On June 10, 2019 HRM revealed the two schematic design options for Spring Garden Road. They can be viewed on Shape Your City, where there is an opportunity to give online feedback. Option A – Pocket Parks pulls the Public Gardens out along the street. Option B – Paver Promenade is characterized by planters, such as currently found by the Halifax Central Library. Both options present unique opportunities for the street, although there have been concerns expressed about the maintenance of Option A, and its impact on the using the street for parades and other festivals. In addition to a round of public engagement, both options are also being reviewed by various HRM staff and departments for feasibility.
The Association is in the process of completing an impact and strategic assessment for the area. This will look at construction mitigation as well as opportunities for the area once the streetscaping project is complete. We are pulling together two task teams to think through wayfinding and streetscaping, but also look for us to be visiting your business throughout the 2019 summer to learn what you need to thrive during this difficult construction period, and how the Association can support you. We also want to hear about how you will use the street once the project is complete!
Cogswell Interchange Development Project
SGABA is one of the many organizations who stand behind a review of the proposed Cogswell Interchange Development project. SGABA knows that the redevelopment of the Cogswell Interchange is vital to the success of the downtown core and is committed to ensuring the correct steps are taken and create a vibrant city that does not repeat the mistakes of the past.
LACK of WHOLISTIC VISION and PLANNING
The Downtown Halifax planning strategy, HRM by Design, and other documents point to a cohesive vision of the urban core. However, many large planning projects, public and private, seem to be happening in isolation of this larger vision. Sometimes they conflict. Cogswell, because it is such a large and visible project, rather than continue in isolation, should be a catalyst to create a common vision, which would set the parameters for all planning projects. In its current form, the Cogswell District plan does not do this.
HRM’s “Moving Forward Together” plan is an operational strategy that does not contain a long-term vision for transit in our city. It continues to send many, many empty buses along our most successful retail streets (Spring Garden, Barrington, Gottingen), and lacks any sort of attention to how transit moves people around within the urban core (as opposed to in and out for the purposes of a work commute). SGABA does not believe that the Cogswell District Plan adequately addresses this concern, and the plan should not move forward until a consensus has been reached that outlines the future of transportation in the region to 2050.
Truck traffic, particularly from the port, is an ongoing limitation to the vibrancy of downtown, particularly regarding its impact on the waterfront area, which is Nova Scotia’s #1 visited tourist destination. We know that there are other challenges relating to heavy traffic for commuters, deliveries, construction, etc. but port truck traffic is an ongoing daily issue. The Port is undertaking a master plan and seeking federal funding for proposed port changes, which could involve using the CN-owned rail cut, or even moving the port. The current Cogswell plan accommodates current conditions, with seeming no consideration to how those conditions could (and should) change.
For specific issues see here
An Accessible Spring Garden Area
Almost 30% of Nova Scotians over the age of 15 identify as having a disability. Recognizing the importance of building inclusive communities, the Accessibility Act aims to build a fully accessible Nova Scotia by 2030. The Association is committed to raising awareness about accessibility in the area, and supporting members to comply with the legislation. We have developed fact sheets outlining what the Accessibility Act means for you business and funding opportunities from the Business ACCESS-Ability Grant.