Hollis Street Protected Bicycle Lane

Construction of a protected bicycle lane on Hollis Street to create an “all-ages-and abilities” (AAA) cycling connection through downtown Halifax is complete. The new facility is a one-way protected bicycle lane on the west side (right-hand side) of the street, with pre-cast concrete curb and flexible bollards to separate bicycle and vehicle traffic. Green pavement markings highlight areas of potential conflict at intersections and busy driveways.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when travelling down Hollis Street:

  • If you are cycling, always yield to people walking, even if they find their way into the bicycle lane.
  • If you are walking or rolling, look left and right before crossing the bicycle lane and avoid standing in the bicycle lane unnecessarily.
  • If you are taking transit, you will see shared bike-lane-bus-stop platforms installed where the bicycle lane intersects with transit stops. Though designed as an interim structure for Hollis Street, these platforms will function similarly to the shared bike-lane-bus-stops constructed on South Park Street in 2019.
  • If you are driving, the configuration of traffic lanes remains very similar to what existed previously. There are new restrictions on right-hand turns on red lights to improve safety for people cycling at intersections.
  • If you are driving and looking for places to park, parking and loading zones previously located on the west side were moved to the east side (left-hand side) of the street. Relocated accessible spaces were retained within the same block and as close to the previous location as feasible. There are minimal changes in the number of parking spaces on Hollis Street as a result of this project.
  • If you require space for loading, there are loading zones on the east side (left-hand side) of Hollis Street on each block, except for the block between the Cogswell interchange and Duke Street – for this block the no-parking zone on the east side of Hollis Street can be used for loading outside of the morning and afternoon peak periods.
  • Loading can also be accommodated on some cross streets and from private driveways, parking lots and parking garages. A no-parking/loading zone was added on the east side of Granville Street, near Salter Street, to accommodate right-hand side loading for coach/tour buses and other vehicles.
  • If you are driving, stopping in the traffic lane immediately adjacent to the bike lane is not permitted.

This project is part of Halifax's Regional Centre AAA Cycling Network aimed at making it more comfortable and convenient for you to get around Halifax by bicycle! Keep reading below to learn more about the new features on Hollis Street and how to navigate them.

Navigating the *New* Features on Hollis Street

Diagram showing how people walking, cycling, and taking transit should use the shared bike-lane-bus-stop.

How to use the shared-bike-lane-bus-stop

If you are cycling:

  • Slow down as you approach the shared bicycle lane-bus stop.
  • If a bus pulls up to the platform, stop behind the white pavement markings.
  • After passengers have loaded on and off the bus and it has closed its doors, you may proceed.
  • Be aware that buses may deploy their ramps into the bicycle lane when stopped.
  • The white pavement markings are sharks teeth that alert cyclists of the point where they need to yield and give priority.

If you are using transit:

  • Wait for your bus on the sidewalk or in the transit shelter. Do not wait in the bicycle lane.
  • Once the bus has pulled up to the curb, look for any oncoming cyclists.
  • If there are no cyclists, or if the cyclists have stopped, you are safe to proceed onto the bus. Enjoy your ride!
  • If you are getting off the bus, make sure to look right for any oncoming cyclists before stepping into the bicycle lane.
Diagram showing how people cycling should make a left turn off of Hollis Street from the protected bicycle lane.

Two-Stage Left-Hand Turns 

If you are cycling and need to turn left off of Hollis:

  • On a green light, enter the intersection, wait in front of the pedestrian crosswalk in the bike lane. Do not block the crosswalk.
  • When the light facing you turns green, proceed straight through the intersection when it is safe to do so.
  • Always yield to pedestrians.
Right turning vehicles must yield to cyclists in the bike lane

Right turning vehicles must yield to cyclists in the bike lane

If you are driving and turning right:

  • If you have a red light, wait behind the stop bar. Right turns onto Hollis Street on a red light are prohibited.
  • After the light turns green and any people cycling have cleared the intersection, proceed when it is safe to do so.
  • Right-turns on red onto Hollis Street at signalized intersections are restricted (follow posted signs).
  • When turning right across the bike lane onto a side street, driveway, etc., you must yield to cyclists in the bike lane. Always do a right-shoulder check and mirror check for cyclists approaching from behind in the bike lane before you make the turn.
  • Do not wait in the bike lane when queuing to enter a driveway, parking garage, etc.
  • Always yield to pedestrians.

Project Overview

The Hollis Street protected bicycle lane is the first phase of implementing the Downtown Bikeways plan, which was approved by Council in April 2019.  This project also advances the Integrated Mobility Plan goal of creating a connected network of AAA bicycle routes in the Regional Centre.

Phasing of Downtown Bikeways Implementation

This route will eventually connect to other Downtown Halifax AAA bikeways, including facilities planned for George Street, Morris Street, Terminal Road, Lower Water Street and the redeveloped Cogswell District.

Downtown Bikeways will be constructed over several years. Some segments may be implemented initially with temporary features.

Project History

April 2019

Regional Council approves the implementation of protected bicycle facilities on Hollis Street, Upper/Lower Water Street, Terminal Road and George Street. Click here to view the staff report. 

March and April 2018

Public engagement sessions are hosted, and a survey is posted to Shape Your City to collect feedback on the proposed options for the Downtown AAA cycling network, including consideration for level of comfort and safety for people cycling and implications for other street users. Click here to view the What We Heard summary of public input.

December 2017

Regional Council adopts the Integrated Mobility Plan, which identifies Hollis Street as a connection within the Regional Centre AAA Cycling Network.