The municipality is planning to install 8.5 km of interim bikeway improvements this fall, using quick-build materials like concrete curbs, bollards, paint, and traffic calming features to make it easier and safer to cycle in Halifax and Dartmouth. These treatments will be in place until the streets can be permanently upgraded (likely within five years).
Where will these facilities be located?
Six routes have been selected in peninsular Halifax and Dartmouth within the Circumferential Highway. These represent important links in the AAA bike network that will promote connectivity and improved transitions between existing cycling facilities.
Adding interim barriers along existing painted bike lanes:
- Bell Road (Sackville St to Summer-Trollope intersection)
- Devonshire-Duffus (Isleville St to Barrington St)
Adding interim street improvements for connectivity along quiet residential streets:
- North End Bikeway corridor (Duffus St to Cogswell St via Isleville, Maynard, Creighton, Fuller + Northwood streets)
- West End Bikeway corridor (Windsor St to Bayers Rd via Liverpool St + George Dauphinee Ave)
- Slayter Street (Albro Lake Rd to Thistle St)
- Bayers-COLT connection (Joe Howe St to Pennington via Ralston, Abbott, Ashburn + Elliot streets)
Why Interim Bikeways?
In 2017, Halifax Regional Council adopted the Integrated Mobility Plan with direction to establish an all-ages-and-abilities (AAA) cycling network within the Regional Centre. Some of these routes have been constructed, and others are in the planning + design stages. These interim bikeway improvements allow for faster implementation of the AAA network and the ability to trial street configurations on a temporary basis without committing expensive resources.
This method will allow time to monitor project impacts and gather feedback from users to influence the permanent designs.
What is quick-build?
The interim quick-build toolbox includes measures like:
- precast concrete curbs
- flexible delineators (aka bollards)
- temporary asphalt speed tables
- painted pavement markings (e.g. sharrows and green conflict zones)
to improve walking + cycling conditions in the short term.
For busier streets (e.g. Bell, Devonshire) physical barrier protection will be added along the existing painted bike lanes in the form of precast concrete curbs and/or bollards to increase separation between bicycles and vehicles.
Green dashed conflict markings will be extended through intersections and across major driveways to improve safety + visibility of bicycles. Intersection improvements such as two-stage left-turn boxes will be added in some locations to facilitate transitions along the route.
For the quiet, residential street connections the interim measures will focus on reducing vehicular travel speeds. This will allow for slow, single file lane sharing without a designated bicycle lane. Temporary asphalt speed tables will be added, as well as painted sharrows to guide cyclists and improve visibility. Curb extensions (concrete curbs and/or bollards) will be added at some intersections to reduce the crossing distance for people walking, rolling, and cycling and improve sightlines. Wayfinding signs will help guide cyclists where the route must turn a corner.
Most of these treatments will remain in place year-round.
One exception is on Bell Road, where most of the green flexible bollards will need to be removed from mid-November to mid-April each year to allow for winter snow clearing. Based on our current snow clearing equipment and dimensions of the street, this is the best way to ensure a cleared street surface for cyclists and drivers. The protected bike lane will revert back to a painted bike lane (can still function as usual) for these winter months.
Will there be opportunity for public feedback?
These interim bikeway improvements are developed and implemented as temporary measures for improving the existing street condition. Projects will be monitored and assessed to inform future permanent infrastructure changes.
In some cases, the interim treatments will be discussed in upcoming public engagement as part of a functional planning study. These segments include:
- Bell Road
- Devonshire Avenue
- Slayter Street
- North End route between Almon and Cogswell
Stay tuned for more information on these engagements as it becomes available.