FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 1, 2017
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - Today, the Halifax Regional Municipality released their Integrated Mobility Plan (IMP). The IMP aims to reduce the number of people driving cars in Halifax by making sustainable transportation options like walking, cycling, and transit more convenient and accessible.
After three rounds of public consultation and several months of waiting, staff are proposing a series of “Big Moves” to shift the way people get around in HRM. Some of the Big Moves being proposed in the Integrated Mobility Plan include (1) a network of connected, protected bicycle lanes downtown Halifax and Dartmouth, (2) dedicated bus lanes to get buses out of traffic, (3) commuter rail service, and (4) support for car sharing and other innovative transportation options.
While the direction of the plan is positive, local advocates note that the plan lacks definitive timelines for when Halifax will see changes on the ground.
“We are excited to see a real commitment to transit lanes and commuter rail,” says Ben Wedge of It’s More Than Buses. “But there are 50,000 Haligonians who rely on transit for their daily needs and recent ridership declines show they won’t wait around for the system to get worse before it gets better.”
“We are happy to see staff’s commitment to building a network of protected bicycle lanes in the Regional Centre but throughout the IMP process, we saw the timeline get pushed back over and over,” says Kelsey Lane, Executive Director of the Halifax Cycling Coalition. “Cities like Calgary rolled out an entire network in three years, including public engagement. There’s no reason we couldn’t do the same with the proper investment.”
The plan, which is supported by a framework for evaluation and a budget for implementation, will go to Committee of the Whole for debate on Tuesday, December 5th.
“As with any plan, success can only be measured by what it looks like and how it works on the ground,” says Eliza Jackson, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator for the Ecology Action Centre. “We hope that Council will support the directives within the IMP but push staff to establish some aggressive timelines for implementation and hold them accountable to those timelines.”
To show community support for the plan, the Ecology Action Centre, Halifax Cycling Coalition, It’s More than Buses, and their partners will be hosting a rally in front of City Hall at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, December 5th before the debate at Council.
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For more information, please contact:
Sustainable Transportation Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
902.497.9026 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Director, Halifax Cycling Coalition
902. 266.5263 / email@example.com
It’s More Than Buses
902.266.9437 / firstname.lastname@example.org