‘It will be unique’ : HRM exploring streetscaping project for Spring Garden Road

By Dan Ahlstrand

With files from Meghan Groff

Halifax Regional Municipality is looking for ideas as to what to do with Spring Garden Road.

Now that the Argyle and Grafton streetscaping project is finished, attention has shifted to the busy shopping corridor.

The municipality has issued a Request for Proposal to redevelop Spring Garden from Barrington to Robie Street.  

The executive director of the Spring Garden Area Business Association said an update for the street is long overdue.

“It's been probably 30 years or more since Spring Garden has had any kind of investment made in it and it's time that the street gets a refresh,” Juanita Spencer told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show.

The plan would prioritize pedestrians and transit users, but unlike Argyle, it wouldn't eliminate vehicles at times.

“It's a different street, it functions differently,” explained Spencer. “Some people have expressed concern that we're going to turn Spring Garden into Argyle, but that's not the case. It will be unique.”

The Spring Garden Area Business Association has asked HRM consider the impacts of converting part of Dresden Row and Birmingham Street to one-way traffic.

“To help with flow of traffic, but to also increase some parking spots in the area and potentially add some loading zones as well.”

HRM is currently testing out a “stoplet” on the street. The colourful wooden platform widens the sidewalk, essentially creating “minipark” with seating and more space for transit users to wait for buses.

So far, Spencer's organization has received a mixed reaction from area businesses to the pilot project.

“Some are very much in favour, they want to see change and people out walking … others certainly have their reservations.”

The municipality has launched an online survey to gauge opinions on enhancements to Spring Garden Road.

HRM has budgeted $10 million for the streetscaping project.

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