GOTTINGEN STREET BUS CORRIDOR
Project Overview: Recent and ongoing policy development efforts have prioritized making improvements to Halifax’s transit service. The adopted Moving Forward Together Plan and the currently-in-development Integrated Mobility Plan will include bold moves that will aim to improve transit service throughout the city through increased priority, enhanced reliability, and reduced travel time.
Among the key initiatives that the Municipality is considering for transit upgrades are Transit Priority Measures (TPMs) to be strategically located along corridors and intersections to prioritize the movement of buses. HRM has contracted WSP to study the functionality and roadway design for the viability of TPMs along two corridors – Bayers Road and Gottingen Street, with a possibility of looking into the functionality of Robie Street serving as a third corridor.
Stakeholder Workshop: As part of preliminary work, WSP would like to engage with stakeholders who may be directly impacted by these new TPM corridors. In the coming weeks, members of NEBA will receive an invite to attend a stakeholder workshop to discuss project objectives, and identify where existing constraints and opportunities may lie. This workshop will be a critical piece to informing and developing preliminary TPM designs the corridors.
NEBA Concerns: Parking is still essential for any successful commercial district. In fact, it is considered one of the ten critical elements for rebuilding neighbourhood retail by organizations like the Brookings Institute and the Urban Land Institute. While other interventions like increasing density and walkability, and providing safe environments for cyclists, also contribute to the success of commercial districts, the car is still the most popular mode of transit and enables a population outside of the immediate district to access a commercial areas. The car is still a reality — for now. Parking concerns need to be addressed in the over all plan for Gottingen, along with streetscape improvements to enhance the pedestrian experience, and connections to local Active Transit networks. Small businesses will have a tough time otherwise. Gottingen was never designed as a "transit corridor" and we feel it is critically important to the future vitality of the neighbourhood that Gottingen remain a "high street" commercial and residential district — not a bus thoroughfare. Last year famous urbanist Jan Gehl visited Halifax and said a very important thing: Buses are good; too many buses are not. It is the increase in bus traffic and the number of buses that do not primarily serve the local population that concern us most — as they are the reason Gottingen was identified as needing TPMs. If you are interested in attending the stakeholder event, please let us know. An invitation to business and property owners bordering Gottingen will be emailed directly and we highly encourage NEBA members to attend. Stay tuned for a notice once the date for the stakeholder consultation event has been set by WSP. A public consultation will be scheduled in July.