Why is this project necessary?
Traffic congestion on Bayers Road has significant impacts on Halifax Transit and reduces the ability to provide a high quality, reliable service to residents. Since the current road is too narrow to accommodate the desired transportation vision included in the Integrated Mobility Program (IMP) and the Moving Forward Together Plan (MFTP), roadway widening is required to add dedicated bus lanes.
How will this project improve things?
Bus lanes will allow buses to move freely through congested traffic conditions, improving transit travel time, reliability, and allowing more people to travel more conveniently and efficiently.
How will this project impact vehicle traffic?
The loss of one outbound traffic lane on Bayers Road between Connaught Avenue and Windsor Street may increase traffic congestion during peak periods; however, the remainder of the Bayers Road corridor will not see a reduction in traffic lanes and traffic congestion is expected to remain similar to current conditions. The removal of buses from general purpose traffic lanes will have a benefit to traffic flow. Proposed new turn restrictions would prohibit vehicles from turning right onto George Dauphinee Avenue and MicMac Street from Bayers Road.
How will this project affect pedestrians and cyclists?
The addition of a multi-use path on the south side of Bayers Road between Romans Avenue and George Dauphinee Avenue will provide a significantly improved pedestrian and cycling experience. Cyclists will also be permitted to use the bus lanes.
How will on-street parking be impacted by the project?
Dedicated bus lanes require that on-street parking is prohibited in order to allow buses unimpeded use of the lanes. The time periods during which dedicated bus lanes are in effect can vary, and a final decision has not yet been made on the time period during which the lanes on Bayers Road will be operational.
When is construction expected to begin?
Construction will be completed in two phases, with phase one from Romans Avenue to Connaught Avenue expected to begin in 2020. The construction timeline for phase two from Connaught Avenue to Windsor Street has yet to be determined.
What impacts will construction have on the area?
This project is expected to cause disruption for local residents, and the project team continues to coordinate with utilities and other stakeholders to develop a plan that will minimize the impacts as much as possible.
Is the municipality purchasing land as part of this project?
Yes, since the current road right of way is too narrow to accommodate the planned bus lanes, roadway widening and property acquisition in some areas will be required. Municipal staff have been in contact with affected property owners since summer 2019.
1. How many buses use Gottingen Street? How many buses will use it with the implementation of the Moving Forward Together Plan (MFTP)? How many of these buses provide service on Gottingen Street?
The planned service volumes for peak service indicated in the table are representative of the PM peak, while the AM peak would have reduced bus volumes as MFTP express routes 158, 159, 161, 165 and 168 would only travel on Gottingen in the PM Peak.
2. On average, how many passengers are on buses on Gottingen Street?
The following table displays the 2015 average passenger volumes per bus in both the northbound and southbound directions for a PM peak hour and an off-peak hour.
3. Why don’t buses use Barrington Street to access the Macdonald Bridge?
Buses do not currently use Barrington Street to access the Macdonald Bridge because they would have to use the Barrington Street Bridge Ramp, which can not currently accommodate bus use.
Halifax Harbour Bridges and Halifax Transit have been working together closely to test the feasibility of transit vehicles accessing the Macdonald Bridge from the Barrington Street Bridge Ramp. Municipal staff have been directed by Regional Council to provide a report that investigates the potential to move Dartmouth bound express buses off Gottingen Street, instead accessing the Macdonald Bridge via the Barrington Street Bridge Ramp. This report is anticipated to be reviewed by Regional Council in late fall 2018.
4. Why not delay the Gottingen Street bus lane implementation until it is determined whether some bus routes should relocate from Gottingen Street to alternate streets?
Gottingen Street is — and will continue to be — an important transit street, even if it is determined that some routes should be relocated. The proposed peak period bus lane will provide important service enhancements that will benefit both local and limited stop routes.
5. How will parking and loading be impacted?
Implementing a peak period northbound bus lane requires changes to pavement lane markings that affect parking and loading in the following way:
· No stopping in the southbound curb lane at any time
· No stopping in the northbound curb lane during peak periods (Weekdays 7-9 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.)
· Parking and loading permitted in northbound curb lane, within the areas indicated by parking signs, during off-peak periods (Weekdays before 7 a.m., 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., after 6 p.m.and all day on weekends).
The following table displays the existing and the future number of off-peak parking spaces on the East and West side of Gottingen Street.
6. Will Emergency vehicles be able to stop/park in a no stopping zone?
According to the Motor Vehicle Act, emergency vehicles are not subject to parking/stopping restrictions if the are being used in an emergency.
7. Will Access-A-Bus be permitted to stop in no stopping zones?
Access-A-Bus vehicles are not allowed to stop in no stopping zones, but may stop in loading zones or at bus stops.
8. How will waste collection be impacted along Gottingen Street?
Where possible, waste collection will occur on side streets off Gottingen Street. If it is not possible, waste collection will be completed during off-peak periods, as is typical on many arterial and collector streets in Halifax.
9. How will this project affect pedestrians?
Pedestrian amenities including pedestrian bump-outs and street trees are being added as part of the project. The sidewalk will not be reduced in size or removed as this project does not involve widening the road or right-of-way.
10. How will this project affect cyclists?
Northbound cyclists will be permitted to use the bus lane during peak periods. During off-peak periods, they will ride in mixed traffic next to the on-street parking and loading areas. Southbound cyclists will be required to ride in mixed traffic in the southbound lane at all times.
11. Will crosswalks be impacted by the project?
Crosswalk distances across Gottingen Street will not change. The road is not being widened as a result of this project, but the way the space is allocated between the curbs will change. During peak periods, pedestrians will cross two mixed-traffic lanes and one bus lane. During off-peak periods, pedestrians will cross two mixed-traffic lanes and one parking lane. Currently, pedestrians walk across two mixed-traffic lanes and two parking lanes.
12. Will new signalized pedestrian crossings or “half signals” be included in the project?
Not at this time. Conceptual plans for the project considered the potential for signalized pedestrian crossings at two locations; however, they are not being included in the design. This project will improve pedestrian safety and comfort through the implementation of curb extensions across three side streets: Uniacke Street, Cunard Street, and Portland Place.
13. How can complete streets elements improve the safety and comfort of pedestrians?
Complete streets elements including landscaping (trees, benches, and curb extensions) will be included as part of the Gottingen Street project. These elements have the potential to improve pedestrian safety and comfort by acting as a buffer between pedestrians and vehicles, promoting reduced vehicle speeds, and adding aesthetically pleasing elements to the pedestrian zone.
14. How will the effectiveness of the project be evaluated?
As directed by Regional Council (RC), municipal staff have developed a Monitoring and Evaluation Plan to monitor the impacts of the project. The results of the plan will be presented to RC within a year of project implementation.
The Monitoring and Evaluation Plan includes fourteen metrics:
· Change in average transit travel time and variability
· Ridership experience
· Transit operator experience
· Change in ridership
· Change in number of transit related collisions (vehicle damage only)
· Change in the total person throughput
· Cross section allocation
· Public Experience
· Change in the number and severity of collisions
· Change in how people are accessing the street
· Non-adherence of transit lane
· Change in the 85th percentile speed
· Number of installed streetscape elements
· Parking utilization
Robie and Young Streets
1. How many bus routes serve Young Street and Robie Street?
How many bus routes serve Young Street and Robie Street?
Young Street – four bus routes currently serve the street 80, 81, 35, 330
Robie Street – eight bus routes serve at least some part of the Robie Street Corridor From Young Street to South Street – 7, 17, 18, 23, 42, 80, 81, 90.
2. How much vehicle traffic is there on Young Street and Robie Street?
Young Street - 15,000 vehicles per day (two way traffic)Robie Street - 20,000 – 25,000 vehicles per day (two way traffic)
3. How many parking and loading spots may be impacted by the proposed measures on Young Street and Robie Street?
Young Street – there are currently no on street parking spaces on Young Street
Robie Street - the proposed measures could impact up to 210 existing on street parking spaces on Robie Street between Young Street and South Street.