By Ruth Davenport - Metro Halifax
BEDFORD - Halifax regional councillors have voted unanimously to have city staff draft a report on the logistics of a reversing lane on the Bedford Highway.
Coun. Matt Whitman tabled the motion, suggesting the stretch of highway from Kearney Lake to the Windsor Exchange could accommodate the reversing lane without being widened.
‚ÄúAnything that gets less people in traffic for a shorter time is good, so it‚Äôs an exciting moment and I think it‚Äôs got some legs,‚ÄĚ he said.
Coun. Tim Outhit had suggested the idea would be included in a corridor study already underway, but a senior city manager said that wasn‚Äôt the case.
‚ÄúThe purpose of the corridor study is to give council a sense of whether there is capacity in the transportation system to manage new developments,‚ÄĚ said transportation and traffic manager Dave McCusker. ‚ÄúThe idea of a reversing lane on the Bedford Highway is not one of the infrastructure assets that was considered.‚ÄĚ
Outhit called that omission ‚Äúbewildering,‚ÄĚ given the number of developments planned for the Bedford area.
‚ÄúI cannot imagine why this wasn‚Äôt part of the corridor study‚Ä¶ I‚Äôm quite bewildered by this, but I‚Äôll certainly support it,‚ÄĚ he said.
Coun. Russell Walker raised concerns about the lack of controlled access to the highway and confusion it would cause for drivers coming out of driveways or side streets.
Whitman said that‚Äôs not an insurmountable problem.
‚ÄúI think people can be trained, like we‚Äôve been trained on the Herring Cove Road and Chebucto Road,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúMost people know the traffic goes to Halifax in the morning and to Bedford in the evening, so it wouldn‚Äôt be a big training.‚ÄĚ
Coun. Waye Mason amended the motion to include studying the possibility of priority signals for carpools or buses.