Spring Garden Streetscaping

    What is the study area for the project?

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

      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.

    III. Detailed Design + Construction: this study area generally includes the section of Spring Garden Road between Queen Street and South Park Street, and approximately 50m up the side streets. 

    What is the difference between a functional plan, a schematic design and a detailed 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 provides a concept for improvements to the public realm. This includes elements such as street furniture, tree planting, lighting, materials and finishes.

    The detailed design develops the schematic design to the point where the preferred design can be constructed and results in construction drawings. 

    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 2021. Construction timeline and process will be developed over the next year, alongside the development of the detailed design. 

    What will construction be like?

    It is too early to say until the detailed 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?

    There will not be dedicated bicycle lanes along Spring Garden Road, as it is not identified as a candidate bicycle route in the Halifax Integrated Mobility Plan or the Active Transportation Priorities Plan. All Ages and Abilities infrastructure is currently being designed along parallel routes. 

    While Spring Garden Road is not a dedicated cycling route, the design of the street will ensure that pedestrian- and transit-priority along the corridor do not negatively impact cycling ability or create a dangerous situation. 

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

    Transit priority measures will be included along the corridor. The functional plan approved by Council on April 16, 2019 includes restricting left-turns along Spring Garden Road between Queen Street and South Park Street. Left-turn restrictions will improve transit reliability by ensuring traffic is not delayed due to left turning vehicles. 

    The April 2019 Council recommendation also directed staff to "gather data during construction on how loading is accommodated and how diverted traffic impacts other streets, and return to Council with further analysis of the impacts of a daytime transit priority corridor, including consideration of the feasibility of a temporary pilot project." 

    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.

    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 was the “Stoplet” in place?

    The stoplet was installed in July 2018 and removed in the fall of 2018, so to not interfere with snow removal operations. Based on public feedback it was re-installed for the summer of 2019. The stoplet will not be reinstalled in 2020.