Nova Scotia

Haligonians have 2 weeks to weigh in on $10M Spring Garden Road upgrade

To widen the sidewalks or make the street for pedestrians only — close to 150 people showed up to weigh in on proposals at the Halifax Central Library Monday night.

Close to 150 people attended meeting to weigh in on proposals, including a pedestrian-only option

Spring Garden Road is one of Halifax's busiest pedestrian shopping streets and a major corridor for Halifax Transit, according to the municipality. (Robert Short/CBC)

Proposals for a $10-million upgrade to Spring Garden Road in downtown Halifax by 2020 were met with mixed reviews at a public meeting held Monday night. 

One of the proposals included creating a boulevard down the middle of the street and another proposal was to only allow transit and pedestrians to use the street during the day. All of the options included burying utility lines.

"We have a full spectrum of options," explained Elora Wilkinson, a municipal project manager. "One is status quo with an enhanced pedestrian realm and the boldest idea is a transit and pedestrian only zone."

"I don't see anything new here," said Diana Burns, one of about 150 people who attended a public meeting on the proposals at Halifax Central Library. "My main objective would be to see Spring Garden completely pedestrian."

Juanita Spencer, head of the Spring Garden Road and area Business Association, had reservations.

"That option was a bit of a surprise," said Juanita Spencer. "I don't think we're going to get the support of our members for a transit only street."

About 150 people attended an open house at the Halifax Central Library Monday night to talk about proposals for Spring Garden Road. (Robert Short/CBC)

There was also some scepticism about constructing a boulevard down a section of Spring Garden Road between South Park and Robie Streets.

"You don't have the street width to put a boulevard in and have a bike lane, a transit lane and traffic," said Brian Storrie, who lives along Spring Garden Road.

Storrie would prefer part of Spring Garden Road be made one way.

But planners have ruled out that idea because of the impact on transit routes.

Turning the side streets of Birmingham and Dresden Row into a one way route is still a possibility.

One of the proposals for a $10 million upgrade to Spring Garden Road included creating a boulevard down the middle of the street. (Robert Short/CBC)

William Breckenridge, who lives on Clyde Street, is not in favour of that idea.

"Have you seen Birmingham and Clyde on a Saturday? Cars don't know what to do," Breckenridge said. "Until you live it, you're not going to know it."

Breckenridge also thinks the pedestrian bump outs at the major intersections will create problems for trucks and buses trying to navigate the street.

But Ben Hammer likes them.

"I'm excited to see them included," said Hammer. "They provide better visibility for pedestrians and vehicles. They're a huge safety feature."

The proposals are online and people have another two weeks to send in comments.

Planners expect to take a final design to regional council this spring.


Pam Berman


Pam Berman is CBC Nova Scotia's municipal affairs reporter. She's been a journalist for almost 35 years and has covered Halifax regional council since 1997. That includes four municipal elections, 19 budgets and countless meetings. Story ideas can be sent to