News

1.  Two collisions send two cyclists to hospital

A pick-up truck driver who hit a cyclist on Waverley Road Wednesday morning has been charged with “Vehicle Passing a Bicycle while Travelling on Right When There is Less than 1 Metre between the Vehicle and Cyclist” according to the RCMP. The cyclist was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Earlier that morning another driver hit a cyclist on John Brackett Drive in Herring Cove. The woman on the bike was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries, but has since been upgraded to non-life threatening status. Police are still investigating the incident.

The coverage of both incidents is mostly based on the same police media releases, so it’s interesting to see the language used by various reporters. Philip Croucher at StarMetro framed the Herring Cove collision this way: “a cyclist was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after a collision with vehicle driven by a young man.”

Over at CBC News they framed it this way: “A 54-year-old woman has life-threatening injuries after being struck by a car while riding her bicycle in Herring Cove, N.S.” They described the Waverley Road collision as “[the cyclist] was hit by a pickup truck on Waverley Road just before 8 a.m.”

Road safety advocates have long complained that news reports mistakenly identify only cars, trucks and vehicles as the actors in collisions, when of course they are all being driven by people. Another issue is the use of passive voice placing the victim as the grammatical subject, which some have identified as problematic in terms of affecting readers’ perceptions of blame.

Anyway, it’s good to see Philip Croucher making an effort to identify that vehicles are driven by people.

2. Bus lanes planned for Robie-Young, though the money to build them still not budgeted

City council has given the go-ahead on a detailed design for partial bus lanes along Robie and Young Street, but as with the connecting Bayers Road transit lane project, the money to build the lanes is not allocated in the city’s capital plan until after 2022. Click here for the details. The story is behind the Examiner paywall.

3.  Someone is shooting up houses and cars in Colchester County

David Burke of CBC News reports that there’ve been four incidents of drive-by shootings in Colchester County in the past month, with the most recent incident in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, when someone in a black car pulled up to a home and shot at it. Writes Burke,

It’s become a pattern over the last month in Nova Scotia’s Colchester County — a small dark-coloured car pulls up and someone inside rains bullets into a nearby house or vehicle.

In that time, there have been four separate drive-by shootings within 22 kilometres of each other. Homes and vehicles in Debert, Onslow and Onslow Mountain have all been hit by gunfire, according to RCMP.

The RCMP have not confirmed that any of the incidents are connected, and won’t discuss potential motives.

4. Six more handguns on the market in Nova Scotia

A gun safe containing “six restricted hand guns and two rifles” has been stolen from a home near Great Village, Nova Scotia, according to an RCMP news release. “Someone smashed the patio door of the home, removed a gun safe, and left. Nothing else was disturbed,” reads the release.

5. Studying how to keep Nova Scotia attached to the mainland in the face of sea level rise

New Brunswick has put out a request for proposals to come up with three ways to protect the land and infrastructure along the Chignecto Isthmus, the piece of land connecting New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, reports the Canadian Press. The project is a joint effort with Nova Scotia and the federal government, prompted by concerns over the effects of climate change. The CP article continues,

The request for proposals says that climate-related sea-level rise and the frequency and intensity of storm surges has made the isthmus — and the dikes protecting the Amherst, N.S., Sackville, N.B., and nearby rural communities — “particularly vulnerable to climate change.”

6. Seniors group unhappy about $1 transit fare hike

As Tim reported yesterday, Halifax Transit is proposing a fare hike for September. Regular adult fares could see a 25 cent hike, but seniors are being eliminated as a discounted category altogether, meaning their fare hike could be $1.

The CBC’s Carolyn Ray reports on the reaction from CARP Nova Scotia, (Canadian Association for Retired Persons) which is, understandably, negative.

Bill VanGorder, a spokesperson for CARP Nova Scotia, said he’s extremely concerned about the proposal.

“It is upsetting to us and really unfair to find that announcement we only heard about [Tuesday] is going before a committee [Thursday],” he said.

“We would certainly support the idea of making it more accessible to children, but that doesn’t mean you take the opportunity away from from people of another age who really need it.”

The Halifax Transit proposal includes a pilot to raise the cut-off age for children allowed to board buses for free from six to 12 years old.


Views

1. A bike lane by any other name, might not be resented as much?

Tristan Cleveland reappears in StarMetro Halifax to argue for a renaming and reframing of bike lanes as “micromobility lanes.” Writes Cleveland,

Build lanes for everybody, anybody, who wants to travel faster than walking, but slower than driving. Scooters, e-scooters, skateboards, hoverboards, roller skates, bike share, e-bikes, electric wheelchairs: there is a growing variety of ways for people to get around cities quickly and conveniently, and they need a safe place to travel.

Together, these options are called “micromobility,” and they’re transforming cities for the better. We don’t need “bike” lanes. We need micromobility lanes.

Cleveland’s argument is two-fold. Making bike lanes more inclusive by definition can help stave off some of the negative associations people have with them, due to stereotypes of people on bikes as “self-righteous left-leaning urbanites.”  At the same time, the coming e-scooter wave will need somewhere to zoom around besides sidewalks. And bike lanes, er, micromobility lanes, seem like a natural fit.

2. The Globe says protected bike lane networks are the future

I guess no one at the Globe editorial board got the micromobility memo.

Their July 21st editorial points to Vancouver as proof that building a protected bike network pays off, and breaks down why.

One essential is protected bike lanes. Research shows separating bikes from cars is good for everyone, and is a key ingredient in encouraging cycling.

The second necessity is political leadership – because bike lanes always attract loud opposition from drivers.

The third is that bike lanes have to be built as a network. A smattering of paths here and there – as is common in various cities – is better than nothing, but the system functions best when, as in Vancouver, bike lanes are connected, and it’s possible to travel from A to B to C.

The Globe points out that’s how Vancouver got themselves listed in the Copenhagenize Index top 20, a ranking of the most bike friendly cities in the world. And more importantly, it’s how they increased bike mode share by several percent over the past 5 years.


Noticed

The news that a 10-foot female great white shark pinged along Mauger’s Beach on McNab’s Island reminded me of this story by former Coast news editor Jacob Boon from October 2018. Boon spoke to a Dal ocean research scientist about OCEARCH, the non-profit founded by a former reality fishing show host, which is known for making Twitter stars of the sharks it has tagged.

“Basically, they have a thin veneer of science,” he says. “Like a candy shell of science.”

Boon points out OCEARCH has been banned from several coastlines due to its practice of ‘chumming’ waters to attract sharks.

Halifax has a visitor. @GWSharkJane is swinging in to say hello today! pic.twitter.com/oYrIw0topd

— OCEARCH (@OCEARCH) July 23, 2019


Government

City

Thursday

Transportation Standing Committee (Thursday, 1pm, City Hall) — Tim wrote about the proposed increase in transit fares yesterday.

Design Review Committee (Thursday, 4:30pm, City Hall) — Fougere Menchenton Architecture Inc. is seeking five changes to its approval for construction of a 12-storey hotel at 1872 Brunswick Street, at the corner of Gottingen and across from Citadel Hill.

Friday

No public meetings.

Province

No public meetings this week.


On campus

No public events Thursday or Friday.

Next week

Town Hall: The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts: Building, Concert Hall, and Governance (Tuesday, 7pm, Faith Tabernacle, 6225 Summit Street) — from the event listing:

There are over 7000 signatures of concern on a petition launched in June 2019 regarding the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts and the historic building in which it is situated. There has been public demand for a town hall to discuss the future direction of the Conservatory’s building and concert hall and the Conservatory’s governance structure. The Conservatory Faculty Association feels there is enough information to host a town hall on all of these issues, and therefore invites the general public, the Conservatory’s Board of Governors, staff, faculty, parents and students, and other stakeholders to a Conservatory town hall.


In the harbour

Thursday

03:00: Celsius Ravenna, oil tanker, sales from Irving Oil for sea
06:00: Jennifer Schepers, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from New York
07:00: Selfoss, container ship, arrives at Pier 42 from Argentia, Newfoundland
11:30: Selfoss sails for Portland
14:00: Ile D Aix, cable layer, arrives at Pier 9 from Calais, France
15:00: Sycara V, superyacht, arrives at Tall Ships Quay from St. John’s
16:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, moves from Autoport to Pier 41
21:30: Jennifer Schepers sails for Kingston, Jamaica
Friday
05:30: Hoegh Seoul, car carrier, arrives at Autoport from Dundalk, Maryland
06:00: ZIM Qingdao, container ship, arrives at HalTerm from Valencia, Spain
11:30: Hoegh Seoul sails for sea
18:00: Oceanex Sanderling, ro-ro container, sails from Pier 41 for Saint-Pierre


Footnotes

Does anyone else think Robert Mueller looks a little tiny bit like Tim Bousquet?


The Halifax Examiner is an advertising-free, subscriber-supported news site. Your subscription makes this work possible; please subscribe.

Legal fund

To contribute to the Halifax Examiner’s legal fundplease contact Iris.

Join the Conversation

9 Comments

Only subscribers to the Halifax Examiner may comment on articles. We moderate all comments. Be respectful; whenever possible, provide links to credible documentary evidence to back up your factual claims. Please read our Commenting Policy.
Cancel reply
  1. Robert Mueller doesn’t look like Tim and doesn’t act like Tim.
    Tim has all his faculties and a good memory and never looks befuddled….

  2. What is wrong with saying a person was struck by a bullet, if that is literally what happened? It goes without saying the bullet was aimed and shot by someone, since self-shooting guns aren’t quite here yet.

  3. With respect to people and collisions, I have continuing difficulty with injuries being lumped into “life threatening” and “non-life threatening”. The implication is that non-life threatening injuries imply minor injuries. I have a friend who was struck by a car while on his motorcycle. He was revived at the scene by paramedics. He is now a quadriplegic. His injuries were described as “non-life threatening”. The fact is that many of these types of injuries while not ultimately fatal, are certainly life altering. I wish police would revise their description of consequences in these circumstances.

    1. I agree. As soon as you see “non-life threatening” you think whew, they’re going to be fine then — which of course is often far from the case.

      I feel like they used to use more categories in the past — serious, critical, stable, etc. — that you don’t really see anymore.

  4. What is wrong with saying a cyclist was struck by a pick-up truck, if that is literally what happened? It goes without saying the pick-up truck was driven and directed by someone, since self-driving vehicles aren’t quite here yet. No reader is going to assume a pick-up truck is magically driving itself around city streets. The cyclist is exposed and is literally struck by the vehicle (as is the case with a pedestrian) unlike the driver of the vehicle, who is shielded inside. It is always best to give the driver’s name, age, and street of residence, but you usually don’t get that unless there has been a court appearance. Also who first hit whom is not necessarily indicative of ultimate fault either.

    1. Because it removes driver responsibility. You never see headlines that say, “Man Shot by Gun”. Guns are inanimate objects, they don’t just shoot people. Trucks are inanimate objects, they don’t just hit people.

      Compare: “Cyclist Hit by Truck” and “Man Hits Cyclist with His Truck”. Which one better identifies the human element of the incident?

      1. That implies an element of intention is likely not there. As I said, most people realize vehicles have drivers. However I suppose one shouldn’t say who hit whom unless one is sure of the facts. It could as easily be Man Hits Truck With Bike in the right circumstances. As I say, who hit whom first is not necessarily indicative of who is at fault.

  5. My problem with protected bike lanes is that they train drivers that bikes only belong in bike lanes, when in reality cyclists:
    1) have no obligation to allow motorists to pass them
    2) Should occupy the middle of the lane if there is no protected bike lane so motorists can see them and to avoid getting doored.

    Everywhere that isn’t a highway is already a bike lane.

    During commute time the average car on the peninsula probably moves at about 10-15 km/h – faster than walking but slower than cycling. The problem is the illusion of speed created by being able to get up to 50 km/h in between red lights. Between 10 and 4 it is probably 20 km/h and at night maybe 25 km/h.

    Of course I am sympathetic to drivers – most of the housing stock in HRM is inaccessible by any other means – but I am sick of being treated as a second-class road user just so people in cars can get up to 50 km/h before hitting the brakes at the next light. I would rather see cyclists taking up lanes and reducing the peak speed of traffic to 25 km/h or so on busy streets on the peninsula than a bunch of bike lanes being built so that people can burn more fuel in their cars in between lights. This would not really increase the average travel times of drivers.

    In places like Burnside where there is lots of room and no on street parking, protected bike lanes are a great idea, however.

    1. I fully agree with you. As a non cyclist, rolling my vehicle to the burbs and back, I routinely see drivers (Bedford Highway outbound from the bridge) seem to intentionally block or harass cyclists. Frankly drivers just aren’t getting it, and having cyclists exercise their rights sounds great in principle but I suspect we don’t have the resources or stomach for the carnage likely to happen. An army of cops ticketing folks likely isn’t gonna happen either. I’d like the city or whoever is in charge of this circus to get on with protected bike lanes. Make it safer for cyclists, encourage more folk on bikes, and maybe once it becomes the thing to do for those who can do it, drivers will be able to take sharing the road without going full on idiot.
      I lived in Ottawa twice for about 3 years each time and I don’t recall the idiocy of drivers being at this level wrt cyclists and there are a lot of cyclists on protected lanes and downtown mixed with traffic.