A pilot project barring cars from Spring Garden Road will be delayed until June.
Halifax regional council voted Tuesday to launch the one-year pilot project in June, six months later than originally proposed. The street is currently under construction, and the pilot was to start when it opened early in 2022.
Coun. Waye Mason proposed the change. He said starting the pilot project in June would give it “a clean start” rather than starting it in the winter when “sales and foot traffic are going to be down.”
“We need an immaculate implementation,” Mason said. “We’re doing the very best we can to make sure this goes as smoothly as possible.”
Council voted unanimously in favour of Mason’s amendment.
Sue Uteck, the executive director of Spring Garden Area Business Association, expressed her concern for vehicle owners living, working and shopping in the area during a committee meeting on Nov. 25.
“Traffic changes on the district side streets and potential added limitations caused by a transit-only corridor will cause issues for residents and businesses who rely on private vehicles in the area,” Uteck said.
In an interview on Wednesday, Uteck said she’s happy with the new compromise.
“At least we can get some information out to our members and our community members about how the traffic flow is going to work,” Uteck said.
Coun. Tony Mancini said he supports the amendment.
“I think the six-month delay is good and then in June we’re going forward unless there’s data that tells us we shouldn’t be.”
The one-year pilot project will close the road to cars from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Bicycles will still be allowed to use the road.
Municipal staff will submit a progress report to council six months after the pilot is implemented.