Three reasons the Crosstown Connector should stick to Agricola

A sandwich board in front of Agricola Street's only bicycle store.

HALIFAX – The Crosstown Connector bicycle corridor debate is boiling down to a choice between running the route along Agricola Street, or along some of the smaller streets between Agricola and Gottingen. Saving parking spots for cars is one rationale for not using Agricola Street.

The trouble with routing the connector on Maynard and Creighton is that serious bicycle commuters will continue to ignore the small streets, and use Agricola.

There are three reasons for this:

  1. There are lights at Agricola and North. This allows cyclists and cars to continue riding uninterrupted provided they catch the green. This is a big deal for cyclists, especially those travelling north at the end of the work day on a slight uphill gradient. One less reason to stop and put a foot down is helpful.
  2. Agricola lines up nicely with Ahern and Trollope streets. Using Maynard and Creighton would force planners to route cyclists through an awkward zig-zag and force riders through a series of awkward lane changes when they travel near the Citadel.
  3. What’s convenient for shoppers who use cars is also convenient for cyclists. Putting a bike route next to businesses makes it easier for cycling commuters to pop in for hummus, bread, keys, Black Forest ham – whatever you can buy on Agricola – as they ride home. Detouring to pedal up a side street that has comparatively little retail presence would require more energy and more inconvenience for riders with a dollar to spend. The result? The detour won’t be taken.

Some replacement parking spots, perhaps in the development coming to the liquor store site, may be able to address concerns some business owners have about the Crosstown Connector. But the city shouldn’t create a lesser bike route. Cyclists are already sweating enough to get home. To attract more serious bicycle commuters, more families, more older riders and more fair-weather commuters, keep the connector on Agricola Street.

For more on this issue see the recent stories in The Coast and the Chronicle Herald.

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1 Response to “Three reasons the Crosstown Connector should stick to Agricola”


  1. 1 Joey April 9, 2012 at 6:33 am

    You’re wrong to characterize the choice as between Agricola or residential side streets. City staff has barely studied residential side streets and councillor would be fool-hardy to vote for such an option, because it wouldn’t present a true bike highway option: it would just be more signage and roundabout bike lane-supported routes that don’t encourage active transportation.

    The actual second choice is the Windsor route, not the side-streets. Do an article comparing THAT to the Agricola route.


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