St. Margarets Bay Rd. number crunch being addressed
City says address changes will make it easier for first responders to find addresses
Address changes are coming for some people living on St. Margarets Bay Road in Halifax.
The Halifax Regional Municipality says there are a number of reasons for the change, safety concerns being at the forefront of the decision.
At the moment, residents and businesses on St. Margarets Bay Road near the Armdale Roundabout have confusing addresses.
Larry Rankin lives at 38A St. Margarets Bay Road, in an apartment well back from the street.
“When I went to get my power connected a year ago, they had some difficulty determining that there was a 38A,” he said.
It's not just apartments with numbers and letters that are hard to find. Another woman, who didn't want her name used, lives at 59½ St. Margarets Bay Road.
“[It] causes a lot of problems when you call for a taxi. They usually go to 59 or they'll go to the Tradewinds next door, so yeah, it runs into a lot of problems,” she said.
Jennifer Stairs, speaking for the Halifax Regional Municipality,says it's a safety issue for those who live at addresses with letters and half numbers.
“There are about 25 houses of the 130 that we’re looking at renumbering that have letters in them or ‘half’ symbols — so say 18½ — and that can be a real confusion for people in an emergency if they don’t go to the right building. Time is of the essence and we want to cut down on the confusion there,” she said.
Stairs said the city is also going to correct the St. Margarets Bay Road addresses of buildings that are actually on Balcomes Drive.
She said the half addresses also cause problems for people trying to order a taxi or fill out address forms online.
But in order to re-number the hard to find addresses, and create addresses for two new apartment buildings, everyone from number one to 134 will be impacted.
Yousef Naserbeik, who opened a hair salon on St. Margarets Bay Road seven months ago, worries the change will cause confusion for customers and cost him money.
“So I have to change all my business cards and edit the website, of course, too,” he said.
Stairs said the city recognizes the change may be inconvenient for some.
“We’re trying to provide folks as much time to prepare for the change as possible. Letters went out to residents and business owners on June 11 last week, notifying them of the change,” she said.
The address change won't take place until next spring and Stairs says the city is trying to make it as painless as possible.
The city will cover the cost of redirecting mail for one year and it will provide new civic numbers free to affected property owners.