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.
“Anything that gets less people in traffic for a shorter time is good, so it’s an exciting moment and I think it’s got some legs,” 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’t the case.
“The purpose of the corridor study is to give council a sense of whether there is capacity in the transportation system to manage new developments,” said transportation and traffic manager Dave McCusker. “The idea of a reversing lane on the Bedford Highway is not one of the infrastructure assets that was considered.”
Outhit called that omission “bewildering,” given the number of developments planned for the Bedford area.
“I cannot imagine why this wasn’t part of the corridor study… I’m quite bewildered by this, but I’ll certainly support it,” 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’s not an insurmountable problem.
“I think people can be trained, like we’ve been trained on the Herring Cove Road and Chebucto Road,” he said. “Most people know the traffic goes to Halifax in the morning and to Bedford in the evening, so it wouldn’t be a big training.”
Coun. Waye Mason amended the motion to include studying the possibility of priority signals for carpools or buses.