Decisions made starting this month will determine the future livability of HRM.
The widening of Bayers Road is not just a bad idea, it’s a horrific idea.
Quite literally, if the Bayers Road/102 widening project moves forward, it will utterly destroy any hope that HRM will ever have an effective transit system. It will cost us about a billion dollars for construction, then untold billions more to operate the thing, money exported right out the province, year after year after year, assuming we can afford it in the first place.
In short, the Bayers Road project is a make or break moment for the province of Nova Scotia and the city of Halifax and its suburbs. We either kill this project now and adopt sensible transportation policies, or we lose the possibility forever.
Bayers Road widening has been talked about since at least 2006, when it was incorporated in the HRM Regional Plan. But we need to understand that the project is much, much larger than simply the stretch of Bayers Road between Windsor Street to the beginning of Highway 102; in fact, from a conventional traffic engineering standpoint, there’s no sense in widening Bayers Road unless the rest of the project also proceeds— that is, the widening, rebuilding, realignment of Highway 102 from Bayers Road, up past Bayers Lake, around Bedford and all the way up to Exit 5 in Waverley. It assumes that highway 107 in Dartmouth will be extended (the so-called Burnside-Sackville Connector) to Highway 102 near Duke Street, or more likely, to Highway 101 in Sackville, and it assumes that a highway 113 will be built from Bedford to Tantallon.
The traffic engineers want to widen Bayers Road because widening Highway 102 will bring so much traffic onto Bayers Road that it will have to be widened as well.