E-News May 2023

Recently installed traffic calming on Slayter Street


Slayter Street Traffic Calming
If you’ve travelled down Slayter Street over the last few days, you likely noticed the new bike symbols on the pavement and new temporary curb extensions at all the major intersections along the street (Albro Lake, Woodland, School, and Thistle). I have had a few people ask why the curb extensions have been installed and I wanted to take a moment to explain in my e-newsletter.

The traffic calming on Slayter Street is being carried out because of street’s status in the Integrated Mobility Plan. The Integrated Mobility Plan commits HRM to building a connected grid of cycling infrastructure. Slayter Street is part of that grid and is designated as a local street bikeway. Slayter provides a key north-south connection that helps link Dartmouth North/Burnside and Downtown Dartmouth.

The IMP bike network

To make cycling safer and a more attractive option, dedicated space that separates cyclists from traffic is needed on busy streets. On streets where there aren’t as many cars though and speeds are slow, like Slayter, it’s possible for bikes and vehicles to safely share the space. Slayter’s speed bumps and curb extensions are designed to create a street where bikes and vehicles can safely share the space.

Traffic calming can sometimes be a bit of a lightening rod and curb extensions, in particular, seem to be a love or hate them type thing. So how do they work? Their main purpose is to shorten the crossing distance for pedestrians. A shorter distance to cross means pedestrians spend less time in the street and they’re more visible when they leave the curb. For drivers, curb extensions encourage slower speeds. This is particularly true for turning vehicles as curb extensions force motorists to make more deliberate turns. You can’t cut the corner when there is a curb extension! Most of our colusions occur at intersections so slowing turning speeds, reducing crossing distances, and improving pedestrian visibility are all positive safety improvements. Curb extensions are very much standard engineering at this point. Here’s the entry on curb extensions from the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO).

HRM has decades worth of infrastructure that was all built with no real thought for pedestrians, cyclists, or transit users, which makes building a transportation system that offers us more choice in how we move around a big endeavour. When Slayter Street needs major paving in the years ahead, HRM will likely make the new curb extensions into permanent infrastructure, but for now, we’re stretching our limited dollars and capacity by installing temporary bolted down curbing. The effect is the same, although I do get that the temporary materials aren’t as attractive as the permanent thing. Permanent infrastructure will likely be possible on Slayter Street in a few years time.

Alderney Flag
You might have noticed that we’re missing the big flag down at Alderney Landing. HRM did have a large Nova Scotia flag up in April. The flag was taken down in advance of forecasted windy weather and it was discovered that some of the flagpole’s equipment was broken. HRM is bringing in a welder for repairs, but until that work is complete, it’s not safe to fly a flag on the pole. HRM expects repairs to be complete in the next few weeks, at which point the large Canada flag will return to the pole.

Memorial bench at Oathill Lake Park

Memorial Tree/Bench Program
HRM is currently accepting applications for its civic gift program. Gifts to HRM typically take the form of a tree or a bench in a park. It’s an opportunity to commemorate a person, place, or event in a way that also leaves a legacy of better public space for the whole community. HRM is accepting applications for spring/summer implementation up until June 6. Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis. There will likely be a second intake for applications in the late summer/fall. Applications that arrive after June 6 will be held until then. For more information and to apply, check out HRM’s webpage here.

Mapped traffic calming assessments in District 5

New Traffic Calming Information Page
HRM has released a new interactive traffic calming map on the municipal website that enables the public to check on the status of all current and past traffic calming requests. The new interactive map replaces the old long list of streets that you might have looked at in the past. It’s the same information, just in a much more accessible format. The map is colour coded to show streets where requests for calming have been received, allowing you to quickly see what has been looked at in your neighbourhood, as well as the status of each request. Zooming in will also display the location of specific measures that HRM has already undertaken to reduce vehicle speeds and improve road safety.

Map of completed traffic calming on Hawthorne Street

To view the new traffic calming map, visit HRM’s page here. The map will be updated on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

Canal Commission Kayak Raffle
The Canal Commission kayak raffle is back for a second year. One lucky person will win two Quest 10 Riot Kayaks complete with Poseidon paddles, PFDs, and marine safety kits. This year the Commission will also offer a runner up prize of a paddle and dine with Wildwood Water Sports and Lemon Dogs (four hours of paddling & meal for two). Funds raised go towards the Commission’s activities to celebrate the Shubenacadie Canal. Tickets are available here.

Penhorn Lake Trail and Water Quality
The Penhorn Lake Trail will be closed tomorrow, May 17, to facilitate work that Clayton is undertaking to improve stormwater management at their Penhorn redevelopment. The old system of managing stormwater coming from Penhorn Mall really wasn’t very advanced. It was a product of its time and basically amounted to water flowing through a pipe and being discharged into the park where it would run down the hill to the lake. There was no filtration or measures to improve the water quality.

As part of the redevelopment, Clayton is installing a stormceptor, a gravity-driven device that filters out sediments and pollutants from stormwater. The stormceptor will prevent a lot of the unwanted stuff from reaching the park and eventually flowing into Penhorn Lake. Stormwater that has been run through the stormceptor will discharge into a bioswale, giving Mother Nature a chance to lend a hand in managing it, before the water flows down to the lake.

There will likely be some other periodic closures of the Penhorn Lake Trail over the next few weeks as construction work proceeds.

Public Consultation

M District (Mic Mac Mall) Redevelopment
Wednesday, May 17
10:00 am – noon
1:00 – 5:00 pm
6:30 – 9:00 pm
Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club,
192 Prince Albert Road

HRM will be hosting a public drop-in session on the redevelopment of the M District (Mic Mac Mall) this week at the Mic Mac Amateur Aquatic Club. Stop by during the morning, afternoon, or evening sessions for a chance to ask questions and provide feedback directly to the planning staff who are working on the project.

The initial site plan for a redeveloped Mic Mac Mall includes multiple apartment buildings all around the Mall. It would be a big change for the area, but it’s also something that’s contemplated in the Centre Plan. The Mall is designated as a future growth node. Future growth nodes are generally sites that have a lot of potential to accommodate new growth, but require more detailed site specific planning because of the potential scale. The Mall is an ideal redevelopment site because it’s mostly parking lot, it has great transportation access to transit, trails, and highways, it’s already a commercial hub, and it’s in close proximity to existing services and parks. It’s an absolutely ideal spot to allow for more residential development. We need the housing and it’s important to accommodate growth in the places that make the most sense.

It has already been decided through the Centre Plan that the Mall is a great spot for significant new development. What remains unknown is what form that new development will take. That’s the visioning process that is currently underway. Where should new development go? Where should the most density be situated? What sort of public amenities should go on site? How should the street layout be setup? What about transit and pedestrian access? These are the sorts of things that HRM is looking at as part of the planning process.

For more information, check out HRM’s Shape Your City page here.

Recently installed lighting installed alongside pathway upgrades in Northbrook Park

Parks Lighting Strategy
May 15 – June 11

An initiative of mine is making its way to public consultation: parks lighting. I get regular requests for park lighting in District 5, particularly at Sullivan’s Pond, the Harbour Trail, and the Dartmouth Common. Those three places appear in my inbox often. Unfortunately, the current reality is HRM doesn’t have any sort of program for lighting or a coherent strategy. Lighting in parks is added on a one-off ad hoc basis and usually opportunistically with other work (like this year at Northbrook Park). There is no policy or program for lighting and a lot of HRM’s bylaw provisions around parks being closed at 10:00 pm don’t take into account differences in how parks are used in different neighbourhoods. In some places, barring the public at night likely has the opposite effect of making things less secure!

HRM needs to take a look at the whole question of lighting and figure out what our goals are in terms of evening activity in parks, how that might need to vary by location, and what criteria HRM should consider when installing lighting. In response to my request, staff are developing a lighting strategy. An online survey is now available on HRM’s Shape Your City page here. The survey is open until June 11. The survey also includes an interactive map where you can submit your feedback about lighting in specific locations directly. I would encourage everyone to participate.

Council Updates

To keep you informed about what is going on at Council, I’m writing a regular blog after each meeting. Each of my entries is about what I saw as noteworthy from a District 5 perspective and my views on the issues. We might not always agree, but I think it’s important to provide a record of how I voted and why.

Council Update, May 9
A bit behind and my e-newsletter is done before my Council Update from May 9. Check my social media feeds Wednesday or Thursday for my latest Council Update for May 9 (policing, housing, vehicle noise).


No awarded tenders in District 5 since my April e-news


  • Tree Planting, Closes June 8
    Tree planting throughout HRM, including District 5
  • Stump Grinding, Closes May 26
    Removal of stumps of ex-street trees throughout HRM, including several in District 5
  • Dartmouth Summer Concert Series, Closes May 23
    All the gear and staff to make the concert series at Ferry Terminal Park happen again this summer


Our feathered mascots at Sullivan’s Pond

Bird Walks
May 13 – 20

May 13 – 20 is Bird Week and to celebrate our feathered friends, a series of guided walks will be taking place throughout HRM. Walks are being organized by Bird Friendly Halifax. The Sullivan’s Pond walk that I mentioned in my April e-news took place this morning, but there are still others taking place all week long. For more details on all the walks taking place in HRM, visit Bird Friendly Halifax’s event page here.

Bike to Work Day
Friday, May 19, 7:30 -9:00 am
Halifax Commons

Stop by the Commons anytime for a hot coffee and treats in celebration of Bike To Work Day! Staff will be on hand to chat about upcoming bikeway projects and the Ecology Action Centre’s Pop-Up Bike Hub Mini will be providing quick bike tune-ups.

Household Special Waste Depot (Mic Mac Mall)
Saturday, May 20, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Have some old batteries, empty propane cylinders, or paint kicking around the house that you want to get rid of but don’t want to drive to Bayers Lake? Good news, HRM’s Mobile Special Waste Depot is returning to Mic Mac Mall. On Saturday May 9, bring your hazardous waste to the mall between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm for free disposal. For a complete list of hazardous materials that you can drop off or for other mobile depot locations, check out the HRM website here.

Parks and Rec Greenhouse Open House
Saturday, May 20, 10:00 am
62 Caledonia Road

HRM’s horticultural staff will holding an open house at the HRM greenhouse on Caledonia Road. Come meet some of HRM’s incredible staff who help make Downtown Dartmouth and its parks such a beautiful place.

Oathill Lake Society Plant and Book Sale
Saturday, May 27
54 Lorne Avenue

The Oathill Lake Society will be holding their annual plant and book sale on May 27 (rain date May 28). Proceeds go to support the Society’s efforts to protect the health of Oathill Lake. Keep an eye on the Oathill Lake facebook page for more details

Grace United New to You Sale and BBQ
Saturday, May 27, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
70 King Street
Grace United Church at the corner of Ochterloney and King Streets will be hosting their annual thrift, plant, and book sale on May 27. Don’t miss this Downtown Dartmouth tradition.

Downtown Dartmouth Clean-Up
Friday, June 2 and Saturday June 3, 10:00 am – noon
Foot of Portland Street by the clock

The Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission will be hosting a neighbourhood clean-up on Friday, June 2 and June 3. Come help make Downtown Dartmouth even cleaner and greener. Materials and some light snacks will be provided. For more information, contact Downtown Dartmouth at info@downtowndartmouth.ca


  1. 1. Drivers still cutting off pedestrians crossing Slayter St at Woodland by not stopping on the stop bar that crossing plus drivers turning left (where it prohibited 7 to 9 ) all day long that needs a painted crosswalk otherwise drivers ignor it
    2. There a lot of drivers not stopping at the stop sign at the all way stop at Slayter and Francis include ones from the 19th hole
    3. A lot of out of town drivers ending up in the Brightwood area being lost because of the lack signage directing them to highway 118/102 and airport at Nantucket and Victoria plus cannot finding their way to Halifax because of no signs at Woodland and Victoria plus Woodland and Slayter . Rental vehicle do not include GPS and even with a GPS these signs ate still needed
    4. No speed limit signs on Victoria Rd and Nantucket Ave drivers are using the width of the to adjust their speed not everyone knows the default speed limit in urban areas in HRM

  2. A group of residents on Rockwood Ave put in a request to do tree planting on the strip of land between Dartmouth High and Nantucket Ave. Our community would do the work if the city can provide the trees. This offer was turned down by HRM last year
    becasue there were no workers available from the Parks department. We are making the same offer again. Do you care about the environment or not?

  3. When they do Dartmouth Cove/ Kings Wharf etc., will the surrounding core areas get the power ungrounded? This could improve NS Power outages to a high population area.

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