Younger To NDP Government: Make Nova Scotia More Bike Friendly
June 3, 2010
(Halifax, NS) Liberal environment critic Andrew Younger is calling on the NDP government to increase safety for cyclists across Nova Scotia and recognize the importance of cycling to the province's future.
"Nova Scotians in urban and rural communities are increasingly using bicycles to travel to work and for recreation," states Younger. "Cyclists are understandably concerned about safety on the highways and streets because current legislation is horribly out of date. I have personally experienced the challenges of cycling as a way to commute, and the current situation is not at all welcoming to the average person who may wish to bike to work, school, or purely for pleasure."
Younger says among needed legislative amendments, is one to the Motor Vehicle Act to require a one metre passing rule around bicycles on the road. Similar legislation is currently in front of the Ontario legislature and has been passed in 18 states south of the border.
"Investing in bike transportation has proven to be an economic development tool, especially for tourism in Maine and for manufacturing in Quebec," says Younger. "Increasing safety for cyclists benefits our economy, safety on our highways, healthy lifestyles and our environment."
Younger suggests that government should make consideration of bike lanes and safe access part of future provincial road projects where feasible. The MLA for Dartmouth East also recommends that when considering funding to municipalities for transportation infrastructure projects, bike infrastructure should always be an eligible expenditure.
"As Bike Week draws to a close, I can think of no better statement to the cycling community and to changing the way we think about transportation as a whole than to commit to better, safer cycling in Nova Scotia."