To the editor,
In his column, "Cycling in circles", Chris Benjamin was spot on in his assessment of cycling in Halifax. While the city likes to point at 40km of bike lanes, it's nothing to be proud of and needs perspective.
Back at the Halifax Cycling Coalition annual general meeting in June, a different city planner said Halifax was at least 10 years behind the rest of Canada in its cycling infrastructure. She later explained to me that years ago, when the rest of Canada was building cycling facilities, Halifax was sitting on its hands. We're still behind and falling back more.
So why do we spend more than $20 million a year on roads for cars and budget nothing for cycling? It's a direct result of the flawed structure of our city council. There are more councillors in ridings where a car is required for daily life than in urban ridings where cars are optional. Let's face it: A Haligonian living in Sheet Harbour, Chezzetcook or Fall River has entirely different transportation requirements than someone living and working on the peninsula. The city doesn't recognize these differences when allocating money to transportation projects. There are literally thousands of people in Halifax whose homes and workplaces are within a few kilometres of each other and they are being ill-served by this city council and planning department.
Those of us who choose to live and work and play withoutowning a car are essentially being penalized by a city that plans and builds only for cars.
By ---Chris Poulain