Side guards, bus passes and Sidney Crosby: highlights from Halifax Regional Council

Rebecca Lau/ Global News

Halifax Regional Council has a lot on their agenda Tuesday, from whether to name a Cole Harbour street after an iconic Nova Scotia hockey player, to the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on city streets. Here are the highlights from Tuesday’s session.

Side guards on city trucks

Halifax councillors have approved installing side guards on heavy duty vehicles owned by the city and its contractors.

The guards are designed to prevent a cyclist or pedestrian from falling underneath a vehicle during a collision.

They will be installed on new vehicles over 4,500 kg purchased or leased by Halifax after April 1, 2017. The change also affects any contractors that are awarded contracts after that date.

“The simple argument is that side guards save lives,” said Councillor Waye Mason, who has fought to bring side guards to Halifax.

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Mason recently visited Saint-Laurent, Que, which began installing side guards on municipal vehicles in 2012, and says he was impressed with how successful their campaign had been.

The family of Johanna Dean has vocally supported the initiative. Dean was killed in 2014 while cycling in Dartmouth, when she was struck by a truck making a right hand turn.

READ MORE: ‘She was my best friend and my soulmate’: Cyclist remembered by twin sister

Mayor Mike Savage told council on Tuesday he knows the Dean family well and commended them on their efforts.

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“I really applaud anybody who can take a personal tragedy and turn it into something positive that might save other lives. So to the Dean family and to all others who have been impacted by this, I hope this helps a little bit,” Savage said.

In March, a staff report initially recommended against installing the guards, however councillors asked staff to revisit the issue.

The installation process is expected to cost about $4,000 per vehicle.

Affordable bus pass program

The city will be launching a pilot project to provide bus passes for low-income residents at a reduced cost.

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Councillors voted to adopt By-Law U-100, the User Charges By-Law, on Tuesday afternoon.

READ MORE: Halifax Transit affordability project in final stages

Five hundred adult bus passes will be made available during the pilot project at half price.

Residents must make under $33,000 a year and not be receiving a transportation subsidy in order to qualify.

Sidney Crosby Parkway?

Councillors also agreed to look at how they should honour one of this province’s most famous exports.

Cole Harbour – Westphal councillor Loreilei Nicoll brought forth a motion asking staff to look into renaming the Forest Hills Parkway in her district to Sidney Crosby Parkway.

The Penguins captain just won his second Stanley Cup and has two Olympic medals under his belt.

WATCH: Sidney Crosby Parkway? Halifax debates naming street after NHL star
Click to play video: 'Sidney Crosby Parkway? Halifax debates naming street after NHL star'
Sidney Crosby Parkway? Halifax debates naming street after NHL star

READ MORE: Council to debate renaming street in Sidney Crosby’s honour

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There’s just one snag: the current policy limits naming streets to people who have passed on, retired or are at the end of their legacy.

Councillors ultimately voted unanimously to approve the staff report to look at whether an exception should be made.

However, some councillors suggested that instead of renaming the street, they should look into renaming Cole Harbour Place instead since Crosby would have played there.

“There’s a lot of emotion attached to the whole winning of the Stanley Cup for the second time and winning the Conn Smythe Trophy and everything else so there was a lot of emotion and excitement and pride,” said Nicoll.

“Then, it was sort of like take a sober second thought and sort of see, is this the way we want to recognize Sidney? And possibly the staff report maybe would engage the Crosby family to sort of see what it is they feel would be significant.”

Crosby’s former coach first brought up the idea of renaming the parkway. There is also an online petition that is now close to its goal of 500 signatures.

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