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Backlash over installation of new multi-bicycle parking station

A newly installed bike corral is meant to provide a safe place for multiple cyclists to lock up their rides in Halifax’s North End.

“We’re trying to encourage more people to ride a bicycle, we’re trying to encourage more people to move around the city in a way that’s sustainable and this is a great way to forward that initiative,” Kelsey Lane said, the Executive Director of the Halifax Cycling Coalition.

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The corral is a temporary pilot-project that’s received a permit from the municipality to be installed on Cornwallis St. until the end of November.

It’s the second of its kind in Halifax and is a piece of temporary infrastructure that provides multiple bike lock spots.

READ MORE: Move over motorists, Halifax gets first protected bike lane

“It’s bike parking that provides twelve spaces for people who want to park their bike in an area where there’s currently not enough bicycle parking for them,” Lane said.

HCC researched high-cycling traffic areas in the city that were in need of increased parking options for cyclists.

The corral was paid for using money from the District 8 capital fund.

HCC says because it’s a temporary pilot project, community consultation wasn’t necessary to trial the corral.

The corral was installed on Friday, September 16 and local businesses like Dee Dee’s Ice Cream were happy to see it go in.

“I was strongly in favour of it especially because there’s a very small bike rack in front of our business and it always ends up getting overflowed with multiple bicycles,” Ditta Kasdan, the owner of DeeDee’s Ice Cream, said.

Not everyone is thrilled with the installation, however.

The corral has been picked up off the street and pushed to the sidewalk with a vehicle parked in its place.

The act is being treated as vandalism and an open letter has been written by the vehicle’s owner and sent to HCC and the municipality.

“We have received recently two complaints with respect to the installation of this on-street bicycle parking,” Tiffany Chase, a Senior Communications Advisor with HRM, said.

The open letter raises concerns that there wasn’t enough community consultation done over the corral and that it takes away a parking spot.

Residents in the area must find parking on the streets because most of the old homes don’t have any driveways.

The corral has taken away one on-street parking spot.

District Councillor Jennifer Watts says the city approved the bike corral as part of the active transportation plan.

“We just cannot sustain a continued increase of cars on the road. That’s why we’re working on our bus system, that’s why we’re working on our cycling infrastructure in that we want to make sure that we’re able to accommodate as many people as possible and they offer efficiencies that the single car use does not,” Watts said.

The vehicle owner hasn’t removed his car from the spot slated for the bike corral.