Council ponders widening Bayers Road to eliminate 'choke point' for buses
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Wed. Apr 16 - 5:52 AM
City hall is looking at widening Bayers Road soon to accommodate a buses-only lane, Halifax regional council heard Tuesday.
Metro Transit buses often idle there for at least 15 minutes in rush-hour traffic, and the street is an important part of the flow of traffic toward the main on-ramp to the Bicentennial and Bedford highways.
A staff report on the project says the Bayers Road "choke point" is costing Metro Transit an estimated $370,000 per year.
A homeowner on the street said she was very surprised to hear that the municipality is considering the project.
"It’s something we heard a long, long, long time ago," said the woman, who lives halfway between the Halifax and Bayers Road shopping centres. She said she didn’t want to give her name.
"My hope is that they’ll have other options."
There was considerable opposition to a recent plan to widen Chebucto Road at the Mumford Road intersection to ease rush-hour traffic on its way to the Armdale Roundabout.
People who live on Chebucto staged morning rush-hour protests in their front yards, put up yellow police tape to mark the loss of parts of their lawns and started a campaign called People, Not Cars. That experience was not lost on city hall.
When asked by Coun. Patrick Murphy (Halifax North End) how Metro Transit will deal with the public on the issue, the city’s public works director said a list of design options will come to council first.
"Staff would benefit from the (experience) of the most recent project," Mike Labrecque said, adding later that staffers have acknowledged they could have done better in their dealings with people living on Chebucto.
The municipality has put the Bayers Road widening project in the No. 2 spot on a list of five priorities for Metro Transit in the next five years.