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Old 02-10-08, 06:44 AM   #1
digger
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It's starting early this year, not even spring yet!

Yep, the Motorist Vs. Cyclist annual argument has started, this is certainly not one of the more serious ones I've seen, but is a preview of what is to come (and it's kinda early).

From www.thechronicleherald.ca

HRM = Halifax Regional Municipality (includes Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford, Sackville and surrounding areas).

Jan 28, 2008
Snow go for cyclists
Any avid cyclist will tell you that the poor cycling environment in HRM only becomes worse after large snowfalls. I propose that HRM reform the snowplowing system for the Halifax downtown core and other busy roads in the municipality. Currently, plows push the snow to the side of the road, where it accumulates and forces cyclists closer to traffic. For the small minority of roads in HRM which have bicycle-specific lanes, snow and ice quickly cover them, making cycling a treacherous way to travel during the winter months.
Cities such as Charlottetown (PEI) use a system where the snow on the major roads is collected in dump trucks and removed from the city streets. This type of snow removal is likely to cost extra; however, it will not only make Halifax cyclists safe on their daily commute, but it will also alleviate the general congestion large snowfalls create for all forms of traffic.
JA, Dartmouth

Feb 1, 2008
Dangerous biking
JA (Jan. 28 letter) makes a couple of valid points: Cycling is a treacherous way to travel during the winter, and complete snow removal would likely cost extra.
Would it not be wise (safer) to choose an alternate method of commuting when conditions are treacherous (such as Monday morning) or when piles of snow are narrowing the streets?
Should taxpayers be required to pay an exorbitant amount for snow removal for a few dozen avid cyclists (high estimate)?
Next time youíre biking to work when the conditions are unsafe, look around; you probably wonít see too many cyclists. Itís not because theyíre wusses; itís because they understand how dangerous it is and act accordingly.
For those cyclists who donít get it, maybe the traffic authority could institute a ban on winter cycling and piggyback it onto the winter parking ban. The person I saw cycling to work Monday morning should have got a ticket for something.
BA, Dartmouth

Feb 10, 2008
Ban winter cycling
I am an avid cyclist, and I have been riding my bike to work for 20-plus years. I only do this from mid-April to mid-November, because itís just too dangerous to do it during the winter months.
I have been reading the many complaints from cyclists regarding roads that are not cleared to the curb, and icy streets making it difficult to cycle during the winter. I think these people need to realize Halifax is barely a cycling friendly city during the good months. In addition, current weather patterns see our city experiencing very icy winter conditions, which are generally not conducive to cycling.
To expect good cycling conditions during the four months of winter is utopian. Why not just stop cycling during the winter and take public transit? I realize this is money that would not otherwise be spent on transportation, but if budgeted for during the eight months of good cycling weather, it would be less of a financial hardship.
Society would be done a favour in not having to deal with cyclists either riding in the way of traffic, or bothering pedestrians by riding on the sidewalk, during winter months.
The bottom line is that Halifax is not, and cannot, be made cycling friendly in the winter, until traffic patterns change. Address this situation first, then tackle the cycling related problems this 259-year-old city must face and eventually deal with.
And cyclists, please stay off the roads when conditions donít allow for safe cycling.
BM, Halifax

Feb 10, 2008
Looking Backward
It is not hard to see why Nova Scotia is regarded as a backwards province, nor why young liberal-minded people are leaving it in droves for greener pastures. If recent letters to this paper are any indication of the general publicís opinion, I could swear we were still living in the 1950s.
First, a request that legal abortion be abolished, then support for uranium mines, and now a brilliant idea by BA to ban bicycling between the months of December and April!
What is next? Rich business owners crying out over the proposed increases to minimum wage?
I am born and raised Nova Scotian, but sometimes I donít know if I should admit it to the rest of the country.
MT, Halifax
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Old 02-10-08, 07:46 AM   #2
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"and forces cyclists closer to traffic"

Oh the horror! You mean the rider might have to actually ride on the road?
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Old 02-10-08, 09:21 AM   #3
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"The person I saw cycling to work Monday morning should have got a ticket for something."

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Old 02-11-08, 02:51 PM   #4
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Ya, its not like the snow removal they do for cars doesn't cost anything!

I saw some of this exchange on the paper on the weekend. My blood was boiling and blogged about it.

Because no-one wants to make the changes needed to get cyclists on the road in significant numbers. About a month ago I was coming down Quinpool, in the middle of the lane at about 48 km/h (Speed Limit 50km/h (30 mph). There was such a big pile of snow beside the road, I really had no choice. Buddy behind me is honking his horn because he is too stupid to change lanes (Its a four lane road!).

Anyways, he passes me at about 75km/h and misses my left elbow by about 10cm (4"). I catch up to him at the round-about and give him a piece of my mind. Although I was so angry that I'm sure I looked like a total lunatic!

The Halifax Cycling Coalition is having a public meeting on Feb 20, 2008. I encourage every Haligonian to go and join this group so we can get some proper infrastructure built, and plowed!

http://www.cyclehalifax.ca
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Old 02-11-08, 03:51 PM   #5
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I visited Halifax this past Summer and was amazed by the large number of cyclist on the road. Fist off I have to say that I loved visiting and would encourae any Forum member to make the effort to go visit Halifax and Nova Scotia in general. In my area, I consider it a suprise when I see one or more other cyclists on the road during the Summer, let alone during the winter. Recently I actually saw some snow prints on the road that were clearly made by an other cyclists. It was almost like finding the footprints of a Yeti.

I noticed that the roads in Halifax were generally narrow and many steep hills. I give all the cyclists there a lot of credit. My commute is over nearly flat terrain. I hope a sensable solution can be found and that Halifax can become the Portland of Canada... a Meca of cycling even if the weather isn't known the be the best.

Good luck!

Andrť
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Old 02-11-08, 06:28 PM   #6
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good to see all the anti-cycling 'avid' cyclists crawl out of the woodwork
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Old 02-11-08, 07:10 PM   #7
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Seems to me the extra clearing should benefit all traffic, not just cyclists. Isn't it worth the money to be able to use the entire width of the road, year-round regardless of vehicle choice?

If motorists think it's not worth clearing a snow covered lane, maybe the plows should start piling the snow in the middle of the road rather than the edges, and see how they like it.
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