NS roads a hazard

The state of the roads in Nova Scotia has been turning cyclists away . Our fearless leaders at central control have been waiting for more federal money to fix the roads and bridges. In the meantime cyclists are staying away in droves [Is there a word for a group of cyclists? A tour perhaps?]

Large American tour companies have already dropped Nova Scotia bicycle routes from their itineraries, and the province stands to lose more business if road conditions aren’t improved, says a Halifax cycling tour organizer.

“The roads have gotten worse and even less welcoming to cyclists,” Peter Williams of Eastwind Cycle said in a recent interview. “One of the world’s two largest companies used to do 15 to 20 tours a year in Nova Scotia. Now they’re not in Nova Scotia at all.”

In the 15 years Mr. Williams has been in the business of promoting and leading bicycle tours, he said he has watched international interest in the activity grow while Nova Scotia’s roads have deteriorated to the point that many are unsafe for cyclists. [link to source]

But we guess it is not easy to make priorities. Perhaps roads aren’t very sexy or high profile and they cost money and what money we had the province has blown on twinning. Don’t see too many cyclists on the 101. [Not to mention money spent on a Commonwealths games bid – lots of travel there but not on roads.]

If the roads have been keeping cyclists away how long will it be before they keep tourists in cars away? If they haven’t already, that is. And then, what about us? Don’t we deserve to drive on decent roads? Remember that rough roads are harder on gas usage. So it costs drivers in gas on top of the wear and tear on their vehicles. We think better roads with wider paved shoulders would be safer too. Just a guess.

Instead we will have to be satisfied with a few more rules and regulations against squeegee kids, street racing, cross-walk infractions, hand held cell-phone use, red-light enforcement with cameras, and possibly some speed control via photo radar in town – if municipalities get permission from the DoT. [Will Wolfville request it?] Surprised Rodney didn’t throw in a bylaw against smoking in a car with kids. [Speaking of which did you see the related Bruce MacKinnon’s cartoon ? – The babe would be safe in Wolfville? Because we suppose smoking parents who live here NEVER EVER drive outside of Town with their kids.]

The efficacy of these new provincial regulations mostly depends on enforcement. The RCMP will be busier than ever we guess. Will they get more officers?


2 responses to “NS roads a hazard

  1. Gordeen Donovan

    The roads in NS are already keeping people away who drive cars. I lived in Wolfville, NS from 2000 to 2004 and many of my friends came from Toronto to visit. One even had a family reunion there after seeing NS on her visit to me. All, and I mean all, my visitors said they wouldn’t return until I told them the roads were having major repairs which I was never able to do. One friend couldn’t believe what we travelled on to get to Lunenburg. In July road crews had torn up highway 12 but were still allowing cars to drive on something that my friend said “God, I’ve never seen anything like this anywhere and I’ve travelled in third world countries!” He said he’d never come back because of the roads. Same with my other friends, even more my women friends who wanted to travel on alternate roads and discovered, as I did, that roads like 289, #4, 311, and many others (scenic routes) could truly be dangerous as in places entire paving disappeared and only craters were left. Some turned back and got on the main highway and said “if I want to travel highways I’ll stay in ONtario and use the 401.”
    Now I hear NS is no longer wise enough to realize there’s a lot of money to be made in bicycle tours and more to be made as baby boomers begin to retire. By that time NS will have a reputation of highway travel only and those of us who want leisurely travel on beautiful alternate roads will go to New England.
    What a shame as nowhere on earth is more beautiful than lovely, Nova Scotia, province of my birth.

  2. Thanks for your comment Gordeen. What do you think, as a previous Wolfvillian, about the elimination of the lowest residential zone, as proposed? A good idea? Would a Town without that zone attract you if you were moving back here?