This fall Bicycle Nova Scotia launches the 2nd Phase of the Blue Route HUBS project, with Port Hawkesbury as the first confirmed location. The HUBS project works with communities to develop plans for a complete active transportation (AT) network throughout the local area. While the Blue Route has focused on cycling infrastructure on provincial roads and partnering with rails to trails organizations, the HUBS project aims to link in municipal active transportation routes towards the establishment of a complete province-wide cycling network. As proven in other jurisdictions, such a network can benefit Nova Scotians by providing safe, healthy and sustainable transportation options for everyday journeys, recreational rides and longer adventures by bicycle.
You may have noticed some gaps in our maps. The current Blue Route map was developed by the Blue Route Committee, a group co-chaired by Bicycle Nova Scotia and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR). As a result of the leadership role of TIR, initial plans focused on at the provincial level. As municipal AT plans have been developed and started to be implemented, it is time that the provincial AT infrastructure begin to link to municipal plans and fill gaps in the network. Bicycle Nova Scotia, with funding from the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and the Department of Energy and Mines, will be working with 3 communities in Nova Scotia this year and 3 additional communities next year to help fill in this gap. Bicycle Nova Scotia’s AT Planner / Designer, Neill Spencer, will lead the process through three different stages:
Stage 1: Identify key bicycle network corridors
BNS works with the community to identify 3 routes that are the top priorities for bicycle infrastructure improvements. These connected routes are designed to provide a basic bike network that is immediately functional and can act as the spine of the network for future growth.
Stage 2: Route Selection
BNS and community stakeholders select one of the routes to advance into the concept design stage. The route is chosen based on a combination of its overall importance and feasibility of implementing in the near term.
Stage 3: Concept Design
Conceptual design options are prepared for the selected route. Designs consider traffic conditions and the existing use of the right-of-way. The preferred design option is then selected for refinement and cost estimation.
Community engagement for Stage 1 of the HUBS Project in Port Hawkesbury will be taking place this month, with questions being posted on the Blue Route social media accounts about active transportation in Port Hawkesbury. There will also be a socially-distanced event on September 23rd at 6pm. BNS looks forward to speaking to Port Hawkesbury locals about getting around.