikeway Connections Project. We hope that you will join us!



PROJECT UPDATE MAY 1

The online survey is now closed. Fourty-seven survey responses were received, as well as 173 responses to the 'Quick Poll'.

The project team is working to compile the results into a 'What We Heard' report that will be posted here shortly. This feedback will be used to shape a set of concept designs for these bikeway connections through the heart of peninsular Halifax.

A second round of engagement will be held in the next few months with an opportunity to review and provide feedback on these concept designs. Stay tuned for more details!


PROJECT UPDATE APRIL 15

Thank you to everyone who was able to come out to our 2-hr workshop session last week! We hosted approx. 50 people who engaged in small group discussion around high-level bikeway design, preferred routing, and the relative value of various 'Complete Streets' elements. We have done our best to reflect these same conversations in online survey format. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to fill it out (**closed as of May 1).


PAST ENGAGEMENT EVENTS

-- March 13 Pop-Up Tent at Citadel High School Cafeteria (11:30 a.m. - 12:30 pm)

-- March 14 Pop-Up Tent at St Pat's Connector (3 p.m. - 5 p.m.)

-- March 20 Pop-Up Tent at Emera Oval (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

-- April 11 Workshop at Citadel High School Atrium (6 p.m. - 8 p.m.)


WHAT DO WE MEAN BY 'ALL-AGES-AND-ABILITIES'?

By planning our new bicycle facilities for all-ages-and-abilities, we strive for them to be inclusive to anyone who wants to try bicycling. The routes are designed for ages 2 to 102, for new and seasoned riders alike. Comfort is a large factor in determining whether a facility is 'AAA'. Our goal is to build safe, convenient, high-comfort bicycle routes that everyone can use!

Check out the image below to see who we are planning for:



Yellow lines --> Midtown Bikeway routes for investigation. Blue lines --> Connections to other planned AAA bicycle routes


We are working to build more safe, comfortable and convenient cycling connections for people of all ages and abilities. The Midtown All-Ages-and-Abilities (AAA) Bikeway Connections project will bridge the gap between existing and future AAA bikeways and allow more people to get to where they are going by bicycle.

We want to hear from you about how we can make these streets great cycling routes for everyone. Municipal employees are hosting a workshop-style session where residents will have the opportunity to contribute ideas and shape the future of the Midtown AAA Bikeway Connections Project. We hope that you will join us!



PROJECT UPDATE MAY 1

The online survey is now closed. Fourty-seven survey responses were received, as well as 173 responses to the 'Quick Poll'.

The project team is working to compile the results into a 'What We Heard' report that will be posted here shortly. This feedback will be used to shape a set of concept designs for these bikeway connections through the heart of peninsular Halifax.

A second round of engagement will be held in the next few months with an opportunity to review and provide feedback on these concept designs. Stay tuned for more details!


PROJECT UPDATE APRIL 15

Thank you to everyone who was able to come out to our 2-hr workshop session last week! We hosted approx. 50 people who engaged in small group discussion around high-level bikeway design, preferred routing, and the relative value of various 'Complete Streets' elements. We have done our best to reflect these same conversations in online survey format. Please scroll to the bottom of the page to fill it out (**closed as of May 1).


PAST ENGAGEMENT EVENTS

-- March 13 Pop-Up Tent at Citadel High School Cafeteria (11:30 a.m. - 12:30 pm)

-- March 14 Pop-Up Tent at St Pat's Connector (3 p.m. - 5 p.m.)

-- March 20 Pop-Up Tent at Emera Oval (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

-- April 11 Workshop at Citadel High School Atrium (6 p.m. - 8 p.m.)


WHAT DO WE MEAN BY 'ALL-AGES-AND-ABILITIES'?

By planning our new bicycle facilities for all-ages-and-abilities, we strive for them to be inclusive to anyone who wants to try bicycling. The routes are designed for ages 2 to 102, for new and seasoned riders alike. Comfort is a large factor in determining whether a facility is 'AAA'. Our goal is to build safe, convenient, high-comfort bicycle routes that everyone can use!

Check out the image below to see who we are planning for:



Have a burning question about our project?  Type it in the box below and we'll get back to you about it.  Some questions and answers may be posted on the site for others to see!

Q&A

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  • There appears to be an excess of space devoted to vehicle movement lanes in the Willow Tree. Is it part of your mandate to 'tighten up' the vehicle movement lanes and make room for dedicated or protected (preference) cycling lanes?

    wdc asked 8 months ago

    As part of this project, we will be investigating opportunities to make the Robie-Quinpool-Cogswell-Bell (Willow Tree) intersection safer and more comfortable for people cycling, potentially by increasing separation between bikes and cars using physical elements and/or traffic signal phasing.

    In addition to this project, there is currently a planning process underway which will look at introducing transit priority on Robie Street.

    During the next phase of the Midtown planning project, we will be looking more closely at some design options and what is possible using the space we have available in the Willow Tree.  A major factor is that the bikeway design should align with the future transit priority project on Robie. Stay tuned to the next round of engagement to see some potential designs for how to create more bike-friendly conditions at the Willow Tree!

  • Surprised to see Rainnie Drive (somewhat) protected bike lane not shown on the sketch above. Does that mean something or was it omitted intentionally. I'd kinda think it would be an important consideration as an existing piece of infrastructure leading to and from a major employment centre (Downtown Halifax).

    wdc asked 8 months ago

    Hi there,

    The protected bicycle lane on Rainnie Drive was omitted in our promotional graphic for the purposes of helping the routes we are considering for this project stand out. Our focus for now is to strengthen the connections between South Park, Bell, Quinpool, Welsford, Windsor, Allan, Quingate, and Vernon. These are the downtown connections that wrap around the south side of Citadel Hill!

    However, it's important to note that these routes do not existing in a vacuum -- there is surrounding bikeway context that we will come back for in other projects.  These nearby routes and connections include the North End Bikeway project, the Cogswell bicycle lanes as part of the Cogswell district plan, the North Park Street painted bike lanes, the Ahern and Trollope multi-use pathways, and the Rainnie Drive protected bike lanes.

    With all of the routes that converge on this area, we needed to narrow our scope to a manageable size -- we will consider a few connections at a time.  Rainnie is indeed an important connection in the network that helps link the Commons to downtown.  We'll likely consider the more north-westerly midtown route connections as part of the Cogswell bikeway project.

  • Considering what's going to be happening to the Cogswell Lands, are there thoughts about providing protected route from the Midtown area to Cogswell & Barrington, or thereabouts? What are the prominent east - west cycling routes in the Cogswell Plan?

    wdc asked 8 months ago

    The 90% Design Plan for the Cogswell District (approved by Council in late February 2019) includes a protected cycling facility on Cogswell Street between Upper Water Street and Brunswick Street.  This is envisioned as a bidirectional cycle track within a  park-like setting referred to as the Cogswell Greenway.  See below for description:

    The Cogswell Greenway is a linear park with significant amenity area along its length [... that will] provide major pedestrian and active transportation connections through the community.  Sidewalk and a bi-directional cycle track are separated by a planted median with street trees. The sidewalk would be constructed using concrete and the cycle track using asphalt. The planted median area will have paving, sod, decorative planting or a mixture of the various materials.

    The extension of the Cogswell Greenway to the Halifax Commons is a strong recommendation from public engagement as well as from the Gehl report. While outside the scope of the Cogswell District Redevelopment Project, staff and Council recognize the importance of this connection to the greater active transportation network. 

    Staff are currently looking at options to fund the extension of the Cogswell Greenway from Brunswick Street to the Halifax Common at the North Park roundabout.  These options will be presented to Council for their consideration in the coming months.

  • Will the bike lanes take out more parking, like the 90 or so lost on University Avenue? A pilot project they said. Yes sure... Anyone with any foresight would have put the bike lanes on the left side of University Avenue and left the parking on the right. Or put the parking on the left. This I find especially bad for the Rebecca Cohen concerts. No place to park on the street any more. This was probably done so motorists would have to go to paid parking or support taxis. I would like to know how many bikes use that lane especially in the evening and in the winter, especially when it's not plowed... At 75, I am not taking my bike to Halifax... Thank you for your time.

    Rhodes Kellegrew asked 7 months ago

    Hi Rhodes, thanks for your question.  The majority of streets being considered in this project do not have on street parking so impact will be minimal.  However, we still need to decide what type of bikeway will work best to create a safe, comfortable bikeway connection on Welsford Street.  There are some design options that would require some loss of on-street parking, and others that would not require any changes to on-street parking.  This is still up for discussion!  Please let us know what you think at the public workshop (April 11th) or in the online survey (April 12 - 30th).

    Here are some notes from my colleague about the University Ave project:

    • A total of 43 parking meters were removed from University Avenue
    • 27 metered parking spaces were added in Dalhousie’s new parking lot beside LeMarchant Place and two metered parking spots on Seymour Street
    • The net loss of on-street parking in the area was 24 metered parking spaces
    • There was no loss of on-street accessible parking (9 spaces were moved around the corner at Edward, Henry and Seymour and to the area in front of the Killam Library)
    • There are 167 parking spaces in the Central Services Building parkade on Seymour Street and 86 spaces in the McCain building parkade that are free on evenings and weekends
    • Dalhousie installed a permanent bike counter in the westbound bike lane in front of the Arts Centre – it counted 718 bikes in Dec 2018, 835 bikes in Jan 2019, 607 bikes in Feb 2019 and 1,231 bikes in March 2019.
    • The weekday average volume for the Eastbound and Westbound bike lanes combined, from May to mid-October 2017, was 240 cyclists per day. The peak eastbound average weekday volume was 179 cyclists/day in September 2017 and the peak westbound average weekday volume was 149 cyclists/day in October 2017.  The data is available to the public through the DalTRAC portal: http://www.eco-public.com/ParcPublic/?id=4638


    AT staff will begin planning the permanent University Avenue bikeway in spring 2019 and will look at other possible configurations of the street that will better accommodate loading along University Ave without having vehicles stopping in the bikeway.  Stay tuned for future engagement on this project!


  • Is the work that was done in the Ahern right of way part of this concept?

    wdc asked 8 months ago

    The Midtown 'AAA' Bikeways project will consider transitions from the bikeway on Bell Road to the newly installed multi-use-pathway on Ahern (in both directions).  To answer your question, the actual facility on Ahern is not part of this project.

  • Did the South Park Street bikeway design the entire South Park, Sackville, Bell Road intersection or is it in your mandate to do the Bell Road bit? If the former, what is the design?

    wdc asked 8 months ago

    The South Park Protected Bike Lanes project (scheduled for construction this spring/summer) did not include the intersection of Sackville and Bell.  Improving this intersection for people walking and cycling will be considered as part of the scope for this Midtown 'AAA' Bikeways project.  If you have any design ideas please let us know at the workshop (April 11th) or in the online survey (April 12 - 30th)!

  • "The NS Motor Vehicle Act currently permits *active* curbside loading in a painted bicycle lane. We acknowledge that this is sometimes abused by people stopping for long periods of time or parking in the bike lane. Enforcement is challenging. " This seemed weird so I looked in the act and didn't see anything about active loading being an exception to parking in a bicycle lane. The only exception was this "(2) It shall be an offence for the driver of a vehicle to park the vehicle, whether attended or unattended, in a bicycle lane, except in compliance with the directions of a peace officer. R.S., c. 293, s. 143; 2010, c. 59, " the sections on the loading and passenger zones also didn't provide for any exceptions to the no stopping signs on hollis.

    MikeE asked 7 months ago

    Hi Mike.  Thanks for your curiosity on this.  I confirmed with my colleagues again that the NS Motor Vehicle Act does indeed permit active loading in a painted bike lane.  This comes from the interpretation of two pieces from the MVA:

    143 (2) “It shall be an offence for the driver of a vehicle to park the vehicle, whether attended or unattended, in a bicycle lane, except in compliance with the directions of a peace officer.”

    and the definition of park/parking is defined as:

    2 (am) “parking” means the standing of a vehicle whether occupied or not, upon a roadway, otherwise than temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading, or in obedience to traffic regulations or traffic signs or signals"

    This allows business owners and residents to park in ‘no parking zones’ or in this case, bicycle lanes while in the process of loading and unloading.

    Installing protected bicycle lanes will prevent the majority of these conflicts as vehicles cannot physically block the lane!  I hope this helps.

  • I applaud the effort to establish biking infrastructure in the city but I question the value of bike lanes without a commitment to enforce them. I'm thinking about the consistent use of the Hollis St bike lane as a loading zone. Why should I spend my time providing input when the city has not shown a commitment to this? To be clear I would love to use my bike to get around the city. I have in other cities (Montreal) but I don't here. It's not safe for me.

    CathyMcK asked 8 months ago

    Hi CathyMcK! The NS Motor Vehicle Act currently permits *active* curbside loading in a painted bicycle lane.  We acknowledge that this is sometimes abused by people stopping for long periods of time or parking in the bike lane.  Enforcement is challenging. 

    The Hollis Street painted bike lane has been a learning experience for us -- we know now that installation of painted bike lanes in an area with high demand for curbside access (loading of people and/or goods) is not an appropriate treatment.  In these cases, a physical separation between the bike lane and the roadway is required to maintain a consistent treatment and prevent blockages. The Downtown Bikeways functional planning project took place in 2018 and will soon recommend protected bicycle lanes on Hollis Street for Regional Council approval.  This will create a safer, more comfortable cycling experience for people of all-ages-and-abilities.  For more information on this project please go to: https://www.halifax.ca/transportation/cycling-walking/expanding-network/fall-2018-regional-centre-bikeway-update#downtown_bikeways

    The Midtown 'AAA' Bikeway Connections project will also consider protected bicycle lanes as a way to combat blockages and promote a comfortable, consistent cycling facility.

  • Can you fix the Commons paths so I don't have to ride through inches of water due to poor drainage?

    Test asked 8 months ago

    Yes, improving the pathways on the Common (including alignment and drainage) is included as part of the forthcoming Halifax Common Master Plan.  See the following link for more information:  https://www.halifax.ca/about-halifax/regional-community-planning/regional-plan/mainland-common-master-plan .  The Midtown 'AAA' Bikeway Connections project focuses on helping people transition on and off of the Common pathways to improve the comfort and connectivity between surrounding bicycle routes.

  • Is an extension of the Bell Road bike lane to the Willow Tree in the works? Then a marked lane through the intersection to connect with Windsor Street would be good.

    peter asked 8 months ago

    Yes, this project is considering a connection to Quinpool Road which would involve upgrading the existing Bell Road bicycle lanes and extending them to connect to the Willow Tree intersection.   This would also involve looking at how we can make crossing the Willow Tree safer for people on bicycles, and creating a connection to the Windsor Street bicycle lanes via Quinpool.  Pavement markings through the intersection would be also part of this!