Municipal engineer Paul Young has a vision for a “major behavioural change” within Halifax: Converting all urban speed limits in the HRM to 30 kilometres per hour. The reason? Not just to lower the likelihood of deadly collisions, which findings resoundingly show drop off significantly compared to 50km/h, but to cut back on things like traffic noise and pollution while promoting healthier, less costly alternatives. On Thursday, Nov. 16, Young gave his “Slow the Blazes Down” presentation to the HRM’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee, of which he is a member. The bummer, as Coast city hall reporter Matt Stickland tells fellow Coast reporter Martin Bauman, is that as good—and necessary—as Young’s traffic suggestion is, the political will to make it a reality appears to be about as hard to find in Halifax as a bike lane on Quinpool Road. Or Chebucto. Or Connaught. Or Robie. Or… well, you get the point.
Why is it so hard for the HRM to implement the kinds of changes it purports to want? What do John Lohr and Bill 137 have to do with it? Should we be more like Wales? And is Matt still thinking about Otago Drive? Matt and Martin discuss all the above in the latest episode of The Grand Parade, plus detour into the Board of Police Commissioners’ latest meeting, why the HRM is broke and what the region would look like if it was run by US marines.