Building an All Ages and Abilities Bikeway Network in the Regional Centre

The Halifax Regional Municipality is implementing a network of connected bikeway facilities that are designed for people of all ages and abilities (AAA).  The network consists of protected bike lanes, multi-use pathways and local street bikeways.  This project is Action 72 of the Integrated Mobility Plan and is part of developing a safer, more accessible and multi-modal transportation system for the Municipality.

The map below shows the current status of the AAA cycling network in the Regional Centre. 

Quick Facts: Regional Centre AAA Bikeway Network

  • The total proposed network is about 57km of safer, connected bikeways in the Regional Centre (the Halifax peninsula and Dartmouth inside Highway 111).
  • As of spring 2022, 40% of the network is complete with 23kms of All Ages and Abilities cycling infrastructure built in the Regional Centre. 
  • The completion of the network will take longer than the 2022 completion target set in the Integrated Mobility Plan. While there are a number of factors that influence the delivery of the AAA program, it is anticipated a significant portion of the network will be constructed by 2024.  Also, the timelines for some projects will not be clear until planning is complete.  Information on project status and anticipated timelines are detailed in the project descriptions below.
  • Some elements of the project are being implemented in conjunction with other projects and are dependent on their timing.  For example, the new Cogswell district plan features key AAA bikeway connection into and out of the downtown core. Construction began in 2022 and will extend for several years.
  • Projects constructed in 2021 included:
    •  Wyse Road protected bike lanes
    • Safer access to the Macdonald Bridge Bikeway on the Dartmouth side
    • Dahlia-Oak-Crichton Active Transportation Connections
    • Phase One of the North End 'AAA' Bikeway on Leaman, Drummond and part of Isleville streets
    • Bicycle activated half signal at Allan-Oak Oxford intersection
  • Projects constructed in 2022 will include: 
    • Terminal Road bike lanes
    • Tactical projects to improve cyclist safety on streets including Bell Road, Liverpool Street and Isleville Street.   

The implementation of this network is being funded by the federal, provincial, and municipal governments through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.  The Regional Centre AAA Bikeway Project represents a $25 million investment from these governments to support safety, accessibility and the expansion of transportation options that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

AAA Bikeway Implementation Updates  

The descriptions below provide introductions to the projects, information on project status and links to more information. 

South Park Street Bikeway Enhancement and Extension

Construction for both phases, from Inglis Street to Sackville Street was completed in 2019 and 2020. The South Park Street 'AAA' facility features one-way protected bicycle lanes on each side of the street, with a wide buffer and concrete curbs to separate bicycle and vehicle traffic and parking. This route will eventually connect to other bikeways, including a potential new facility being planned for the University Avenue/Morris Street corridor and enhanced bicycle lanes on Bell Road.

Please visit the South Park Street AAA Bikeway page or read the staff report for further information. 

Vernon-Seymour Local Street Bikeway

Phase One of construction was completed in June 2019 between Quinpool Road and Coburg Road.  Bikeway features include pavement markings, curb extensions, turn restrictions at Jubilee Road and a centre-painted bikeway approach to Quinpool Road.  In December 2020, bicycle activated half signals were added to the intersection of Vernon-Seymour-Coburg to signify completion of Phase Two connection to University Avenue. 

The project will connect with enhanced bikeway facilities on Quingate (being planned as part of the Midtown bikeways project) and University Avenue.

Please visit the Vernon-Seymour Local Street Bikeway or read the staff report for further information. 

The project is being monitored for motor vehicle speed and volume. Additional traffic calming and/or diversion measures are under investigation and may be implemented in the coming years.

Allan-Oak Street Local Street Bikeway

Construction of Phase One on Allan Street (east of the intersection at Harvard Street) was completed in summer 2019 and includes new signage, pavement markings, curb extensions, and a series of five speed humps to promote slower speeds and safer single-file lane sharing .                                                                                                                         

Construction of bicycle activated traffic signals, including some vehicle movement restrictions to enable safer crossings of Oxford Street happened in 2021.  Bikeway enhancements to Oak Street (such as traffic calming measures) are being planned for implementation in 2023.  

Please visit the Allan-Oak Local Street Bikeway project page or read the staff report for further information. 

Ahern Multi-use Pathway

Construction is complete for this route. To create an all-ages-and-abilities connection on this street, as part of a larger network, a portion of the sidewalk along Ahern Avenue has been transformed into a multi-use pathway for use by people walking and cycling. 

Barrington Greenway Extension

The Barrington Greenway was extended between North Street and Niobe Gate In addition to the multi-use pathway, the project upgraded the sidewalk on the west side of the street and added transit priority measures for buses traveling southbound on Barrington Street.

For the full staff report on the project, click here

Woodside Walking and Bicycling Connections

In fall 2018, the municipality completed 1.2km of new multi-use pathway and new sidewalk in Woodside. The new facilities connect communities such as Portland Hills and Russell Lake to destinations in Woodside, the Woodside Ferry Terminal and continuing along the Dartmouth Harbourfront Greenway into downtown Dartmouth.  This is a new segment of the Regional Centre AAA Cycling Network that also includes new sidewalks and makes Halifax Transit stops accessible.

This new facility is now part of a 10km corridor connecting communities, schools, transit, parks, tourist attractions and more.

Halifax Urban Greenway Planning + Phase Two Extension

The Halifax Urban Greenway is a multi-use pathway corridor that will connect the Chain of Lakes Trail to Point Pleasant Park through the west side of the Halifax Peninsula. Phase One was completed on Beaufort Ave in 2010. This next phase aims to extend the existing pathway northward as far as Jubilee Road (via Conrose Park) and southward to connect to Point Pleasant Park.

Public engagement related to Phase Two of HUG implementation was completed in Summer 2019.  The Municipality is currently working on the detailed design and options for implementation of this next phase which includes some property negotiations.

Please visit the Halifax Urban Greenway project page for further information. 

West End 'AAA' Bikeways

Construction on the West End Bikeway is scheduled to be phased between 2023 and 2024 on George Dauphinee, Liverpool, Peter Lowe, William Hunt, and Leppert streets. 

The facility will be local street bikeways where bikes and cars share the road on streets with low traffic volumes and speeds. Treatments to make the bikeways safer will include speed tables, curb extensions, pavement markings, wayfinding signage, and treatments to facilitate the crossing of major streets.  

The project was approved by Regional Council in September 2020. This corridor will also be implemented as part of the Interim Bikeway Improvements pilot program to attain more immediate safety and connectivity improvements.

Please visit the West End 'AAA' Bikeways site or read the staff report for further information. 

George Street Protected Bike Lane

This bi-directional bike way is planned for construction in 2026.  The bikeway will connect the Ferry Terminal to Grand Parade. 

Please visit the Downtown Bikeways to learn more about the planning process.

Macdonald Bridge Bikeway Connector 

Construction of protected bike lanes on Wyse Road and an improved access point with the Bridge Bikeway on the Dartmouth side happened in 2021.  Halifax-side improvements (flyover structure, changes at the North and Gottingen Street intersection and a bikeway connection to Northwood Terrace) are in design and targeted for construction in 2024.

The Macdonald Bridge Bikeway provides a key connection for cycling between Halifax, Dartmouth, and beyond. Accessing the bikeway from either side of the harbour, however, can be challenging for many. Some of the current challenges include long, steep climbs and busy streets and intersections approaching the Macdonald Bridge. The municipality wants to make it possible for people of all ages and abilities to access the Macdonald Bridge Bikeway.

Please visit the Macdonald Bridge Bikeway Connectors project page or read the staff report for further information. 

North End 'AAA' Bikeways

The first phase of construction on the North End Bikeway was completed in summer 2021 on Leaman, Drummond and Isleville Streets, north of Duffus.  Construction will continue in phased segments south on Isleville Street to Almon Street through to 2026.

Except for a small section of multi-use pathway on the northern tip of Novalea Drive, most of the North End Bikeway will be local street bikeways where bikes and cars share the road on streets with low traffic volumes and speeds. Treatments to make the bikeways safer will include traffic calming, traffic diversion, pavement markings, wayfinding signage, and treatments to facilitate the crossing of major streets.  

The planning of the segment of the North End 'AAA' Bikeway from Almon Street, south to Cogswell Street is still forthcoming and will resume in coming months.  Construction of this segment would be phased between 2024 and 2026 depending on the selected option.

The first phase of the project was approved by Regional Council in September 2020. 

This corridor is also part of the Municipality’s Street Improvement Pilot projects program to attain more immediate safety and connectivity improvements in the near term.  In 2020, changes were made to the Young, Kaye, Isleville intersection to make crossings for people walking and bicycling safer and more comfortable.  Other short-term improvements like speed tables and temporary curb extensions are being planned for implementation in Fall 2022 as part of the Interim Bikeway Improvements pilot program.

Please visit the project Shape Your City site or read the staff report for further information. 

Africville Active Transportation Connections

The municipality is implementing a planning study to determine the best connections for walking and cycling between the Africville National Historic Site and the rest of the Halifax peninsula, with a focus on creating safer ways to access the site for everyone.

Concept options have been developed for this project with engagement that took place through summer and fall of 2021. Additional community consultation is planned for fall 2022.  

Construction of this project could happen as early as 2026, however this depends on the preferred option selected.

Please visit the Africville Active Transportation Connections page for further information. 

Almon Street Bikeway

Planning is currently underway for developing a AAA bicycle facility on Almon Street from Windsor Street to Gottingen Street. Staff will take a recommended functional plan to Regional Council in 2021. Construction is targeted for 2023.

When this project began, some options were presented to the public for feedback. After receiving over 500 comments from the public via the public meeting, online survey responses, and individual communications, municipal staff decided to delay a recommendation to Regional Council so that additional options for a protected bicycle lane could be explored. 

For more information about the design options being proposed and to read project reports, please visit the Almon Street Bikeway site. 

Midtown 'AAA' Bikeway Connections 

The goal of the Midtown AAA Bikeway Connections project is to provide safer connections between all-ages-and-abilities (AAA) cycling facilities in the centre of the Halifax peninsula. Bikeway improvements are being considered for Bell Road, the Commons pathways, Welsford Street, part of Windsor Street, Quingate Place and part of Quinpool Road.  Planning is currently underway with phase two public engagement targeted for Fall 2022. Construction is currently scheduled for between 2025 and 2028.

The Bell Road segment of this project (Sackville to Summer) is currently being implemented as part of the Interim Bikeways Improvements pilot program to attain more immediate safety and connectivity improvements in the near term. Seasonal bollard protection will be added to the existing painted bike lanes alongside improved paement markings and crossing measures at intersections. These bollards need to be removed in the winter to facilitate snow clearing. Results of this interim installation will be used to inform the final design for this corridor.

Please visit the Midtown 'AAA' Bikeway Connections site for further information on the planning process and upcoming engagement events. 

Bayers Road to Chain of Lakes Trail 

This is a planned AAA bikeway connection between Bayers Road on the Halifax Peninsula and the Chain of Lakes Trail.  This will improve connectivity between the peninsula, Fairview and communities in Clayton Park and beyond.

The facility will be a combination of multi-use pathway, local street bikeway and includes new crossing treatments for pedestrians and cyclists at the Joseph Howe / Chain of Lakes / Exit 0 intersection.  It will also require changes or a new structure to enable AAA crossings of the CN rail cut.

The Joseph Howe / Chain of Lakes / Exit 0 intersection is in design and construction is targeted for 2022.

Brunswick-Rainnie Complete Streets

This project aims to have protected bike lanes on Rainnie Dr., Gottingen Street (Rainnie to Brunswick) and Brunswick Street from Cogswell to Spring Garden Road.  The project is part of a broader complete streets planning process that begin in 2021. 

Construction is scheduled to start in 2024.

Segments of this project are part of the Municipality’s Street Improvement Pilot projects program to attain more immediate safety improvements.

Lower Water - Upper Water Protected Bike Lane

Lower Water – Upper Water Street currently has a tactical protected bike lane, implemented in 2020 as part of the Municipality’s Street Improvement Pilot projects program.  The permanent facility will be implemented as part of the Water Streets Enhancement project.

Please visit the Downtown Bikeways site for information on the planning process.

Hollis Street Protected Bike Lane

Phase One of the Hollis Street protected bike lane, extending from the Cogswell Interchange to Terminal Road, was completed in 2020.  Phase Two is bike lanes in both directions from Terminal Road to Barrington Street and is targeted for construction in 2022.

Please visit the Downtown Bikeways site to learn more about planning process. Please visit the Hollis Street protected bikeway site to learn more.

Terminal Road Protected Bike Lanes

These bike lanes are planned for construction in 2022 between Hollis and Lower Water Streets.  These will provide an east-west connection in the downtown bikeway “loop” and help improve access to destinations such as the Seaport Market.

Please visit the Downtown Bikeways site to learn more about the planning process. 

Peninsula South Complete Streets

Improvements are being considered for several streets including University Avenue, Morris Street and Robie Street (south of University Avenue). Planning is underway in 2022 and construction is scheduled to begin in 2025.  The construction timeframe will depend, in part, on the option selected.

This project is applying a "complete streets" approach to improving mobility for people travelling through the south end of the Halifax peninsula, with a focus on improving comfort, safety and convenience for people walking and cycling while also considering transit, accessibility, placemaking, urban forestry, vehicle traffic, loading, parking and other factors.

The objective for the new AAA cycling routes is to:

  • Connect the Halifax Urban Greenway to Lower Water Street, as well as Dalhousie University's three campuses and the hospitals along the way;
  • Connect University Avenue to the Saint Mary’s University campus; and,
  • Establish a “District Identity,” for University Avenue that reflects the unique character of the area and will shape any changes made to the street.   

Please visit the Peninsula South Complete Streets site for further information. 

Dartmouth Harbourfront Greenway

The Dartmouth Harbourfront Greenway is a multi-use pathway that extends from Alderney Landing to the Woodside Ferry Terminal.  The goal of this project is to:

Fill two gaps in the corridor between Parker Street and Old Ferry Road and between Kings Wharf Place and Prince Street, and extend the facility north from Alderney Landing to Geary Street and the Dartmouth Common. Design and property acquisition is underway.  Segments are scheduled for construction between 2023 and 2025.
Dartmouth North Active Transportation Planning Project

This project aims to create an AAA bikeway connection between Wyse Road and the Burnside Greenway while identifying other complete street improvements for Dartmouth North Streets. 

Community engagement took place throughout 2021, with the functional plan complete in 2022. Construction is targeted for 2024 and 2025.

Please visit the Shape Your City page for more information. 

Dahlia-Oak-Crichton Active Transportation Connections

This project aims to create AAA walking and cycling connections between the Dartmouth Common and the Shubenacadie Canal Greenway.  New features include building a local street bikeway on Dahlia Street, a new multi-use pathway in Sullivan’s Pond Park, new sidewalks on Oak and Victoria Streets, as well as measures to improve crossings at major intersections. 

Functional planning was completed in summer/fall 2020 and the project was approved by Regional Council in February 2021. Please visit the project Shape Your City site or read the staff report for further information. 

Construction took place in two phases between 2021 and 2022 and is now considered complete! Future improvements to the crossing treatments (e.g. bicycle activation of RRFB) may be incorporated in future years if/once Provincial legislation changes take place to enable this usage.