One of the most prominent pro-cycling organizations in Halifax, the approximately 200 members of the HCC take their two-wheeled transit seriously. Steve Bedard, director of education and advocacy for the group, says the membership even includes people who don't own bicycles but are "interested in taking steps to ensure Halifax is planned in a more sustainable way on a transportation level."
Their mandate includes supporting and promoting cycling infrastructure in the city, as well as ensuring public funds are spent appropriately. The HCC believes cycling has the potential to reduce congestion problems in the HRM, to reduce infrastructure spending and improve the health of Haligonians.
If decisions made by our municipal council in the past year—the widening of Chebucto Road and the plans to widen Bayers Road—are any indication, organizations such as the HCC have an uphill battle against city hall on what they think is important.
"We have people commuting to work in cars when they live within seven kilometres or less from their workplace when they could easily hop on a bike and get to work faster than if they took a car," writes Bedard in an email.
"Our municipal government has to do more to try to encourage these people to take their bikes, use our Transit system, or even walk more to get to where they're going, especially when they live so close to their workplaces. Road expansions don't cater to this need, especially when we see expansion projects here in the HRM that don't put any thought towards the needs of cyclists. So even though HRM seems superficially involved in greenhouse gas reduction, they have yet to make the connections between CO2 emission and transportation/congestion."