Birmingham Street and Dresden Row became one way streets this week as part of the municipality’s Imagine Spring Garden Road project.
The goal of that plan, approved by regional council in April 2019, is to improve the busy section of Spring Garden Road between South Park and Queen streets by moving parking to side streets, extending the sidewalks for increased pedestrian safety and calming traffic in the area.
“One of the big changes that we heard from the business community and the general public was the desire for loading to move off from the Spring Garden Road,” Elora Wilkinson, a transportation planner with Halifax Regional Municipality, said in an interview.
“It created a lot of noise and impacted the pedestrian realm.”
After analyzing the capacity of Birmingham Street and Dresden Row, it was proposed that they become one way streets to create space for loading and parking along the road.
“Before the changes only one side was permitted for loading and parking and the other side was a no stopping,” said Wilkinson. “Now both sides of the street can be utilized for loading and parking and allowing the traffic flow without getting congested.”
Traffic on Dresden Row now runs northbound between Clyde Street and Artillery Place, but it’s still a two-way street between Artillery Place and Sackville Street. Birmingham Street will run southbound from Artillery Place to Clyde Street.
For at least one area resident, it’s a headache.
“It is very inconvenient,” Laura Mock, a resident of Vertu Suites on Birmingham Street, said in an interview.
“It will take some time to get used to, especially when Spring Garden Road is busy.”
The municipality also installed a new traffic light at the intersection of Dresden Row and Sackville Street, and it’s trying out a new design at the intersection of Artillery Place, Queen Street, and Birmingham Street.
“We realigned the intersection using temporary materials which allows us to test out this design and to see if it works as intended and allow the public to give us feedback that we can integrate into the final design,” said Wilkinson.
Step by step, these changes will increase safety for the community on Spring Garden Road, Wilkinson said. The schematic design demonstrates the final look of the road, with two lanes for traffic, increased sidewalk space and added spaces for pedestrians to sit and rest.
Spring Garden Road, between South Park and Queen streets, is expected to be under construction starting next spring through to the fall.