Allan-Oak Local Street Bikeway

Allan-Oak-Oxford: How to use the intersection

The Allan-Oak Local Street Bikeway was approved by Halifax Regional Council in May 2018 as part of the Regional Cycling Network outlined in the Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP).  The vision is to provide safe, comfortable, convenient routes for people of all-ages-and-abilities (AAA) to cycle around the city.  Allan and Oak will become quiet, traffic calmed residential streets to serve as an alternative east-west cycling corridor to busier streets like Quinpool and Chebucto.  To accomplish these objectives, new designs elements will be introduced including curb extensions, speed management features (e.g. speed humps) and measures to assist crossing at major intersections (e.g. Oxford Street).

The Allan-Oak corridor connects into many important destinations including the Halifax Common, the Quinpool Road Business District, and the Windsor Street Bike Lanes.  Enhancing this cycling route will help provide safe AAA transportation options to Halifax residents and contribute towards meeting the mode share targets outlined in the IMP.

Current Status:

Construction of Phase Two changes to the Allan-Oak-Oxford intersection are nearing completion!

Project Update August 2021:

A new set of half signals have been installed at the intersection of Allan Street, Oak Street, and Oxford Street.  The purpose is to improve the safety of this intersection and help people walking, rolling, and cycling create reliable gaps to cross Oxford Street with minimal delay.  When a pedestrian or cyclist wishes to cross, a red light will be triggered for vehicles on Oxford.

A new painted crosswalk on the south leg of the intersection has been incorporated into the design.  Curb extensions have been added on Allan and Oak streets to manage speed and promote a single file approach to the intersection.  Pedestrian and bicycle push-buttons have been added to trigger the red signal on Oxford Street.  Pedestrians must push the button and wait for the ‘walk’ symbol before proceeding.  People cycling can push the button if they wish to trigger a gap in traffic on Oxford through which to proceed, otherwise these users can proceed on any available gap after the stop sign.

Signed traffic restrictions were introduced on Allan and Oak streets on the approach to Oxford – it is now signed ‘no through vehicles except bicycles’.  This change was implemented to discourage shortcutting through this neighbourhood and reduce daily vehicle volumes on Allan and Oak Streets.  Less vehicles moving slower along these streets makes for safer and more comfortable lane sharing between vehicles and bicycles.

A third phase of the project involving the installation of speed management on Oak Street will be forthcoming in 2022 or 2023.  An opportunity to engage with these proposed designs will be available for neighbours in the coming months.

How to use this intersection:

People walking and rolling can push the button to request to cross Oxford Street and must wait for the ‘Walk’ signal before moving across the street.  There are now painted crosswalks across both legs of Oxford.

People cycling can push the curbside push-button (if necessary) to trigger a gap in traffic on Oxford Street.  You do not necessarily have to push or wait for the signal – both Allan and Oak streets are only controlled by a stop sign.  You can proceed to cross along the bikeway at any available gap if it becomes available.

People driving on Allan and Oak streets can no longer proceed straight through this intersection, and must instead turn left or right.  Signage and pavement markings will indicate ‘no through vehicles except bicycles’. 

This new intersection treatment will continue to be monitored and adjusted as needed.

Note regarding Allan at Harvard street:

The bikeway designs presented to Council included a traffic diversion feature at the intersection of Allan and Harvard Streets.  This is currently on hold for the time being.

Project History July 2019:

Phase One of construction was completed in July 2019.  This included Allan Street between Windsor and Harvard where the following bikeway features were installed: sharrow pavement markings, speed humps, and a curb extension at the intersection of Chebucto Lane.  These measures have been successful in reducing 85th percentile traffic speeds from 42 km/h to 35 km/h

Bicycle Bush Button on Oak Street at Oxford Street

Bicycle Bush Button on Oak Street at Oxford Street