Halifax cyclists organize Macdonald Bridge protest

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WATCH ABOVE: Protesters are unhappy that a bike lane on the Macdonald Bridge isn’t yet operational. Global’s Steve Silva reports live from the scene of the bicycle ride protest – Jun 1, 2017

A group of about 20 people cycled across the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge on Thursday in response to delays that have prevented the reopening of the bike lane multiple times.

The protest started at about 6 p.m. near the George Dixon Centre in Halifax. The group pedalled over to the Dartmouth side of the bridge, then made the same journey back.

“It does eventually make you feel like a second-class citizen,” said Rob Stevenson, a participant in the ride.

The bike lane was removed for the bridge’s redecking project. A new lane has since been installed but not yet reopened.

The original plan of the group was to conduct the ride without much public notice, but Halifax Harbour Bridges found out.

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“We decided that we would support them in their ride, and provide them an escort across the bridge,” Alison MacDonald said.

She said that this would be a one-time exception, and using a bicycle on the road lanes on the bridge is otherwise dangerous.

READ MORE: The ‘Big Lift’ Macdonald Bridge project told through photography

The bike and pedestrian lanes were supposed to have been reopened at the end of 2016. That was delayed several times due to other delays during the project, according to MacDonald.

“We’ve announced a few weeks ago that it would [reopen] at the end of June. We’re very confident in that date,” she said.

Stevenson said he doubts it will open in time and that bike infrastructure planning isn’t taken seriously in the municipality.

When the lanes reopen, there may be a few closures due to further bridge work; the shuttle service will be offered in those cases, MacDonald added.

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