News / Halifax

'Get it done:' Cyclists hold protest ride calling for Macdonald Bridge to reopen bike lane

Multiple delays mean cyclists have to continue struggling with a late and inefficient shuttle system, one group says, while drivers remain the priority.

A cyclist makes his way to Dartmouth on the MacDonald bridge bike lane in this file photo from June 2013.

Jeff Harper/Metro

A cyclist makes his way to Dartmouth on the MacDonald bridge bike lane in this file photo from June 2013.

Frustrated cyclists have three choice words for those working on the Macdonald Bridge bike lane: “Get it done.”

Rob Stevenson, Dartmouth citizen and cyclist, is one of the organizers of a protest ride planned for this Thursday evening calling for Halifax Harbour Bridges (HHB) to make the bike lane a priority.

“It makes us feel second class, basically. The bridge has kept open amazingly for … car traffic, and I can see that as being a great priority but we need to be working much harder on bicycle infrastructure,” Stevenson said Wednesday.

Stevenson said irritation has been building amongst cyclists with every delay around reopening the bike lane, since unlike drivers, people on bikes haven’t been allowed to cross the Macdonald since June 2015 when The Big Lift began.

The bike lane was supposed to re-open in January 2017, which was delayed to March, then mid-May, and it has now been pushed ahead again to the end of June - a date Stevenson said he still doesn’t believe they’ll meet.

It doesn’t seem like it would take much to get the bike lane open fairly soon, Stevenson said, since it’s physically in place but seems to be used for storage of machines and supplies.

Stevenson said he understands large projects encounter delays, but it seems feasible that the crews could keep machines on a flatbed truck and bring them over when needed, rather than leave them in the bike lane.

“It’s time,” Stevenson said. “Just get it done.”

Cyclists are meeting with signs and noisemakers at 6 p.m. Thursday at the George Dixon Centre on Gottingen Street, to then ride over the Macdonald Bridge with a HHB vehicle escort. Riders can return to Halifax over the bridge at 7 p.m. when it closes.

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