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Council sinks ferry proposal

Traffic nightmare predicted for Quinpool Road this summer

3 min read
caption Rush hour traffic on Quinpool Road and MacDonald Street. Repairs on the bridge will begin in April.
Maya Palacio

Regional council has rejected funding a ferry to reduce traffic when part of Quinpool Road closes this summer.

Coun. Shawn Cleary wants a pedestrian and bicycle ferry to run from Dingle Park starting April 1, when Quinpool between Connaught Avenue and the Armdale Rotary will close for road repairs.

Citing a 2015 traffic report, Cleary said 12,000 commuters use the route each morning to reach Halifax from Spryfield, Tantallon and other communities west of downtown.

“Anything we can do to help alleviate the traffic nightmare that’s going to happen around Quinpool and the areas adjacent to it would be great,” Cleary said.

Cleary gave several potential destinations for the ferry: the Jubilee Road wharf, the Waegwoltic dock, a floating dock on South Street and public docks on the Halifax and Dartmouth waterfronts.

His motion was quickly rejected by other councillors who said the proposal came too late and would cost too much.

“It’s the kind of thinking that should have been done years ago. We have to plan for these things,” said Coun. Tim Outhit.

Cleary said they were wrong.

“The idea that this is inoperable is actually false; it’s totally operable. We have service providers that are actually interested in doing it,” he said. “We have infrastructure that is already in place to do it and so those are actual non-issues. If you vote against it, don’t vote against because of this information.”

Coun. Matt Whitman said it was impractical.

“I just don’t see it, people choosing to walk and catch the ferry instead of drive, being a reality and for that reason, I won’t be supporting it,” Whitman said.

The motion was defeated 7-10.

Quinpool Road is scheduled to close April 1 and reopen in August. Traffic from the Armdale Rotary will be rerouted to Chebucto Road and Connaught Avenue and then back onto Quinpool.

caption Regional council says that the repairs on the Quinpool bridge are long over due.
Maya Palacio

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