Spring Garden Streetscaping

What is the study area for the project?

The study area is defined for each of the two core project phases: (I) Functional Plan, and (II) Schematic Streetscape Design:

  I.  Functional Plan: this study area includes the entire Spring Garden Road corridor, between Barrington Street and Robie Street. It will also consider the impacts on the surrounding street network in conjunction with any changes proposed on Spring Garden Road.

  II.  Schematic Streetscape Design: this study area generally includes the section of Spring Garden Road between Queen Street and Cathedral Lane.

What is the difference between a functional plan and a schematic design?

A functional plan looks at how a corridor functions, in this case primarily from a transportation perspective. It includes consideration of transit, pedestrian flow, bicycles traffic, and loading.The functional plan for Spring Garden Road will identify future transit priority measures, sidewalk widths, potential one-way side streets, etc.

The schematic streetscape design emphasizes placemaking and advances decisions related to improvements to the public realm. This includes elements such as underground power, street furniture, tree planting, lighting, materials and finishes.

How can the public contribute to the development of the plan?

In phase one we will be seeking public input on three options for the functional plan, which will determine the major components of the corridor such as the relative widths of the street and sidewalk. In phase two, the public will be asked to comment on their preferences for various design treatments.

A few key elements of this plan have already been defined by Halifax Regional Council through prior work, such as the Integrated Mobility Plan (2017). This includes considering Spring Garden Road as a transit-priority corridor, prioritizing the movement of people (not necessarily in cars) and the importance of placemaking. 

When will the functional plan be finalized?

The functional plan will be finalized once it has been approved by Regional Council, targeting winter 2019.

What is the budget for this project?

The budget for this project is $10 million, including design and construction.

What is the project timeline?

Construction is expected to begin, at the earliest, in 2020. Construction timeline and process will be influenced by the final selected design.

What will construction be like?

It is too early to say until the design is finalized. At a minimum, pedestrian access will be maintained to all properties, but it may be desirable to limit vehicles during construction to reduce the amount of time it takes to rebuild the street. 

Will there be dedicated bicycle lanes on Spring Garden Road?

It is very unlikely as Spring Garden Road is not identified as a candidate bicycle route in the Halifax Integrated Mobility Plan or the Active Transportation Priorities Plan.

Will there be a dedicated bus lane on Spring Garden Road?

Transit priority measures will be proposed along the corridor; however, it is too early in the design phase to know which transit-priority measures will be used. Transit priority measures can include elements such as bus lanes, queue jumps, and transit signal priority.

What lessons did you learn from the Argyle & Grafton Shared Streetscaping Project?

During the Argyle & Grafton streetscaping project we learned a lot about working together as a community. The project taught us about collaborating on a clear vision for the street, and working together to make the most of the construction phase. We built a solid relationship with the Business Improvement District and many of the businesses along the construction corridor and within the downtown. We also demonstrated that a high-quality streetscape project contributes to the social and commercial success of an area, and the region. Argyle & Grafton has hosted dozens of events and won five local and international awards, attracting attention to the area and benefiting local business owners while providing local residents with an enjoyable place to be.

How does this project differ from the Argyle & Grafton Shared Streetscaping Project?

Argyle and Grafton Streets function differently from Spring Garden Road; therefore, a different design solution is needed. Among other things, Spring Garden Road must continue to function as a transit corridor. What will be similar is the high quality of design and material finishes, and the emphasis on pedestrians.

Isn’t there already a streetscaping plan in place for Spring Garden Road?

A plan was developed in 2009, but funding for implementation was never approved at the time.  Since it’s almost 10 years later, it’s worth revisiting some of the interesting ideas proposed in that plan before we make decisions about the final project.

How does this project fit in with other municipal plans and projects?

Spring Garden Streetscaping aligns with policies from several municipal plans:

i. Centre Plan: One of four core principles of the Centre Plan, establishing “Pedestrian First” communities, means making walking a more convenient, pleasant and viable transportation choice. This leads to community benefits such as emission reductions and improved public health. Since everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their journeys, placing pedestrians first improves the urban environment for everyone.
ii. Integrated Mobility Plan:  The IMP directs the prioritization of ‘place’ streets and the development of enhancement plans emphasizing streets with high volumes of pedestrian activity and of regional significance.  It supports pilot projects to test new ideas for how streets can function. How does it affect Spring Garden Road? The IMP identifies Spring Garden Road as a Transit Priority Corridor. Transit Priority Corridors are streets that have been strategically prioritized for transit through the use of Transit Priority Measures (TPMs). TPMs are tools that prioritize the movement of buses over other vehicles, reducing travel time and increasing reliability. Common examples include bus queue jump lanes, transit signal priority, and dedicated bus lanes.The IMP allows the municipality to recommend to Regional Council the use of TMPs to help bus movement through corridors including Spring Garden.
iii. Moving Forward Together Plan (Transit): Spring Garden Road is and will continue to be, an important corridor for Halifax Transit buses. 
iv. The Halifax Economic Strategy calls for the development of a long-term streetscaping program for the Regional Centre, recognizing the contribution that great streets make to livability in dense urban areas.

Integrated Mobility Program

What is a Complete Street?

“Complete Streets” is an approach to street design that examines the specific context of a project. It considers how the street functions as a destination or ‘place’ as well as a transportation ‘link’. It aims to improve the comfort and safety for all transportation modes, emphasizing pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users.

What is the bus service on Spring Garden Road between Queen and South Park?

Spring Garden Road is one of the key corridors in Halifax for public transportation demand. There are approximately 21 routes which service the corridor with over 5,000 passengers boarding and alighting during a typical weekday.

What is the car traffic like?

Data collected in May 2018 between Dresden Row and Birmingham Street reveals:

  • There are nearly 6,000 vehicles per day (two way)

  • Speed limit – 50km/h

  • Average speed – 31.3km/h

  • 85% of vehicles travel no more than 39km/h (called the ‘85th percentile speed)

  • Max Speed = 83km/h (documented on 6/05/2018 at 05:45am)

  • Vehicle composition: 1.8% small/ 91.1% medium/ 7.2% large


What is a ‘Stoplet’?

A play on the word ‘parklet’ (the temporary conversion of a parking space into a mini park); this pilot project is also a busy bus stop, hence….’stoplet’!

How long will the “Stoplet” be in place?

The Stoplet will be installed in July and removed in the fall of 2018, so it does not interfere with snow removal operations.

How will the Stoplet be constructed?

The pilot project is constructed of wooden modules that will be constructed off-site. Installation will require the bus stop be closed for a few days. 

Will the Stoplet come back next year?

This will be determined through feedback from the public in 2018.

What happens next?

Following this initial period of public engagement, consultants will be hired to carry out a ‘functional plan’ for Spring Garden Road and area. This will confirm the vision for the entire corridor and some of the surrounding area, and help us decide what should be included within the scope of the detailed design for the streetscaping project. The public will continue to be engaged.

Where can I find out more about the project?

Shape Your City will continue to provide updates about the project. We will be talking to people on the street and at the stoplet through summer 2018, and there will be some community meetings for larger group discussions. Dates, times and locations will be posted here on Shape Your City.