Nova Scotia

Halifax calls for proposals for shared street designs in downtown

More blocks in downtown Halifax are to be included in the shared street concept that was implemented on Argyle Street earlier this summer.

Flattened curbs, new trees and street furniture coming to more downtown streets

Conceptual design for how Grafton Street could look after undergoing a proposed redesign. (Halifax Regional Municipality)

After a successful summertime pilot project on Argyle Street, the shared street concept will soon be implemented elsewhere in downtown Halifax.

A request for proposals issued Friday calls for a designer to re-imagine an additional block of Argyle Street as well as a section of Grafton Street.

Paul MacKinnon, executive director of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, said the work comes on the heels of a pilot project that saw one block of Argyle Street painted blue, green and white in an argyle motif and closed to vehicular traffic on weekends.

"It's gone really well," MacKinnon said. "It's garnered a lot of attention because the argyle design is lots of fun. But more importantly, people have been using the street in a very different way than they have in the past."

The redesign of the streets is being timed to correspond with the opening of the new Nova Centre.

The block of Grafton Street to be renewed connects the convention centre with the Scotiabank Centre, World Trade and Convention Centre, Grand Parade, as well as a tunnel network that connects numerous downtown office towers.

The chosen contractor will be tasked with designing a street in which all modes of transportation have equal access to the roadway.

"The whole concept of a shared street is that it's open for everyone, whether you've got a baby stroller or you're walking or you're driving a car," said MacKinnon.

"We all kind of give way a little bit to each other, we're a little bit more aware of our surroundings and everything just kind of slows down a little bit."

The deadline to submit bids is Oct. 1 with the design scheduled to be completed by June 2016.

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