Stop HRM from permanently restricting right hand turns onto George Dauphinee

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Westmount neighborhood is home to approximately 270 residential properties and one elementary school and already has vehicle access constraints. Westmount is uniquely surrounded by 4 major arterial roads; Mumford Rd, Connaught Ave, Chebucto Rd and Bayers Rd. At present, there are three inbound vehicle access points to Westmount. Two of these three access points are challenging and dangerous for motorists to navigate and one of these two already carries peak hour restrictions.

  1. Chebucto Rd and William Hunt Ave: Traveling inbound on Chebucto Rd requires a virtually impossible and dangerous left hand turn across 3 lanes of traffic. 
  2. Connaught Ave and Almon St: Left hand turns from Connaught Ave onto Almon St are restricted between the hours of 7-9am and 4-6pm (Mon-Fri). This is a dangerous intersection with frequent accidents; hence the restrictions. Right hand turns from Connaught Ave onto Almon St carry no restrictions.
  3. Bayers Rd and George Dauphinee Ave: Inbound travelers on Bayers Rd can turn right on George Dauphinee Ave. This is the safest entrance to Westmount and is currently on the HRM chopping block.

As part of HRM's plan for Transit Priority, they are planning on eliminating the 3rd and safest access point described above. 

HRM is expanding Bayers Road to 6 lanes across; adding a bus lane inbound and outbound. A multi-direction "Multi use path" will be added on the inbound side for pedestrians and bicycles. 

To accommodate this change, HRM is proposing to permanently restrict right hand turns on George Dauphinee into Westmount off of Bayers Road. This permanent barrier will be the transition of the "Multi Use Path" onto George Dauphinee. 

HRM indicates the purpose for the restriction is to keep private cars out of the bus lane and accommodate a transition for bicycles onto George Dauphinee who will travel on George Dauphinee for approximately 800 meters before leaving the neighborhood. HRM is allowing cars in the bus lane approximately 30 meters before George Dauphinee for right hand turns into the Halifax Shopping Center and approximately 40 meters after George Dauphinee onto Connaught.

HRM presents data that the primary issue is during peak hours inbound. Residents are requesting that this right hand turn restriction is ONLY during peak hours of 7-9 AM and find an alternative solution for bicycles to transition onto George Dauphinee. This solution allows for buses and bicycles to travel unrestricted during this crucial time of the day, as well as allows residents to continue to have critical and safe access to their homes during the rest of the day. HRM also presents that this transit priority benefits Westmount. Westmount residents will typically be boarding buses AFTER the right hand turn restriction, not before; therefore this restriction has no benefit to residents of Westmount.

Without this compromise, Westmount becomes an increasingly difficult neighborhood to access and residents are forced to take dangerous route to get to their homes. HRM has a desire to keep residents on the peninsula. The estimated 700-800 residents of Westmount are contributing to this goal, but the needs of commuters are being put ahead of residents who pay considerable house prices and taxes to live on the peninsula. Residents are demanding a plan that works for ALL HRM residents; commuters, transit takers, cyclists and peninsula residents. 

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