Newly Reopened Booth Street Bridge
In July when Councillor Catherine McKenney noticed that the new Booth Street Bridge would not have segregated bike lanes word spread fast. Within the EcoDistrict there is clear consensus that a sustainable neighbourhood includes active transportation. In fact, the transportation surveys of network members done by the EcoDistrict show that a very high percentage of commuters come to work downtown using active transit (walking, cycling) or public transit.
So in July we contacted friends and members within our network to share our views and to ask people to contact Mayor Watson with their thoughts. Many wrote to request that the Mayor consider a redesign of the bridge and to the City’s credit a meeting was held in early August where the General Manager of Transportation Services, John Manconi, convened a meeting of many of his top staff and several community groups including the EcoDistrict.
That process led to additional sessions with City staff, the EcoDistrict, Citizens for safe Cycling and the Dalhousie Community Association to review the plans and to come up with a better temporary design. In addition, the City also committed to working with us and other community groups to complete a redesign of the bridge that will include segregated cycling lanes or tracks.
We consider this a rather large victory for the EcoDistrict. We feel that we have found a niche being dot connectors between groups and Booth Street is proof that when we work with other groups, developers and concerned citizens we can co-create better solutions with the City. We hope that this is just the first example of the great things that can happen when we collaborate with others.
The Booth Street Bridge opened on Sunday, September 4th and we expect to be participating in discussions about the redesign starting later this year.