Three sections follow that relate to the discussion at the Lucasville Greenway Society formation a summary, a question and answer, and general comments.
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Lucasville Greenway Society Formation Meeting – Summary
March 9, 2018
The Lucasville Greenway Society would like to thank all of the people who attended our Formation Meeting on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. We feel the meeting was well attended and a successful one. We continue to strive forward to see our Vision of a Walking/Biking Trail to eventually become a Reality.
We were able to present our Vision and Plans for a Walking/Biking Trail along the Lucasville Road. We appreciate and applaud those in attendance who signed up to become members of the Lucasville Greenway Society.
There will be other opportunities for persons who could not attend our Formation Meeting on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 to register as members in the future.
We plan to officially register as a Society with the Registry of Joint Stocks and Deeds in the near future, form a Board for this Society and then join Halifax Regional Trails Association (HRTA).
A special thank-you to District 15 Councilor, Steve Craig and District 14 Councilor, Lisa Blackburn for their attendance and recognition of the possibility of a future Walking/Biking Trail in Lucasville and we welcome their support.
Dawn Neil, H.R.M. Active Transportation Planner attended the Formation Meeting and explained some of the future construction plans for the Lucasville Road and she supported our group’s efforts, thus far.
Shawna Shirley, H.R.M. Community Developer, Parks & Recreation did a great job in preparing our group and she participated in the Formation Meeting by registering new members for the Lucasville Greenway Society.
The Lucasville Greenway Society members did an excellent job in preparing and participating in the Formation Meeting. These members include Sackville Rivers Association President & HRTA Member, Walter Regan, Leanne Lucas, Bernice Lucas, Dianna Oliver, myself & Cynthia Lucas-sent her regrets for the meeting.
Our next meeting will be for members only or for those who want to become members, as we talk about our next steps for a Walking/Biking Trail.
John A. Young
Interim President, Lucasville Greenway Society
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 Lucasville Greenway Society Formation Meeting – Q&A and Comments
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We thank everyone that was in attendance. We are excited about the generally positive feedback we’ve received about a potential Greenway in Lucasville. The following comments and questions were completed from rough notes, and may not be complete. Answers are not verbatim, as notes or recordings were not taken at the event.
We understand that we cannot completely answer all questions at this time. We will work to contact the appropriate resources to gain more information, and provide more complete answers to any questions which we cannot adequately answer.
Here is the powerpoint slides that were presented at the meeting:
Question and Answer:
1) Will taxes go up for seniors? Seniors are finding it hard now.
Councillor Lisa Blackburn: Taxes will not go up from building a Greenway. Seniors can apply to have their tax rate capped, which can help with their tax burden.
Building a Greenway may cause taxes to go up slightly, but that is because of increased property values. We are not sure what impact a Greenway would have on ditch tax rates. That would depend on whether changes to the storm water collection method, through the replacement of some ditches with storm drains, would alter how the ditch tax is calculated.
2) How much land will the trail and buffer take up?
The HRM standard, which we would maintain, is over 5 m (15 feet) wide. The street buffer and Greenway are at least 4-4.5 m, and then there is a landscaped buffer adjacent to private properties.
3) Will the Greenway take people’s front yard?
Our group cannot answer this question at this time. We understand that HRM owns approximately 20 m (60 feet) along Lucasville Road, with the road located roughly at the centre. To build a Greenway, at least 5 m (15 feet) are required. Our group completed a Greenway Vision, which includes some information about the potential trail location, but did not conduct a detailed survey of the road and surrounding properties. Our goal with the previous work was to develop a vision and ensure that we had community support, so a detailed survey was not appropriate at that time. The detailed survey would have to be undertaken to determine the exact constraints of the existing roadway.
Councillor Steve Craig has only seen land taken on Bayer’s Road. All other initiatives he is aware of have been able to work within the existing HRM right of way. Narrowing the traffic lane can help to have the required space to build a Greenway. It might not be possible, due to financial or time restrictions, to build an entire Greenway concurrently as Halifax Water completes their work, but if the department of Transportation and Public Works coordinates with Halifax Water, they can set up for easier future Greenway construction.
4) Can the trail be used all year round?
A paved trail would be maintained by HRM and would be added to their list of routes to plow in the winter. Gravel trails are not plowed, and would be usable by having users trample down the snow.
5) Where will the new water line go? Under pavement? Under shoulder?
We understand that the new water line should go under the street, on the opposite side of the current water line. It should be on the west side of the street (the side opposite the Wallace Lucas Community Centre).
6) What other initiatives will be done to reduce traffic on Lucasville Road?
Councillor Lisa Blackburn: Speed bumps are not an option, as Lucasville Road is a corridor for emergency vehicles. Changing the speed limits is an option, but is controlled by the provincial government, and additional requests have not been approved. Report speeding to the authorities. With increased traffic, traffic lights may be necessary in the future, but we aren’t at that point yet.
It was brought up that during rush hour, it’s difficult to leave your driveway – never mind backing out.
After the formal meeting, Dawn Neil from HRM’s Transportation and Public Works department spoke to me. She mentioned that often widening roads increases traffic speeds. Drivers feel they can increase their speed because of the widened roadway. Adding humanity can help lower traffic speeds. This involves adding structures or features to attract people. Driver attention is drawn to what pedestrians are doing. This can be achieved with a Greenway, a park, etc.
Others have noted that traffic seems slower on Cobequid road beside the new Greenway, or they have slowed down, because of the narrower traffic lanes.
7) Will wide lanes cause taxes to go up?
Councillor Steve Craig: Area rates are not used anymore for this type of work.
8) When will the new water line work start?
Planning is to begin this spring. The first phase is scheduled to start in 2019. The second phase will be after, possibly within 2-4 years.
9) How wide will the grass buffer be?
The grass buffer between the traffic lane and the Greenway paved or gravel lane would be 1-1.5 m (3-4.5 feet).
10) Will it be safer for school children?
Schoolchildren can use the Greenway to walk to their bus stop, and wait on the Greenway for the school bus. We believe a Greenway will be safer, as it will allow people to walk at their own pace. A grass buffer behind a curb, between the roadway and trail, would separate pedestrians and bikers from the traffic. Benches could be incorporated to help in case people needed to rest. Bike lanes, while better than what is currently on Lucasville road, offer little protection from distracted or speeding drivers. A bike lane is only separated by a painted white line.
11) Will a bike lane and a Greenway be on both sides of the street?
We understand that the proposed bike lanes would be built on both sides of the road. A standard bike lane is 1.2 m (3.6 feet) wide, and there would be one on each side of the street.
A Greenway only needs to be built on one side of the street, as it accommodates two-way traffic. Crosswalks could be planned to help connect streets or venues with heavy non-vehicle traffic along the Greenway.
Either bike lanes or a Greenway would be built. A Greenway will not be built if a bike lane is approved.
12) Has there been enough consultation and engagement with the community?
Some comments were made about the community not having a say on whether a Greenway should pass by their property, or that more community members were not in attendance at the March 7, 2018 meeting. This is the third community engagement event we’ve held since January 2017 to gauge the interest in a Greenway for Lucasville. We have advertised in the community, and feel they have been well attended.
Yes, the community would have a say as to whether a Greenway were built. We want feedback from the community to ensure we are working in the right direction. If the community doesn’t want this type of AT infrastructure along the roadway, HRM or Halifax Water would not push for it.
There are also many other communities requiring AT infrastructure that HRM can invest staff and capital into. A vision has been created for consideration. There are no details worked out to say how much impact it would have or how any issues would be addressed. That information would be the next step if the community wishes to review further details.
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Two individuals were concerned that someone will take their land.
Greenway will be built by HRM from general tax rate, not area rate.
Should slow down traffic speed, too fast now.
Lanes made smaller, slow traffic down, less land needed for Greenway.
Work will be done in stages not all at once.
School buses have hard time stopping on road now or making turns.
Should have road lanes widened.
Disagree that Greenway is better than bike lanes.
Greenway to connect with new sub-divisions, walkway, and Hammonds Plains bike lanes.
Survey where exactly Greenway will go before decisions made.
Survey needed, may realign road to reduce land needed.
Started driving to work 2006, traffic speed should be increased, stop signs bad.
If you see speeders report it to RCMP.
Everything got bad (traffic) in 2011.
Margeson Drive to take traffic, didn’t happen yet.
Traffic on Cranley Road (through Margeson Drive) will still give us traffic.
Need cross walk.
Water line to go from 400 mm to 600 mm.
Where is our 20 /30 year plan for Lucasville and traffic?
Need a better road, from the bottom up.
Bayers Rd, Cobequid Rd, now Sackville Greenway – HRM does all time.
Better to build walkway trails in sub-divisions, not on Lucasville.
Great job what John and Leanne doing support 100%.
Need all-way stop signs.
Remember when old folks went to Sandy Lake for water. Better to build trail to Bedford through the Sandy Lake Park.
Both Councillors (Blackburn and Craig) said will support Greenway!!