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Halifax seeks public input surrounding transportation priorities

Concerned residents were on hand at the Halifax Exhibition Centre on Wednesday night to voice their opinions on the future of transportation in the city. Jennifer Grudic / Global News

Transportation has become a contentious issue throughout the Halifax area.

While some people are calling for better bike networks, others are firm believers in a commuter rail system or bus rapid transit. No matter your opinion, the city wants to hear from you.

The Halifax Regional Municipality is looking for input as part of their Integrated Mobility Plan.

The plan is designed to create a vision for mobility throughout the region and to help direct future investment in transportation demand management, active transportation, transit and the roadway network.

“We’re hearing quite clearly from people they’d like to see better transit,” program manager Rod McPhail said.

“There’s the Moving Forward Together plan that was just approved by council, but I think [people] really want to see transit ramped up.”
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READ MORE: Halifax transportation committee backs talks with Via Rail for commuter rail

McPhail and his team are holding a number of public workshops this week to give people the opportunity to voice their transportation priorities. He said it really comes down to trying to find a way to reduce the amount of cars on the road.

“What we want to do is hear from the public about what would they like to see going into the future. Council has told us that too many people are driving by car. We have to give the population, the residents a choice.”

McPhail said they are going to take the information gathered from the initial public consultations and come up with a list of priorities over the next nine weeks before moving onto another round of consultations.

“We’re going to be presenting ideas that we would consider to recommend. So we’re going to be coming forward with things that we might do in the Halifax region in the next 15 years,” he said.

They plan to present their final recommendations to council by the summer of 2017.

READ MORE: Backlash over installation of new multi-bicycle parking station

The final workshops in the initial public consultation phase are taking place on Thursday, Sept. 29 at Alderney Landing. The 3 p.m. session will be held at the Alderney Theatre Rotunda while the 6 p.m. session will be in the Harbour East-Marine Drive Community Council Room.

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Those who are unable to attend one of the workshop sessions are encouraged to complete an online survey.

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