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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Best/Worst of Bike Parking in HRM

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HRM – Recently we shared what makes a great bike rack with you. This week we are hoping to raise awareness and change in regards to properly facilitating bike parking in Halifax and Dartmouth. Out of the numerous parking spots in the HRM, the Halifax Cycling Coalition has determined the three best and three worst spots using a bike parking evaluation tool developed by Citizens for Safe Cycling — a not-for-profit based in Ottawa.

We want you to vote on your favorite/most hated!

Best Parking Nominees

The Dickson Center Entrance, Victoria General Site

Some positive attributes to this site include: a variety of rack configurations; the parking area is completely covered by an outcropping of the Dickson Center; and on top of being regularly patrolled by security staff, there is a security station not 15 meters away from the site.

<p>Bike parking outside of the Dickson Building, VG site</p>
Bike parking outside of the Dickson Building, VG site

Summer Entrance of the Halifax Infirmary

Some positive attributes to this site include: the site is covered by the roof of the building; this site is again patrolled by security and monitored by CCTV. Though finding a spot that offers two points of contact can be difficult if you get to work late, there are 15-25 spots offered at this site.

<p>Bike Parking outside the Summer Street Entrance to the Halifax Infirmary. </p>
Bike Parking outside the Summer Street Entrance to the Halifax Infirmary.

Alderny Drive Entrance, Alderny Landing

Some positive attributes to this site include: the racks are partially covered from the elements by the Alderny landing building, although the racks don’t offer two points of contact, there are 15-20 spots offered at this site; and these racks are easily visible to pedestrian passerby who could intervene if something fishy is going on.

Worst Parking Nominees

5991 Spring Garden Professional Center

The biggest negative to this spot is the use of the “Toaster” rack. This rack does not support use of the U-Lock, leaving you with the option of only being able to lock a wheel to this rack (it is simple to unscrew a bike wheel), or using a chain lock which is thin and can be easily cut. If your bike tilts to the right or left while in this rack, it will bend your rims as well.

<p>Bike parking at 5991 Spring Garden Rd.</p>
Bike parking at 5991 Spring Garden Rd.

1030 South Park Street Again, we get the use of the Toaster, only this time, much more maniacal. Not only does this site offer an impractical type of rack, it is exposed to the elements, and tucked out of site of pedestrian traffic.

<p>Bike parking outside of South Park. </p>
Bike parking outside of South Park.

Halifax Ferry Terminal I think the designers of this bike parking site meant well, but experienced trouble with their execution. The rack itself is a middle of the road “Wave” rack which is partially tucked under a structure that is 4′ tall. Unless you are into crawling on your hands and knees to lock up your bike, this rack is nearly unappeasable and impractical.

<p>Bike Parking outside the Halifax Ferry Terminal.</p>
Bike Parking outside the Halifax Ferry Terminal.

Photos courtesy of Steve Bedard



  1. Good poll!
    Although 1030 South Park St. has a terrible outdoor rack, it should be noted that they do have indoor parking for residents in a locked room with racks.

  2. There is some good covered parking at the Camp Hill Medical Facility, though it does use wave racks. Better than some, though. The worst for me is at the Clayton Park Professional Center (corner of Lacewood and Dunbrack) where the toaster rack is located under the eave of dripping water. I’ve had to chip my bike and lock out of there before!!

  3. As far as indoor parking the indoor bike racks in the underground parking lot at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences building at Dal are pretty sweet although they didn’t include an easy way for bikes to get in and out of the lot.

    They are in an easily accessible and central spot out of the way of cars. And best of all the spots are indoors which is a huge help in the winter.

  4. Not only does the Historic Properties have inadequate racks (a toaster in the courtyard and a nicer one stuck in the alley behind where nobody walks), but they are fanatically anti-bike: security has been known to put their own lock on bikes locked elswhere so you have to find their office to retrieve your bike!