Wednesday, October 16, 2002 The Halifax Herald Limited

Peter Parsons / Herald Photo
Locomotives move through the CN railway cut near Young Avenue in Halifax on Tuesday. The Halifax Urban Greenway Association has released a proposal for a hiking and cycling trail.

Trail-along-tracks proposal unveiled
Association expects rough ride getting hiking, cycling plans OK'd

By Bill Power / Staff Reporter

A hiking and cycling trail that would snake along the side of the CN railway cut from south-end Halifax to the Armdale Rotary area sounds idyllic.

But the group promoting the project is bracing for a rough reception.

"We're expecting controversy. Some people are uncomfortable with the concept," Janet Doyle, secretary-treasurer for the Halifax Urban Greenway Association, said Tuesday.

The association has just released its Halifax Urban Greenway draft proposal for hiking and cycling trails along the side of the CN railway cut through Halifax, between Chebucto Road and the Young Avenue and Point Pleasant Park area.

The document will be assessed at a public meeting Nov. 27 at Halifax Grammar School, 945 Tower Rd. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

Ms. Doyle said the association sees the document as a "preliminary feasibility" study and expects there will be changes before a final submission is made to regional council.

"There are people concerned a trail (along the cut) will impinge on their safety and privacy, but this has not been the case elsewhere," Ms. Doyle said.

She said "negative elements" in green areas, which can include vandalism, undesirable developments and illegal dumping, have been reduced or eliminated where trails have been established elsewhere.

The first phase of the project includes a nature footpath and a "parallel multi-purpose" bicycle and pedestrian trail along the top of the rail cut at Beaufort Avenue between Dalhousie University at South Street and Saint Mary's University at Robie Street.

A proposed pedestrian bridge over the cut from the Saint Mary's University side would establish a direct link with Point Pleasant Park.

In the second phase the trail would continue along the top of the east side of the railway cut and connect to the Chebucto Road area.

The association is not expecting the proposal to move ahead too quickly, with at least three years of public participation, planning and engineering to occur before the first phase begins.

"We'd very much view this first phase as a test case, where we'd be able to apply what we learn to the next portion," Ms. Doyle said.

Copyright © 2002 The Halifax Herald Limited

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