The Cabot Trail is included in plans for the Blue Route now
Prior to route designation they need to verify that traffic volumes are appropriate for road type (roads with over 1000 vehicles per day on average require paved shoulders to be part of the Blue Route). We also need to determine that a route has appropriate origins and destinations (natural starting and stopping points) before it is designated. That decision isn’t so black and white and we have to make a judgement call about what is best for the network.
Ultimately, Blue Route designations made by a committee called the Blue Route Team, which is chaired by representatives of Bicycle Nova Scotia and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal.
We do not have any plans to install signage on sections of the Cabot Trail at this time, although we certainly plan to in the future (hopefully near).
Ben Buckwold – Director, Bikeways and Blue Route Implementation
Blue Route Launched
BNS wants to send out a BIG thank you to everyone who joined in celebrating the Blue Route launch on August 6, 2015 in the Town of Pictou. The sun was shining and it felt amazing to be riding the first segment of our provincial cycling network with a crowd of over fifty people. Special thanks as well to guest speakers Minister Geoff MacLellan and Mayor Joe Hawes, and to the Town of Pictou, the Municipality of Pictou County and the Pictou County Trails Association for helping make the event such a success. Watching Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Geoff MacLellan cut the ribbon at the launch was memorable for all of us, and it was special to see people in the crowd who have been part of the Blue Route initiative since it began eight years ago. The launch marked the first step in bringing the Blue Route to communities all across the province. That’s 56km down and about 2950 of bikeways to go! It’s ambitious, but all the more compelling because of the potential for widespread impact. We look forward to the road ahead and to working with the Province and communities across Nova Scotia to bring the Blue Route to life. BNS would love to have you join us in this effort, so please get in touch if you’re ready to become a Blue Route ambassador in your community or would like to learn more about the project. Let’s enjoy the ride! Sincerely, Susanna Fuller, Co president BNS Ben Buckwold, Director Bikeways and Blue Route Implementation Adam Barnet, Communications and Outreach – – – – In case you haven’t seen it yet, the Blue Route website is now up and running. This will be the main source of new information about the Blue Route as it comes up. You can sign up for Blue Route updates here. We will be sending out updates as they are announced so you will always be kept in the loop. We are also on Facebook and Twitter: @BlueRouteNS – – – – We have mapped out the first section of the Blue Route here. We would love it if anyone has ridden the route and has any first impressions. If so, please contact us and let us know what you think!
For the past six years, Bicycle Nova Scotia has been working with EastWindCycle Consulting to assess the feasibility of a province wide network of bikeways – which we have been referring to as the “Blue Route”. The idea for the Blue Route is modeled on the Quebec Route Verte http://www.routeverte.com/ which was developed over 10 years in Quebec and is a comprehensive active transportation system. As Nova Scotia’s communities develop active transportation plans, it is increasingly important that these are linked together in an overall plan. We see the Blue Route as a way to achieve this.
The Blue Route now has an official logo and we are working on developing a pilot project for bike route signage in Nova Scotia. Part of building the Blue Route is creating the momentum in Nova Scotia to demand safe, well marked, consistent cycling infrastructure.
Blue Route, Victoria County December 2013 (Presentation, Dec 2, 2013 at Victoria County Physical Activity Summit)
Working to advance the Blue Route provincial cycling network will be a major focus for me. Last year was big for BNS and other Blue Route supporters. In April, the Province released
The Strategy included a commitment to working with municipalities and other organizations to implement a provincial cycling network, giving a nod to the Blue Route name (Action 11). At the Nova Scotia Cycling Summit held in Sydney in October, Nova Scotia Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) announced it would take the lead on Blue Route implementation and coordinate among government departments. This was great news and we look forward to working with TIR over the next several years in seeing the Blue Route come to fruition on our roads and trails in Nova Scotia. We also are excited about the growing interest in Bike Week, the number of Active Transportation Plans and the opportunity to increase cycling as a mode of transportation in Nova Scotia.
This year, we intend to take the next step and get the first section of the Blue Route on the ground. We are working closely with the Road Enhancement Committee of the Aspotogan Peninsula (RECAP) to pilot the Blue Route on the Asptogan Loop near Hubbards. As we move forward, it will be important to continue raising awareness and support for the Blue Route across the province, and I look forward to working with many of you on that. We are getting closer, but a few details are still being worked out around the implementation process. Expect another Blue Route update shortly!
The Blue Route isn’t the only thing I will be focusing on this year. I hope to move forward on a range of projects that build support for cycling as a mode of active transportation, form of recreation, and opportunity for tourism and economic development. Two of the big targets this year were coordinating a provincial bike week, June 6th – 15th, and working with the Halifax Cycling Coalition and other partners to plan the 2014 Nova Scotia Cycling Summit in Halifax.
I encourage anybody who has an interest in these initiatives, wants to learn more about my work plan, has some good ideas or advice they would like to share, or just wants to say hello to please contact me. You can also check out our website for updates and to learn about our membership or connect with our new Blue Route Facebook page; we are working to create a strong and vocal voice for cycling in Nova Scotia. I hope to hear from you and look forward to meeting many more Nova Scotians who are working to make our province a better place for cycling.
Sincerely, Ben Buckwold
Director, Bikeways and Blue Route Implementation
Bicycle Nova Scotia – www.bicycle.ns.ca
Bicycle Nova Scotia
Policy for Bicycling Routes in Nova Scotia
- Appendix A – Blue Route Team Terms of Reference (PDF)
- Appendix B – AT Bicycle Route Assessment Tool (Fillable PDF)
- Appendix C – TCT Roadway Signage Guidelines (PDF)