Redesigning streets to meet the standards set out in The Centre Plan, The Integrated Mobility Plan, Urban Forest Master Plan and Accessibility Strategy means finding a compromise that balances conflicting priorities within the limited space of the street network.
The EAC has long supported these plans, and holds the HRM accountable to conduct meaningful and transparent community consultation throughout planning processes. We are heartened by HRM’s newly released Planning and Development Public Participation Policy and look forward to seeing better practices of public engagement employed.
The EAC is strongly in favour of cycling infrastructure along Morris Street, Robie Street and University Avenue, along with upgrading sidewalks and other infrastructure to meet accessibility standards and best practices for wheelchair and mobility device users and blind and partially sighted individuals. This includes accessible parking spaces.
As the density of the city rapidly increases, we need complete and connected infrastructure that makes walking and rolling a safe means of transportation. We must also pair this with convenient and affordable transit. Providing citizens with attractive alternatives to driving is key to transitioning away from single-occupant vehicle usage, managing traffic congestion and reducing the environmental impacts of getting around the city.
Narrowing or reducing vehicle lanes and removing general on-street parking are both great options for rebalancing the allocation of road space and can also help reduce speeding.
The EAC acknowledges that this redesign will cause the removal of some trees. We encourage the city to find options that minimize the number of trees removed, and to plant two trees for each one that is removed. We would also like to ensure that the new trees survive and that the city invests additional funding towards implementation of the urban forestry program.
Sustainable Transportation Coordinator | Ecology Action Centre