By Councillor Kathryn Morse-District 10 Halifax-Bedford Basin West
Happy spring! With the HRM budget passing in mid-April, I am looking forward to being able to focus more on residents’ issues and projects. Please contact me at 902-490-4050 or Kathryn.firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how I can support your group or help address your concern.
Improving Safety on our Streets
The most frequent concern I hear from residents is traffic safety. Reducing the speed limit is one of the best ways to improve safety however that will require a change in provincial legislation that is at least a few years away. In the meantime, HRM council and staff are actively working on our Strategic Road Safety Framework.
Many residents ask for traffic calming on their street. Because speed humps are expensive to install and each district gets only a few speed humps each year, school zones get priority. Last year, speed humps were added on streets surrounding Fairview Heights. This year speed humps and speed tables (the flatter ones used on bus routes) will be installed around Duc d’Anville, Clayton Park Junior High and Grosvenor Wentworth. Also in school zones, HRM has installed digital speed readers on Lacewood and Dunbrack to encourage drivers to slow down. Since last September, at my request, there has been more frequent enforcement of “No Parking” areas in school zones to reduce congestion.
Along with a greater focus on school zones, high-traffic areas like Dutch Village Road have also been getting attention. Two new RRFBs (Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons) have been added to the crosswalks on Dutch Village Rd at Rosedale Avenue and Central Avenue. These flashing beacons make pedestrians much more visible at night. This spring, temporary cement barriers will be installed at Rosedale and Dutch Village Rd to create a safer walking area and better visibility for drivers at this busy intersection, something many residents have been asking for.
Looking ahead, plans are underway to rebuild Dutch Village Road, starting in 2023. There are safety hazards on the street created by “nose-in” parking and drivers backing out into oncoming traffic. The nose-in parking spots will be removed, and parallel parking spots installed instead. A sidewalk will be added along the entire length of the west side of the street to improve pedestrian safety and access to Metro Transit stops. Separated bike lanes will also be added. Once Dutch Village Rd is rebuilt, new features such as benches and landscaping will be added to make it a more pleasant destination. These are just a few of the ways HRM council and staff are working to make walking, rolling, cycling, and driving safer in our city.