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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Halifax – Meet the Sharrows

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'urban repair' on Maynard

HALIFAX – There is something brewing on the streets of Halifax, and it smells like fresh paint. It seems that after long struggles with council over proper bike infrastructure, someone in this city is taking matters into their own hands. Literally, someone out there has taken a paint brush in hand and created sharrows on Maynard St. at Cunard and on Garrick Lane.

'urban repair' on Gerrick

A sharrow (seen above) is a  simple visual indication that bicyclists are going to be sharing the road. This type of creative public space transformation is part of a movement that goes by the name of  the Urban Repair Squad — the likes of which have been popping up in cities from Toronto to São Paulo. According to their practical manual, the Urban Repair Squad aims to ensure polite sharing of the roadway while encouraging citizens to reclaim ownership and stewardship of their public space. So, citizens of Halifax, do you want to take ownership of the sharrows? Are there spaces you can think of that need some stewardship?

Photos by  Emma Feltes



  1. citizens, not citizen’s.

    good for these guerrilla painters – wish someone would paint more bike lanes in TO.

  2. This is great news for Halifax. I’m up for anything that will help make cyclists more visible to cars and this will definitely help.

    Its too bad our city can’t make a sustained effort on this front but I’m stoked to see that there are people who care enough take the initiative.


  3. Thanks for the keen eye TS!

  4. After a recent, upsetting brush with death, I’m all in favour of guerrilla cyclist activism. It’s become disconcerting, if not pathetic, how a strong and growing population of cyclists continue to be overlooked by councillors at the municipal level. I firmly believe that a lack of safety continues to be a greater deterrent to cycling than the weather or convenience combined.

  5. Holy freakin’ cow man. This is awesome… way to go!! Take note HRM Council… if you do not do it then the people will!

  6. This is great Halifax… keep up the good work!

  7. This is ridiculous.

    The city needs to get on top of these hippie hooligans going out and defacing our streets. If it isn’t the law, then it isn’t the bloody law. You can’t “claim” things by painting on it, there are proper structures to go through.

    I am tired of these cyclists who think that they are cars only when it’s convenient but not subject to the rules of traffic the rest of the time. Critical mass? It’s hogwash commie BS.

    Scrub this off, reclaim OUR streets.

  8. As a 60 something year old cyclist and sadly a victim of several incidents causing injury over the decades due to horrid road conditions in ‘the fax’ (and elsewhere) when my bicycle tires had became rutted in one of myriad cracks and holes in roads, stopping my bicycle and throwing me to the ground, I know first hand about what is real and what is not on city streets. Happens in a flash without any recourse except to tumble on to the pavement. Those like Concernedcitizen above voicing dissent about citizens taking action to highlight ‘sharrows’ has it all wrong; his/her ilk always do, likely does not ride a bicycle, and knows nothing about what cyclists confront daily dealing with the horrendous condition of thoroughfares,as well as side streets, throughout ‘the fax.’

    And btw, people against the ‘critical mass’ bicycle movement which takes place in the evening of the last Friday of each month most of the year, obviously lack a social conscience. We aren’t hurting anyone while drawing attention to our plight. So come on you apathetic bystanders, jump on a bicycle and ride …Clyde; but please watch out for the myriad potholes and pavement cracks. They’ll wreak havoc on your transport as well as your good health should you become caught like I have been in one of the far too many to count, deadly traps along our streets..

  9. Awesome, I’ve been hearing about people planning to do this for years. 
    Rules are made to be broken. 

  10. Awesome!! All I ask is that we share the road. Cyclists should learn to share the road with other vehicles & pedestrians, too. I bike 12 months of the year & have encouraged (taught) a few folks over the years. Halifax has a great bike culture & almost all drivers are respectful (defensive style driving) if the cyclist is predictable & follows the rules. I do have some friends that bike 12 months of the year, but are too nervous to bike on the road (sidewalks only) .. this is cool & a sign of a wish-list (wanting safe lanes with physical barriers from drivers) .. these same friends are respectful of pedestians. Share the road!! And .. it’s paint .. I find it hard to believe that some would be grossly offended ..