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someone123
Sep 12, 2013, 4:10 AM
One good way to think of this is the modal share. No city is going to hit 100% transit, but if Halifax were to go from 10% transit to 20% or 30% transit then there would be a lot of savings in terms of the amount of road space that would need to be maintained for vehicles. Even those who choose not to take transit would benefit from the savings.

Similarly, even out in far-flung suburbs you are not going to find 100% of people driving. Some don't want to and many can't, so there is a demand for transit as a public service.

In the same way, the suburban/urban infill split might go from 84/16 to 70/30 or 60/40. That would save billions of dollars and would make it a lot easier to have efficient transit services. We'd be able to have more routes like the 1, which actually makes a profit, and there would be less need for suburban arterial roads and money-losing suburban transit service.

not that we can afford LRT anyway

I disagree. There are $1B LRT projects, but there are also $30M or $60M projects that come in at around $10M per kilometer. It would be worth that kind of money to have a good quality transit corridor in the city and that level of investment is pretty affordable for the municipality.

pchipman
Sep 12, 2013, 4:30 AM
Because we have a difference of opinion does not make yours right and mine wrong no matter who you quote.

I think you are confusing an opinion and an argument.

Counterfactual seems to be presenting an argument, as he has provided some evidence to back up his claims. You seem to be presenting an opinion, as you fail to back up your claims with evidence.

An argument and an opinion cannot be considered equally valid in a discussion.

Empire
Sep 12, 2013, 4:49 AM
Only to a point...
I will concede that as of the time that a road expansion opens, it does help traffic flow. I think no one disagrees with that, things move well. The problem becomes over time.

As the City grows, there are percentages that use cars, transit, walk etc. What those numbers are for HRM I don't know the exact breakdown; but I'd hazard an educated guess that car is likely over 50%. But as the city grows, while the percentages may go up or down, the volume of vehicles tends to go up and so more cars are on the road. That means that at peak times, capacity starts tightening and eventually the roads get jammed again. Keep in mind, when people complain about traffic we are talking about a 2-5 hour span of time in the day (morning/evening rush). So spending millions of $ to help cars get through an area and then the road performs super well (because it's under capacity) all other times - makes you wonder what the value is?

Keep in mind - after 5 years (typically) the road capacity reaches the clogged point again, after the road is expanded. So then you have to expand again - it's a never ending cycle.

I think we all agree that the only way forward is a combination effort and it's not as simple as expanding one road. It's a comprehensive effort of land use/transportation planning and investment.

To say that over time the streets will just become congested again simply means the city is growing. If you build a large apt. complex and it is sold out and more people want to move into the area you build another and another. It's all part of the infrastructure to sustain the population. If Halifax doesn't want to aggressively pursue alternate forms of transportation then street alignment is the obvious choice.

Subways are out, fast ferries are out, LTR is stalled in four decade quagmire, bike lanes are not built properly and for the most part go nowhere, there are no good walking routes, we don't have water taxis and we can't even paint our crosswalks. The taxis we do have are only allowed in certain areas thus stranding people who then give up and take their car.

counterfactual
Sep 12, 2013, 5:33 AM
To say that over time the streets will just become congested again simply means the city is growing. If you build a large apt. complex and it is sold out and more people want to move into the area you build another and another. It's all part of the infrastructure to sustain the population. If Halifax doesn't want to aggressively pursue alternate forms of transportation then street alignment is the obvious choice.

Subways are out, fast ferries are out, LTR is stalled in four decade quagmire, bike lanes are not built properly and for the most part go nowhere, there are no good walking routes, we don't have water taxis and we can't even paint our crosswalks. The taxis we do have are only allowed in certain areas thus stranding people who then give up and take their car.

Population growth is only one of three major factors in increasing congestion. Others are, existing drivers driving more. And non-drivers choosing to drive.

Studies show a direct linear relationship between provision of major urban road provision and congestion due to increased driving, over time. Not just in the aggregate, as in more population and thus drivers appear on the scene, but existing drivers start driving more. More roads = more congestion. *shrug*

As for the final lines, agreed; but then, maybe this should be the basis for a call for urgent action in the city, or at least, get its shit together.

IMHO, for example, the City has completely dropped the ball on LRT by killing its relationship with CN Rail, in order to save some money on infrastructure upgrades...

counterfactual
Sep 12, 2013, 5:34 AM
one good way to think of this is the modal share. No city is going to hit 100% transit, but if halifax were to go from 10% transit to 20% or 30% transit then there would be a lot of savings in terms of the amount of road space that would need to be maintained for vehicles. Even those who choose not to take transit would benefit from the savings.

Similarly, even out in far-flung suburbs you are not going to find 100% of people driving. Some don't want to and many can't, so there is a demand for transit as a public service.

In the same way, the suburban/urban infill split might go from 84/16 to 70/30 or 60/40. That would save billions of dollars and would make it a lot easier to have efficient transit services. We'd be able to have more routes like the 1, which actually makes a profit, and there would be less need for suburban arterial roads and money-losing suburban transit service.



I disagree. There are $1b lrt projects, but there are also $30m or $60m projects that come in at around $10m per kilometer. It would be worth that kind of money to have a good quality transit corridor in the city and that level of investment is pretty affordable for the municipality.

+100

ILoveHalifax
Sep 12, 2013, 7:23 AM
I think you are confusing an opinion and an argument.

Counterfactual seems to be presenting an argument, as he has provided some evidence to back up his claims. You seem to be presenting an opinion, as you fail to back up your claims with evidence.

An argument and an opinion cannot be considered equally valid in a discussion.

Oh I get it! If I quote somebody else because I do not have enough life experience of my own then I speak with more authority. But would I not have to have an opinion before I choose to quote somebody?
I thought we all had our own opinions about how to grow a city. Mine is based on many decades of watching cities grow and develop, not reading and quoting somebody else's opinion. Or is that somebody else's argument?
Quoting a suspect group and name dropping is not proof of any argument. It could be an indication of somebody not having enough life experience to have an opinion of their own.
I am greatly amused by those who have an idea about urban life from reading the latest paper. They seem to want to discount those of us who have some life experience to back up our thoughts. Time will tell who is right and one should be very weary of claiming to have all the answers. The papers of today could be the joke of tomorrow.

pchipman
Sep 12, 2013, 9:42 AM
Quoting a suspect group and name dropping is not proof of any argument. It could be an indication of somebody not having enough life experience to have an opinion of their own.


I think you misunderstand my comment. Counterfactual referenced this study:

Duranton, Gilles, and Matthew A. Turner (2011). The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities. American Economic Review 101, 6: 2616-2652.

It used data from across the US to estimate the relationship between the number of lanes on a given road and the volume of traffic on these roads. The authors observed a proportional increase in vehicle traffic to the number of lanes on these roads. These are objective measurements - evidence. The authors suggest that widening roads will not relieve congestion. This is an argument based on the evidence provided in the study.

BUT, importantly, the authors did not observe an effect of public transit to relieve traffic congestion on these roads. So, the authors suggest that neither road widening NOR public transit will relieve congestion.

Also, the authors did not examine the influence of road widening on traffic volume of identified roads over time (although other studies may have done this). All they have is a correlation between lane number and traffic volume. This is a limitation to the arguments that they can make.

Of course, population, demographics, geography, and a whole litany of things will influence driving patterns in a given region. This study has the benefit that it uses are large data set that includes regions from across the US. Regardless, the effects observed in this study aren't necessarily directly relevant to Halifax, or to Canada for that matter.

So, I am not saying a single argument is right and wrong, but rather that we can approach an effective solution (or consensus) more closely if we carefully assess the evidence and go from there. Otherwise, we are doomed to argue the same points again and again and again (and have been), without approaching anything close to a solution.

ILoveHalifax
Sep 12, 2013, 10:11 AM
I think you misunderstand my comment. Counterfactual referenced this study:

Duranton, Gilles, and Matthew A. Turner (2011). The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities. American Economic Review 101, 6: 2616-2652.

It used data from across the US to estimate the relationship between the number of lanes on a given road and the volume of traffic on these roads. The authors observed a proportional increase in vehicle traffic to the number of lanes on these roads. These are objective measurements - evidence. The authors suggest that widening roads will not relieve congestion. This is an argument based on the evidence provided in the study.

BUT, importantly, the authors did not observe an effect of public transit to relieve traffic congestion on these roads. So, the authors suggest that neither road widening NOR public transit will relieve congestion.

Also, the authors did not examine the influence of road widening on traffic volume of identified roads over time (although other studies may have done this). All they have is a correlation between lane number and traffic volume. This is a limitation to the arguments that they can make.

Of course, population, demographics, geography, and a whole litany of things will influence driving patterns in a given region. This study has the benefit that it uses are large data set that includes regions from across the US. Regardless, the effects observed in this study aren't necessarily directly relevant to Halifax, or to Canada for that matter.

So, I am not saying a single argument is right and wrong, but rather that we can approach an effective solution (or consensus) more closely if we carefully assess the evidence and go from there. Otherwise, we are doomed to argue the same points again and again and again (and have been), without approaching anything close to a solution.

I don't think I misunderstood you at all, I'm really not that stupid. But, you seem to be misunderstanding me. You feel that a study done by who ever, is more valid than my thoughts. What I am saying is that I do not believe the results of most studies usually done to try to prove a point to set an agenda.
Common sense tells me that if we had not built any roads from 1950 on, this city would be impassible. The evidence is clear, but you fail to recognize the fact that we are no longer a city of 75,000 people We have built our city to try to accommodate our population and growth. Naturally 450,000 people cannot move live on a road network built for 75,000 people, no matter how many we try to force onto public transit. Had we banned all cars from the road we still would not function.

pchipman
Sep 12, 2013, 10:54 AM
I agree with others who have suggested that the city needs to implement a variety of approaches in order to improve mobility across the peninsula.

Road widening is a part of the solution, but it is not THE solution.

ILoveHalifax
Sep 12, 2013, 10:58 AM
I agree with others who have suggested that the city needs to implement a variety of approaches in order to improve mobility across the peninsula.

Road widening is a part of the solution, but it is not THE solution.

I quite agree but there is unlikely a 'THE' solution.

Empire
Sep 12, 2013, 11:25 AM
I agree with others who have suggested that the city needs to implement a variety of approaches in order to improve mobility across the peninsula.

Road widening is a part of the solution, but it is not THE solution.

I will repeat what I said above. (blue below) Any study that says if you widen a street more cars will use it should be ripped up for the obvious reasons. I suppose if you build a bigger ferry more people will use it. The study probably looked at traffic counts per hour and saw an increase of 10% after widening per hour. That should tell you people are home faster and not sitting on the highway idling destroying the ozone layer.

HRM makes very little effort to modernize the transportation system. We don't have HOV lanes....why? Because we are too small. How many stop lights are synchronized for better traffic flow? We could have better equipped park and ride systems. MicMac mall could be a major terminus. HRM could build a 3000 car parking garage on site and have frequent shuttles to downtown. Perhaps smaller busses in some areas would work with more frequent trips. Of all of the alternatives to congested traffic in HRM none of them will work easily or in some cases work at all. This is due to our topography, poor street grid, lack of available space, small population and poor/redundant traffic management.



To say that over time the streets will just become congested again simply means the city is growing. If you build a large apt. complex and it is sold out and more people want to move into the area you build another and another. It's all part of the infrastructure to sustain the population. If Halifax doesn't want to aggressively pursue alternate forms of transportation then street alignment is the obvious choice.

Subways are out, fast ferries are out, LTR is stalled in four decade quagmire, bike lanes are not built properly and for the most part go nowhere, there are no good walking routes, we don't have water taxis and we can't even paint our crosswalks. The taxis we do have are only allowed in certain areas thus stranding people who then give up and take their car.

beyeas
Sep 12, 2013, 4:16 PM
I think you are confusing an opinion and an argument.

Counterfactual seems to be presenting an argument, as he has provided some evidence to back up his claims. You seem to be presenting an opinion, as you fail to back up your claims with evidence.

An argument and an opinion cannot be considered equally valid in a discussion.

After all, an argument is a collective series of statements to establish a definite proposition!

What...is this a five minute argument or the full hour?...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kQFKtI6gn9Y

halifaxboyns
Sep 12, 2013, 5:28 PM
To say that over time the streets will just become congested again simply means the city is growing. If you build a large apt. complex and it is sold out and more people want to move into the area you build another and another. It's all part of the infrastructure to sustain the population. If Halifax doesn't want to aggressively pursue alternate forms of transportation then street alignment is the obvious choice.

Subways are out, fast ferries are out, LTR is stalled in four decade quagmire, bike lanes are not built properly and for the most part go nowhere, there are no good walking routes, we don't have water taxis and we can't even paint our crosswalks. The taxis we do have are only allowed in certain areas thus stranding people who then give up and take their car.

All good points - I think we really need to have a serious discussion about transit (which I'm hoping the recent AG's report will help create). We have to get past this idea of 'we can't do anything' or 'we don't have the $'. There are lots of ways to find the money for projects, we just have to think differently. Someone123 pointed out a few small projects, which over time create a good BRT corridor. I posted the video of the General Manager of Planning out here in Calgary talking about Tax Increment Financing Districts and Value Capture - something that US cities use quite a bit and banks are quite keen to provide $ for.

If you haven't seen the video I mentioned, Rollin talks about those here (http://youtu.be/WQ-MWrGJ6AQ?t=38m56s). Maybe we need to also look at (in the future after the HST goes down) considering a sales tax? Nothing like 1% but maybe 10 cents on items over $5 or a nickle for every item over $1.00? There is also the option of looking at taxing gas with additional fees to go straight into transit? I suspect this would prove hugely unpopular, but it's a thought. So we have to start grappling with this and realizing it's not going to be easy.

As a planner, I know I drone on and on about the connection between land use planning and transportation, but that's one of the key things we can do to improve both the quality of the region (urban realm) and transit. We need to put people where the transit is and 'stack the deck'. Look at Portland Street for example - the most successful Bus Corridor in HRM. That is logically, the first place an LRT should be because the level of service and ridership would support it.

So if we make that logical conclusion - then why be fearful of the 3rd harbour crossing and use it to our advantage. Bite the bullet and build it (tunnel or bridge) and find the money to get the LRT into the core. Doesn't matter if it means tunneling into the core or if its a surface route - but bite the bullet and build it. But as you build it, rezone all the commercial sites along Portland Street for high density mixed use. Make the buildings come closer to the street, they can provide urban format retail (like the Rona concept on Robie) so that we can still have grocery stores and put all the parking in the back of the sites. Make Penhorn a Transit oriented village and now you end up with a few thousand more people, living along a rapid transit system that connects them to where they work, live and play. Even if only 50% of those people use that transit line for their work trips, that's a huge improvement.

One simple project like this, will change how people see transit function and rest assured they will want it where they live. The problem I see, is we (HRM in totality) keep thinking in small town/city frame of mind. We have to move past that. As cliche as it sounds, it's time to think big and dare to dream big.

Antigonish
Sep 12, 2013, 5:40 PM
Only to a point...
I will concede that as of the time that a road expansion opens, it does help traffic flow. I think no one disagrees with that, things move well. The problem becomes over time.

As the City grows, there are percentages that use cars, transit, walk etc. What those numbers are for HRM I don't know the exact breakdown; but I'd hazard an educated guess that car is likely over 50%. But as the city grows, while the percentages may go up or down, the volume of vehicles tends to go up and so more cars are on the road. That means that at peak times, capacity starts tightening and eventually the roads get jammed again. Keep in mind, when people complain about traffic we are talking about a 2-5 hour span of time in the day (morning/evening rush). So spending millions of $ to help cars get through an area and then the road performs super well (because it's under capacity) all other times - makes you wonder what the value is?

Keep in mind - after 5 years (typically) the road capacity reaches the clogged point again, after the road is expanded. So then you have to expand again - it's a never ending cycle.

I think we all agree that the only way forward is a combination effort and it's not as simple as expanding one road. It's a comprehensive effort of land use/transportation planning and investment.

I just curious though, if HRM grows by lets say 100,000 people in the next 30 years. We add LRT to the transit system but lets assume those rough percentages of car users stay consistent, how many extra thousands of cars will be on the same roads going to the same places? Doesn't road expansion still seem necessary regardless of better transit improvements?

It seems like agreeing that road expansion will just lead to greater congestion makes people ignore the need to fix what needs to fixed now. 25 years down the road people will say "oh I told you so" but its necessary for growth NOW.

halifaxboyns
Sep 12, 2013, 6:35 PM
I just curious though, if HRM grows by lets say 100,000 people in the next 30 years. We add LRT to the transit system but lets assume those rough percentages of car users stay consistent, how many extra thousands of cars will be on the same roads going to the same places? Doesn't road expansion still seem necessary regardless of better transit improvements?

It seems like agreeing that road expansion will just lead to greater congestion makes people ignore the need to fix what needs to fixed now. 25 years down the road people will say "oh I told you so" but its necessary for growth NOW.

I don't think we can avoid road improvements - but we have to think carefully about continuous road expansion. Part of our thinking has to change and putting active transportation modes (walking, cycling, rollerblading) first. Then car pooling, transit, goods delivery and then single occupant vehicles. So you can expand road capacity, but it should be to do car pooling or transit lanes.

This way - you bulk up these dedicated lanes to give transit and carpooling a priority. Remember, it's always about choice. I (as a planner) can't tell you how to live. But I can work to give you choices in where you live - suburban, urban, wherever. But if the shift is to active modes then the importance of the single occupant vehicle, will always be last. That means that people who make choices to use their vehicle (regardless of where they live) - the consequence is that they are the lowest priority. But in order to make that shift, we have to improve mobility for all other forms.

Part of the solution ahead to improving mobility for other forms of mobility (other than single occupant vehicles) is thinking about developing complete streets, that takes all of these modes of transportation into account. I don't think I've dropped that term but this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eybnVOMEX6w) video illustrates some complete streets in NYC. Will they be the same in HRM? No - but there are ways we can implement this in a form for HRM.

Here (http://youtu.be/sc-GKNecIbg) is another video from the Ontario Planners Institute that helps illustrate complete streets.

Antigonish
Sep 12, 2013, 8:10 PM
Thanks for the response! I'm in total agreement, and I like the idea of dedicating new lanes strictly for transit. I guess I was getting the impression from the "no to road improvement crowd" that any improvements what so ever was a bad decision. It needs to be done one way or another. What exists isn't adequate enough already.

Keith P.
Sep 12, 2013, 11:36 PM
Thanks for the response! I'm in total agreement, and I like the idea of dedicating new lanes strictly for transit. I guess I was getting the impression from the "no to road improvement crowd" that any improvements what so ever was a bad decision. It needs to be done one way or another. What exists isn't adequate enough already.

Dedicating new lanes strictly for buses is a complete waste, possibly even worse than bike lanes. The lanes will be empty 99% of the time. That is hardly a smart investment.

Keith P.
Sep 12, 2013, 11:44 PM
This is precisely my point. Road widening provides relief... but eventually just encourages more congestion. Do you drive on those routes, esp during rush hours? Traffic along Portland and connecting major streets was reasonable about 5-10 years ago. It's gotten worse and is not getting better. Same with MacDonald. Yes, a new lane instantly relieved congestion, but if you drive the bridge during rush hour, it's pretty congested and brutal. We're basically back to the way it was mid 1990s, before the extra lane.

As I said, this is the point: Often, widening a road may address congestion in the near term, but not long term. It incentivizes existing drivers to drive more, and non-drivers to start driving. This is contextual, of course. But it makes sense, and there is solid peer reviewed research supporting the conclusion.


The study is based upon a fallacious argument. People do not move to the suburbs because the roads are wider. They are already there. When they try to get into our out of the city they sit on Bayers Road, idling, stuck in traffic. To suggest that widening roads is not a long term solution is not a function of the road. It is a function of planning and growth of cities and new developments being built in areas outside the city. Currently they are widening sidewalks on Spring Garden. Is that going to result in more traffic? No. It is not a function of the channel, it is a function of the volume that needs to get to and from the area served by the channel. It is like saying dredging a river causes more water to run through it. Not so. The flow is the same, just more efficient.

Keith P.
Sep 12, 2013, 11:49 PM
All good points - I think we really need to have a serious discussion about transit (which I'm hoping the recent AG's report will help create). We have to get past this idea of 'we can't do anything' or 'we don't have the $'. There are lots of ways to find the money for projects, we just have to think differently.

Well, the A-G report is trying to lead HRM to just the opposite conclusion. I personally think the A-G is a bit of a loon, but nevertheless, he states that Metro Transit spends $100 million annually, has a 32% fare box contribution, and that it has expanded far too much into wildly underutilized routes. He is arguing that Transit needs to become more efficient, which is fine, but in doing so he is saying that they need to get out of all of these far-flung, unused routes (*cough*PortersLake*cough*) and get a higher fare box contribution rate. That would imply less transit capacity and more need for other modes of getting into and out of the city.

Hali87
Sep 13, 2013, 2:23 AM
The study is based upon a fallacious argument. People do not move to the suburbs because the roads are wider. They are already there. When they try to get into our out of the city they sit on Bayers Road, idling, stuck in traffic. To suggest that widening roads is not a long term solution is not a function of the road. It is a function of planning and growth of cities and new developments being built in areas outside the city. Currently they are widening sidewalks on Spring Garden. Is that going to result in more traffic? No. It is not a function of the channel, it is a function of the volume that needs to get to and from the area served by the channel. It is like saying dredging a river causes more water to run through it. Not so. The flow is the same, just more efficient.

If widening the sidewalks on Spring Garden makes it a more pleasant place to walk, then yes, I think ultimately more people will walk there (if that's what you meant). And I agree that people already live in the suburbs, but some people will be less inclined to live there if they know that their commute will be frustratingly slow. Conversely, more people will want to live there if traffic is no longer discouraging. Once these additional people live there, unless there are major changes in land use and/or transit, then more cars will be on the road.

There is also the psychological factor of the victory (road is widened) or loss (road is not widened) "for the suburbs" - this will have at least some effect on where people will want to live, because of the perception that the municipality does or does not care about a particular area.

Hali87
Sep 13, 2013, 2:25 AM
Dedicating new lanes strictly for buses is a complete waste, possibly even worse than bike lanes. The lanes will be empty 99% of the time. That is hardly a smart investment.

Why would they be empty 99% of the time? A lot of buses use Bayers Road, and presumably MORE would if it were a designated bus-only corridor. This would also free up space for other vehicles in the existing lanes, and traffic flow would no longer be interrupted by buses pulling over (presumably).

If you took the bus I doubt you'd think of this as a bad investment.

ILoveHalifax
Sep 13, 2013, 10:58 AM
Why would they be empty 99% of the time? A lot of buses use Bayers Road, and presumably MORE would if it were a designated bus-only corridor. This would also free up space for other vehicles in the existing lanes, and traffic flow would no longer be interrupted by buses pulling over (presumably).

If you took the bus I doubt you'd think of this as a bad investment.

So we could re-route a whole lot of buses so they use Bayers Rd? I thought they went up and down specific streets to pick up and drop off people.
When I am on a bus I really wish it would take the most direct route without a lot of side trips thru bus terminals and around shopping centers, and up and down and all around the peninsula. If I wanted a tour bus they have them, usually for tourists.

Wishblade
Sep 14, 2013, 10:02 PM
I don't think this has been mentioned, but council approved the Main st. revitalization plan at the last meeting. Here is a quote from the article regarding the plans:

The plan permits buildings upwards of 12 storeys plus a loft to be built next to the Circumferential Highway on the south side of Main Street, up to eight storeys at the corner of Main and Hartlen streets and four storeys along the easternmost end of Lakecrest Drive.

A mix of residential buildings, including apartments and townhouses of no more than six storeys, would be allowed in the Main Street centre area, and next to that, development would have to transition from medium-density back to low-density residential neighbourhoods.

It sounds like its going to completely change things for the better. I live in this area so I'm pretty excited :D

Council OKs facelift plans

City hall has cleared the way for a revitalization of Dartmouth’s Main Street.

Halifax regional council voted Tuesday evening to give the street a Main Street designation, aiming to turn the commercial area into more of an attractive pedestrian-friendly town centre and attract new residential and commercial investment.

“This really is the centre plan … done in a suburban context,” said Coun. Jennifer Watts (Peninsula North).

Her colleague Coun. Darren Fisher (Harbourview-Burnside-Dartmouth East) called the plan “visionary.”

“The whole (idea) was to attract investment,” Fisher said.

The area includes properties bordering on Lakecrest Drive, Tacoma Drive and Main Street roughly from the Micmac Parclo to Caledonia Road.

The area currently boasts strip mall sprawl, punctuated by large parking lots. It caters to cars and is difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to negotiate.

Approval for the designation came after a short and mostly positive public hearing.

Tom Emodi congratulated city staff for their work and praised the initiative, which he predicts will “create a stable, mixed-use community.”

article: http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1153403-dartmouth-s-main-street-to-get-major-makeover

someone123
Sep 14, 2013, 11:26 PM
Why would they be empty 99% of the time? A lot of buses use Bayers Road, and presumably MORE would if it were a designated bus-only corridor. This would also free up space for other vehicles in the existing lanes, and traffic flow would no longer be interrupted by buses pulling over (presumably).

Even if a bus-only lane is empty some of the time (maybe even 99% of the time) it can be more much efficient than a car lane in terms of passenger capacity. The density of passengers per vehicle or per meter of roadway is much higher in buses and the buses are likely to move faster when they don't have to weave around cars.

It might be a bit counter-intuitive, but having one bus drive by every 2 minutes on a lane that is otherwise empty can amount to more capacity (maybe ~50 per minute) than the case where the lane is full with gridlocked cars with one person each (~30 per minute, i.e. one car every few seconds). With trains the difference is even greater. The Yonge subway line in Toronto has only one track in each direction and any given segment is free of trains most of the time but it carries around the same number of people as the gridlocked 12 to 16 lane 401 at rush hour.

Keith P.
Sep 15, 2013, 12:54 AM
Your math does not work. Even if every car had only one occupant, which is not usually true, in 2 minutes a lot more than 50 people would pass any given spot if the traffic was at least moving.

Hali87
Sep 15, 2013, 4:27 AM
Your math does not work. Even if every car had only one occupant, which is not usually true, in 2 minutes a lot more than 50 people would pass any given spot if the traffic was at least moving.

It depends how fast the traffic is moving. I've certainly moved less than 50 car-legnths in 2 minutes in heavy traffic before.

someone123
Sep 15, 2013, 4:31 AM
The point is that the difference in density between even dual-occupancy cars and full buses is really big. Not only are there more vehicles that take more space, there are also more drivers and there's more interaction between vehicles to slow everything down.

JET
Sep 23, 2013, 4:38 PM
if you are interested in old buildings; the Dartmouth Heritage Museum is having a tour of some Historic Houses in dartmouth on Sept. 28 and 29.
http://thechronicleherald.ca/homesnews/1155775-homage-to-history

someone123
Sep 26, 2013, 2:06 AM
ANS is reporting that pre-sales for the condo development on Barrington Street behind the Superstore are going to start in November.

A website is up but there are no renderings: http://www.southporthalifax.com/

Sounds interesting.

hoser111
Sep 26, 2013, 3:13 AM
ANS is reporting that pre-sales for the condo development on Barrington Street behind the Superstore are going to start in November.

A website is up but there are no renderings: http://www.southporthalifax.com/

Sounds interesting.

Huh... could be something! Has there ever been any news on the expression of interest CN put out quite a while back for development of the CN lands at the train station???

Dmajackson
Sep 27, 2013, 2:06 PM
Signs up for a proposed development at 3400 Dutch Village Road (vacant lot at Joseph Howe Drive);

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7295/9962434873_c876607ce1_c.jpg
Photo taken by me :)

Drybrain
Sep 27, 2013, 2:21 PM
ANS is reporting that pre-sales for the condo development on Barrington Street behind the Superstore are going to start in November.

A website is up but there are no renderings: http://www.southporthalifax.com/

Sounds interesting.

That developer has done some good work in other cities--I think this is their first venture into Halifax? The website says the building will be "a nod to the city's rich shipping industry" and that it'll be "reminiscent of shipping containers, for an old-school industrial look that's new, urban, and unabashedly modern."

That could be really stupid looking, but it could also be pretty cool. Curious to see any preliminary renders. Hopefully no lighthouses.

Jonovision
Sep 28, 2013, 1:05 AM
ANS is reporting that pre-sales for the condo development on Barrington Street behind the Superstore are going to start in November.

A website is up but there are no renderings: http://www.southporthalifax.com/

Sounds interesting.

They are going to be at this years VivaCity event hosted by Fusion Halifax on October 23rd at the Halifax Seaport Market. https://www.facebook.com/Fusion.VivaCity

If we don't see any renderings before this they will be available after.

Jonovision
Oct 2, 2013, 3:11 PM
I couldn't find a thread for it, but I was walking through Scotia Square yesterday and all of the cafeteria chairs had been moved out of the section that will be renovated with the new addition. Looks like things will be starting here soon.

mcmcclassic
Oct 3, 2013, 12:01 PM
There's a crane going up in Dartmouth around the Baker Dr. area (I saw it from the Portland Hills area). Probably just another cookie cutter Clayton Park style building, but I figured I'd mention it.

Ziobrop
Oct 3, 2013, 5:57 PM
They are going to be at this years VivaCity event hosted by Fusion Halifax on October 23rd at the Halifax Seaport Market. https://www.facebook.com/Fusion.VivaCity

If we don't see any renderings before this they will be available after.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BVpwsCvCYAAgLti.png:large
this one was released today on the Southport website
-Peter
Builthalifax.ca

Dmajackson
Oct 4, 2013, 12:07 AM
It looks like the Brunswick Street towers are getting a ground-level facelift.

Case 18848 (http://www.halifax.ca/municipalclerk/documents/dsroct10.pdf)

Not perfect but nice modern ground levels for these buildings will help mask the ugly upper portions and attract more retail services to the residential area of North Downtown.

teddifax
Oct 4, 2013, 12:58 AM
It looks like the Brunswick Street towers are getting a ground-level facelift.

Case 18848 (http://www.halifax.ca/municipalclerk/documents/dsroct10.pdf)

Not perfect but nice modern ground levels for these buildings will help mask the ugly upper portions and attract more retail services to the residential area of North Downtown.

This is really needed as these buildings were never great looking.

fenwick16
Oct 4, 2013, 2:12 AM
It looks like the Brunswick Street towers are getting a ground-level facelift.

Case 18848 (http://www.halifax.ca/municipalclerk/documents/dsroct10.pdf)

Not perfect but nice modern ground levels for these buildings will help mask the ugly upper portions and attract more retail services to the residential area of North Downtown.

This looks much better.

fenwick16
Oct 4, 2013, 2:17 AM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BVpwsCvCYAAgLti.png:large
this one was released today on the Southport website
-Peter
Builthalifax.ca

Very unique. It looks like corrugated steel for the container sections but I think the architect added just enough that it is interesting without being unattractive.

alps
Oct 4, 2013, 3:47 AM
It looks like the Brunswick Street towers are getting a ground-level facelift.

Case 18848 (http://www.halifax.ca/municipalclerk/documents/dsroct10.pdf)

Not perfect but nice modern ground levels for these buildings will help mask the ugly upper portions and attract more retail services to the residential area of North Downtown.

Huge improvement! I don't mind that the upper floors aren't being renovated...I like having a variety of building styles and the ground level was really the main problem here.

someone123
Oct 4, 2013, 5:17 AM
Huge improvement! I don't mind that the upper floors aren't being renovated...I like having a variety of building styles and the ground level was really the main problem here.

It's nice to finally see all of these positive changes happening. Such a reversal from a few years ago; it's like Halifax is a totally different city.

IanWatson
Oct 4, 2013, 10:39 AM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BVpwsCvCYAAgLti.png:large
this one was released today on the Southport website
-Peter
Builthalifax.ca

This one just manages to fall on the good side of the cheesy vs. unique and creative line. Call me impressed.

Wishblade
Oct 5, 2013, 8:13 PM
This one hasn't been mentioned in a long time, but I found an article from the Government of Canada stating that the new Jr. ranks mess/accommodations is/was scheduled to start construction in 2012/2013. It would be pretty significant at 12 stories.

The proposed Junior NCM Training Accommodations Facility is a twelve (12) storey concrete structure. The bottom level incorporates the Mess/Multipurpose Space and will include access off Barrington Street. The main level will house the Dining Hall and Kitchen. The remaining nine (9) floors will house Accommodations (approximately 250 rooms).

http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/052/details-eng.cfm?pid=48205

someone123
Oct 7, 2013, 1:25 AM
Not sure if this has been posted before. Discovery Centre rendering:

http://smartcityblog.greaterhalifax.com/.a/6a0115706c9ae2970c01910357ec65970c-pi
Source (http://smartcityblog.greaterhalifax.com/smartcity/2013/06/rediscovering-discovery-the-new-discovery-centre.html)

Existing NSP offices: http://goo.gl/maps/tlhh7

someone123
Oct 8, 2013, 2:29 AM
ANS tonight had quotes from Danny Chedrawe of Westwood Developments stating that he intends to expand the DHX/Starbucks building (1478 Queen Street) across from the library and the RBC building at Spring Garden Road and Summer Street.

It will be interesting to see what these projects look like. The Queen Street building seems underdeveloped given where it is.

Drybrain
Oct 8, 2013, 3:30 AM
ANS tonight had quotes from Danny Chedrawe of Westwood Developments stating that he intends to expand the DHX/Starbucks building (1478 Queen Street) across from the library and the RBC building at Spring Garden Road and Summer Street.

It will be interesting to see what these projects look like. The Queen Street building seems underdeveloped given where it is.

That's interesting--does he mean to expand behind, where the Chickenburger used to be?

In addition to the 5504 development being on hold due to Winsby's lease, I imagine the Doyle-Birmingham project isn't imminent either, given that a new restaurant opened there last year, and Sleep Country just this summer (I imagine a national chain tenant would also be looking for at least a five-year lease as well).

Total shift for Westwood, and way better for the street: Rather than redevelop a block that's perfectly good as it is, go after un-used space. (And in the case of RBC, a really chintzy-looking building). Plus of course, Queen could really use the development to connect Spring Garden with the Sisters site and what lies further south.

someone123
Oct 8, 2013, 4:12 AM
The article said that the plan is to add 20 feet to the rear of the building, and that about 2,000 square feet of office space will be added. Sounds like he's just going to take it back to the lot line.

The article also mentions new signage and a general "facelift" for the building.

Instead of an elaborate redevelopment of the block it would be nice to see another medium-sized building to fill in the Chickenburger lot.

W.Sobchak
Oct 8, 2013, 6:38 AM
I agree, with the new plaza entrence to the library, the massing around those corners needs to be open and offering good light to combat the cantelevered top floor of the library smack in the middle.

Northend Guy
Oct 8, 2013, 12:56 PM
I've also heard that Westwood is in the close to closing a deal to purchase the old Acadian Lines Terminal on Almon St. I heard the intent is to build a commercial building on the site with the infrastructure to support a 20-story apartment building in the future.

Nilan8888
Oct 8, 2013, 2:58 PM
Not to look a gift horse in the mouth but... where is the money coming from for all these changes? Was it always around but needed solid public investment to spur the private sector? Is it the steady population increase in Halifax vs previous stagnation (even though the province is stagnating)? Is it that we finally got rid of the shadow of John Buchannan?

Jonovision
Oct 8, 2013, 4:49 PM
It appears as if TEAL might be the architect for the Queen St RBC addition. New rendering up on their website. http://tealarchitects.com/projects.php

Drybrain
Oct 8, 2013, 5:51 PM
It appears as if TEAL might be the architect for the Queen St RBC addition. New rendering up on their website. http://tealarchitects.com/projects.php

Some really decent designed but as-yet unbuilt local stuff on that site.

Anyway, the DHX addition looks great, but boy, I hope they don't put a little hump on top with the Westwood logo.

bluenoser
Oct 8, 2013, 8:17 PM
The addition looks good but the rest of the building just looks like it has some different signage (maybe there's more to it, I can't tell). It's funny how renderings are so often depicted at twilight in order to look more dramatic.

In any case, I think this will fit in really well with all the new development nearby, making for a very interesting & modern streetscape. Here's hoping for action on the chickenburger site!

alps
Oct 8, 2013, 10:30 PM
I had a lousy surprise today when I went for the Granville entrance of Barrington Place Shops and found it no longer exists:

http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l217/halps00/IMG_20131008_162523_zps57bcf736.jpg

What's going on here? Not a promising change for Granville Mall. It was a great shortcut to Scotia Square (and vice versa). Could it be some kind of preparation for the mythical International Place? :happysad:

fenwick16
Oct 9, 2013, 12:06 AM
Could it be some kind of preparation for the mythical International Place? :happysad:

That would certainly be a pleasant surprise.

Nifta
Oct 9, 2013, 12:42 AM
More importantly; are you a vampire, as you seem to have no reflection :D

jslath
Oct 9, 2013, 1:14 AM
What's going on here? Not a promising change for Granville Mall. It was a great shortcut to Scotia Square (and vice versa). Could it be some kind of preparation for the mythical International Place? :happysad:

If I'm not mistaken, isn't Goodlife moving from Scotia Square to this space (a huge chunk of the first level)?

teddifax
Oct 9, 2013, 1:52 AM
If I'm not mistaken, isn't Goodlife moving from Scotia Square to this space (a huge chunk of the first level)?
I had the same thing happen to me earlier in the summer. I didn't know the entrance had been closed. It is very inconvenient now to get to Scotia Square from that level. I wish it is because of International Place being developed, but I believe it is for Goodlife!

Jonovision
Oct 9, 2013, 5:31 PM
It appears the old dockyard clock is being rebuilt again.
Strange, I was under the impression the entire structure was to come down and go in storage.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1385623_10100254706299279_2009248996_n.jpg

Ziobrop
Oct 9, 2013, 6:39 PM
It appears the old dockyard clock is being rebuilt again.
Strange, I was under the impression the entire structure was to come down and go in storage.



this appears to be a from scratch reproduction. I assume the real clock in in a warehouse somewhere. I Saw them assembling a plywood box in the frame a few weeks ago.

scooby074
Oct 10, 2013, 1:54 AM
It appears the old dockyard clock is being rebuilt again.
Strange, I was under the impression the entire structure was to come down and go in storage.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/1385623_10100254706299279_2009248996_n.jpg

Nice to see that.

I hope the original clock will be going back in.

spaustin
Oct 10, 2013, 2:37 AM
If I'm not mistaken, isn't Goodlife moving from Scotia Square to this space (a huge chunk of the first level)?

Goodlife is indeed going in there as are a bunch of federal office workers. Not sure what will be left of the already limited retail when it's all done. Not a big loss as the urban mall concept really hasn't panned out in Halifax. Scotia Square pretty much just caters to the lunch/commuter crowd and there is no real retail of note across the street. Not sure what's in Spring Garden Place, but I don't think it really bustles. About the only urban mall that sort of works is Park Lane and even it has nothing on the 2nd level except Cleves and I bet Cleves wouldn't be there if it weren't for the street frontage on Dresden Row. Lesson learned, you can't out mall the suburbs!

HalifaxRetales
Oct 10, 2013, 12:07 PM
I had the same thing happen to me earlier in the summer. I didn't know the entrance had been closed. It is very inconvenient now to get to Scotia Square from that level. I wish it is because of International Place being developed, but I believe it is for Goodlife!

Yup pretty much the entire bottom floor is going to be GoodLife, except where Boston Pizza is and Sams was.

My Understanding was once GoodLife is complete that the entrance off Granville would be reopened

scooby074
Oct 10, 2013, 6:04 PM
The end of Blackberry in Bedford.

Blackberry Bedford is closing and putting 315 out of work. http://www.thechronicleherald.ca/business/1159737-blackberry-closing-bedford-operation-315-to-lose-jobs

Not that this is totally unexpected but yay, another 300+ good paying jobs gone.:(

jslath
Oct 10, 2013, 8:26 PM
Goodlife is indeed going in there as are a bunch of federal office workers. Not sure what will be left of the already limited retail when it's all done. Not a big loss as the urban mall concept really hasn't panned out in Halifax. Scotia Square pretty much just caters to the lunch/commuter crowd and there is no real retail of note across the street. Not sure what's in Spring Garden Place, but I don't think it really bustles. About the only urban mall that sort of works is Park Lane and even it has nothing on the 2nd level except Cleves and I bet Cleves wouldn't be there if it weren't for the street frontage on Dresden Row. Lesson learned, you can't out mall the suburbs!

What downtown needs is a couple of departments stores to act as anchors like they do in malls. I'd love to see Hudson's Bay open a downtown Halifax location. Maybe an urban format Target (or even Wal-Mart) too. Give 'em cheap rent (like they do in malls) and I'm sure other stores would follow (paying fair market rent). Of course, easier said than done.

ns_kid
Oct 17, 2013, 2:49 PM
What downtown needs is a couple of departments stores to act as anchors like they do in malls.

With the planned redevelopment of 1881-2001 Brunswick Street, to add street level retail to the ground levels of three residential towers, perhaps it's time developers looked for other opportunities to make their streetscapes more open and pedestrian-friendly. The base of the Fortis-owned Maritime Centre at the foot of Spring Garden Road comes immediately to mind. There is an opportunity for thousands of square metres of ground-level retail -- perhaps an ideal site for an urban department store -- in this space now occupied by inaccessible staircases and blank concrete walls.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/10329886703_7480cacf19_o.jpg

ns_kid
Oct 17, 2013, 3:17 PM
It looks like the Brunswick Street towers are getting a ground-level facelift.

Case 18848 (http://www.halifax.ca/municipalclerk/documents/dsroct10.pdf)

From the Chronicle-Herald of Oct. 16:

Retail, restaurant space proposed for base of three apartment buildings
A section of downtown Halifax could have a different look in the future, with plans to add commercial, retail and pedestrian access to three Brunswick Street apartment buildings.

The proposal calls for the addition of retail or restaurant space at the base of the 30-year-old buildings, owned by the British Columbia Investment Management Corp. The work would be in conjunction with an evolving streetscape.

The buildings, bounded by Brunswick, Duke, Cogswell and Albemarle streets, are next to the Metro Centre and across from the $60-million redevelopment by SilverBirch Hotels and Resorts of Vancouver, which is building a 15-storey Homewood Suites and 15-storey Hampton Inn at 1960 Brunswick St., along with a 17-storey apartment building.

“The proposed retail additions are part of a larger vision for improvements to Brunswick Street that proposes boulevard street trees, a mid-block crosswalk and longer-term maintenance work on the apartment towers,” Michele Walkau of GWL Realty Advisors Inc., the Toronto company that manages the three apartment buildings, said in an email.

GWL will also own the 17-storey, 153-unit apartment building now being built across the street.

Plans for the renovation call for the creation of 11,000 square feet of new retail space.

That includes three retail shops at grade at the MacKeen building at 2001 Brunswick St., two retail shops and accessible pedestrian access in the Scotia Tower at 1991 Brunswick, and two retail shops and a restaurant with outdoor patio in the Plaza Tower at 1881 Brunswick.

“(The goal) is to improve the overall streetscape and experience along this section of Brunswick Street and provide amenities for the existing residents as well as the future residents and hotel guests from the new developments across the street,” Walkau said.

“The proposed renovation is expected to result in major improvements for the pedestrian experience along Brunswick Street.”

What sort of tenants will ultimately find their way there is unknown at this point, she said.

“The 1,200 residents in the apartment towers were surveyed about their preferences for amenities to the buildings,” she said. “The results from these surveys included coffee shops, restaurants, grab-and-go food, a grocery store, etc.”

Materials such as glass, panels and green roofs will be used throughout the project, which counts HOK as lead architect. HOK, a global design firm headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., has four Canadian offices and will work in collaboration with local companies like Outside! Planning & Design Studio of Halifax.

An initial proposal was submitted to the municipal design review committee last week. From there, Walkau said, the proponents hope to enter the public consultation phase this year, with work potentially beginning late in 2014 or beyond.

“The design complies with HRM’s design guidelines for this type of improvement, and feedback received from the (design review committee) will be reviewed prior to finalizing the design expected later this fall,” she said.

teddifax
Oct 18, 2013, 1:02 AM
With the planned redevelopment of 1881-2001 Brunswick Street, to add street level retail to the ground levels of three residential towers, perhaps it's time developers looked for other opportunities to make their streetscapes more open and pedestrian-friendly. The base of the Fortis-owned Maritime Centre at the foot of Spring Garden Road comes immediately to mind. There is an opportunity for thousands of square metres of ground-level retail -- perhaps an ideal site for an urban department store -- in this space now occupied by inaccessible staircases and blank concrete walls.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/10329886703_7480cacf19_o.jpg

I would LOVE to see this done! This has always been an eyesore and a lot of wasted, improperly planned space.

fenwick16
Oct 18, 2013, 2:10 AM
...
The base of the Fortis-owned Maritime Centre at the foot of Spring Garden Road comes immediately to mind. There is an opportunity for thousands of square metres of ground-level retail -- perhaps an ideal site for an urban department store -- in this space now occupied by inaccessible staircases and blank concrete walls.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/10329886703_7480cacf19_o.jpg

I think this is an architecturally impressive building at street level.

When this building opened it had a couple levels of retail and a food court at the lowest level. It had impressive escalators leading down to the lower retail levels. I haven't been in it for over 30 years so don't know what it is currently like inside, however I found the following link to interior retail and food stores - http://www.yelp.ca/list/maritime-centre-shops-and-services-halifax

Hali87
Oct 18, 2013, 3:10 AM
There is still a food court and some retail in the lower levels, but it's completely disconnected from the streets. The only business with any real street interaction is Niche, which is in a, well, niche just to the right of where that photo stops. Even something as simple as having vendors/kiosks or casual performance spaces on the plateau area by the main entrance would be kind of nice.

ns_kid
Oct 18, 2013, 9:25 AM
I work in Maritime Centre. The main entrance, as in the photos, is up 13 stairs to the third floor of the structure. It does have a bright and expansive lobby with lots of natural light. The ground and second floors were once full of retail including Coles Books, Lawtons Drugs and several chain clothing stores including, I believe, Tip Top, plus a bank. A few small shops and medical offices remain, along with convention space for the adjoining hotel. In addition to a modest food court, the Pacifico dance bar is in the basement and the Niche restaurant/bar is on the second floor. In short there is a lot of underutilized space on the first three floors.

The building's diagonal orientation and elevated main entrance result in two unfortunate effects. For anyone with mobility issues this is a most inhospitable building. The only accessible door is on the north (left) end of the building. It requires the person to go a few metres down the Salter Street grade, then cross a bricked courtyard to an angled bank of doors where a single door on the far right is automatic. The door leads to the second floor so going anywhere else in the building requires the person to cross to the opposite end of the floor, take an elevator to the main (third) floor, get off, then take another elevator to the tower floors.

The other effect is well known to anyone who walks along Barrington Street. The building's orientation creates a spectacular wind tunnel, producing gale force winds on even moderately breezy days.

Replacing and enclosing the stairs and unused exterior spaces with inviting ground-level retail or public space could mitigate both of these issues and make for a much more human and welcoming streetscape.

counterfactual
Oct 19, 2013, 2:52 AM
With the planned redevelopment of 1881-2001 Brunswick Street, to add street level retail to the ground levels of three residential towers, perhaps it's time developers looked for other opportunities to make their streetscapes more open and pedestrian-friendly. The base of the Fortis-owned Maritime Centre at the foot of Spring Garden Road comes immediately to mind. There is an opportunity for thousands of square metres of ground-level retail -- perhaps an ideal site for an urban department store -- in this space now occupied by inaccessible staircases and blank concrete walls.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3806/10329886703_7480cacf19_o.jpg

I wouldn't mind it so much, if not for the fact that the stairs are narrow, and are bordered by that ugly ass concrete wall with pathetic plants that borders the sidewalk. Would be much better if that concrete wall is knocked down, and that space opened up, so you'd have stairs running all along the sidewalk. then you'd at least have a public space like feeling to it, for food carts, street merchants, whatever.

coolmillion
Oct 19, 2013, 1:39 PM
Nocturne Art at Night is happening tonight from 6pm to midnight in and around downtown Halifax and Dartmouth. This event shows the city at its best. The streets will be packed and there will be lots of interesting art, performances and music to see. Ever wanted to listen to samba music on the ferry? It's happening around 7pm!

worldlyhaligonian
Oct 20, 2013, 10:13 AM
I work in Maritime Centre. The main entrance, as in the photos, is up 13 stairs to the third floor of the structure. It does have a bright and expansive lobby with lots of natural light. The ground and second floors were once full of retail including Coles Books, Lawtons Drugs and several chain clothing stores including, I believe, Tip Top, plus a bank. A few small shops and medical offices remain, along with convention space for the adjoining hotel. In addition to a modest food court, the Pacifico dance bar is in the basement and the Niche restaurant/bar is on the second floor. In short there is a lot of underutilized space on the first three floors.

The building's diagonal orientation and elevated main entrance result in two unfortunate effects. For anyone with mobility issues this is a most inhospitable building. The only accessible door is on the north (left) end of the building. It requires the person to go a few metres down the Salter Street grade, then cross a bricked courtyard to an angled bank of doors where a single door on the far right is automatic. The door leads to the second floor so going anywhere else in the building requires the person to cross to the opposite end of the floor, take an elevator to the main (third) floor, get off, then take another elevator to the tower floors.

The other effect is well known to anyone who walks along Barrington Street. The building's orientation creates a spectacular wind tunnel, producing gale force winds on even moderately breezy days.

Replacing and enclosing the stairs and unused exterior spaces with inviting ground-level retail or public space could mitigate both of these issues and make for a much more human and welcoming streetscape.

Thank-you, that is very informative. The groundfloor of the MC is certainly a challenge to improve.

Grav
Oct 21, 2013, 11:41 PM
What downtown needs is a couple of departments stores to act as anchors like they do in malls. I'd love to see Hudson's Bay open a downtown Halifax location. Maybe an urban format Target (or even Wal-Mart) too. Give 'em cheap rent (like they do in malls) and I'm sure other stores would follow (paying fair market rent). Of course, easier said than done.

I agree 100% Any indoor shopping mall needs major draws for it to thrive as an actual shopping destination. Scotia Square in its current form stays afloat by being interconnected with much of the downtown working crowd. There is no reason for anyone to go out of their way to shop there unless they live right downtown and need to go to the dollarama for something (like I do sometimes). If the space that was once woolco was restored as a Target or other big box retail store the mall would become a major downtown destination again. Most planners hate the mall but its one of the cities greatest assets as it can fit big box retail easy on its second level where Bell Aliant is now. Street front for those in a hurry and connected to the mall for convenience.

I heard a rumor that the new expansion on Barrington will include McDonalds on the second level connected to the food court. There may be stairs from the street going up to it as well. This on itself will be a major draw to the mall at all hours. Personally id rather something local or at least better for you like a Panera bread franchise :tup:

Dont get me started on the expansion design. Uninspiring all glass and tacky stone chunk attached to the side of the building. Not to mention all the new street frontage will take away from the currently internal activities of the complex and the whole core area for that matter. You cant have an interconnected internal pedestrian network AND street oriented shops at the same time. Eventually one will get overtaken by the other and fail.

http://www.halifaxdevelopments.com/images/ss-hrm-report.pdf

Id have preferred some of the complexes pre-existing elements be carried over to the expansion rather than completely contrasting materials. Or at least something true to the era the mall was built if HRM by design is so scared of textured concrete. Maybe an abstract 1960's style facade that the HSC Eatons once featured with brick accents at the street level.

Grav
Oct 21, 2013, 11:47 PM
I work in Maritime Centre. The main entrance, as in the photos, is up 13 stairs to the third floor of the structure. It does have a bright and expansive lobby with lots of natural light. The ground and second floors were once full of retail including Coles Books, Lawtons Drugs and several chain clothing stores including, I believe, Tip Top, plus a bank. A few small shops and medical offices remain, along with convention space for the adjoining hotel. In addition to a modest food court, the Pacifico dance bar is in the basement and the Niche restaurant/bar is on the second floor. In short there is a lot of underutilized space on the first three floors.

The building's diagonal orientation and elevated main entrance result in two unfortunate effects. For anyone with mobility issues this is a most inhospitable building. The only accessible door is on the north (left) end of the building. It requires the person to go a few metres down the Salter Street grade, then cross a bricked courtyard to an angled bank of doors where a single door on the far right is automatic. The door leads to the second floor so going anywhere else in the building requires the person to cross to the opposite end of the floor, take an elevator to the main (third) floor, get off, then take another elevator to the tower floors.

The other effect is well known to anyone who walks along Barrington Street. The building's orientation creates a spectacular wind tunnel, producing gale force winds on even moderately breezy days.

Replacing and enclosing the stairs and unused exterior spaces with inviting ground-level retail or public space could mitigate both of these issues and make for a much more human and welcoming streetscape.

I have been trying for so long to find information on the original tenants and design of the Maritime Mall. How has it changed visually? I suspect there used to be brown tiles in the concourse similar to some of the shops down there but thats about it. The used bookstore currently down there is great. Me and my friends found ourselves lost in there for an hour flipping through pages.

alps
Oct 23, 2013, 2:37 AM
Agreed, that used bookstore is fantastic and not very well known. Nice staff too. Been going there since I was in high school.

Dmajackson
Oct 23, 2013, 6:17 AM
Halifax condos set to start
October 22, 2013 - 6:13pm BY REMO ZACCAGNA BUSINESS REPORTER

http://thechronicleherald.ca/sites/default/files/imagecache/ch_article_main_image/articles/B97241853Z.120131022180412000GPT40U9R.11.jpg
Atlantic Developments Inc. will begin construction early next year of Harris East, a four-storey, 56-unit condominium at the corner of Harris and Maynard streets in Halifax. (CONTRIBUTED)

The developer behind the Theatre Lofts condominiums on Gottingen Street will break ground on a new north-end project early next year.

With a development permit in hand, David Graham, head of Atlantic Developments Inc., will build Harris East, a $10-million, four-storey, 56-unit condominium on an empty lot at the corner of Harris and Maynard streets.

A building of this type would work well in the rapidly changing north end, Graham said Tuesday.

“It’s a little out of the downtown core in an area off Agricola that’s really coming alive. And I think Agricola is an interesting area; it’s an eclectic neighbourhood,” he said in a telephone interview ahead of Wednesday night’s VivaCity event, an annual urban development forum where the public has a chance to view where future development is headed for metro Halifax.

...

READ MORE: THECHRONICLEHERALD.CA (http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1162166-halifax-condos-set-to-start)

mcmcclassic
Oct 23, 2013, 4:52 PM
[I]Halifax condos set to start
October 22, 2013 - 6:13pm BY REMO ZACCAGNA BUSINESS REPORTER

http://thechronicleherald.ca/sites/default/files/imagecache/ch_article_main_image/articles/B97241853Z.120131022180412000GPT40U9R.11.jpg
Atlantic Developments Inc. will begin construction early next year of Harris East, a four-storey, 56-unit condominium at the corner of Harris and Maynard streets in Halifax. (CONTRIBUTED)



READ MORE: THECHRONICLEHERALD.CA (http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1162166-halifax-condos-set-to-start)

This looks a million times better than what is currently there. Looking forward to seeing this one start.

Keith P.
Oct 23, 2013, 7:13 PM
Very sketchy neighborhood, and Theatre Lofts is hardly an example to be proud of. Time will tell.

Drybrain
Oct 23, 2013, 8:15 PM
Very sketchy neighborhood, and Theatre Lofts is hardly an example to be proud of. Time will tell.

Oh, you.

IanWatson
Oct 23, 2013, 8:34 PM
Theatre Lofts is hardly an example to be proud of. Time will tell.

Definitely agree with you on this one Keith.

Drybrain
Oct 23, 2013, 8:38 PM
Definitely agree with you on this one Keith.

Actually, I agree with that. Keith's endless negativity on the North End is starting to get almost predictably amusing, though.

This one looks like a modest step up from Theatre Lofts, but it's still not exactly architecture for the ages. (And given how cheaply put-together Theatre Lofts ended up, it doesn't bode well here.)

Dmajackson
Oct 23, 2013, 9:05 PM
I think the Theatre Lofts turned out well. Not great but nice for the neighbourhood.

This looks nice as well. It could turn out tacky but it has the potential to make the neighbourhood more pleasant looking.

wackypacky
Oct 23, 2013, 9:47 PM
Very sketchy neighborhood, and Theatre Lofts is hardly an example to be proud of. Time will tell.


I know that I don't exactly bring anything to the table on the message board. I log on religiously like 10 times a day because I'm so interested in whats going on around the city and I think a lot of people on here have tons of knowledge and lots of interesting points of view ... [line removed] ... Would you mind naming a few developments/initiatives that you actually like for a change ... [line removed] ... End rant.

Keith P.
Oct 24, 2013, 1:15 AM
I know that I don't exactly bring anything to the table on the message board. I log on religiously like 10 times a day because I'm so interested in whats going on around the city and I think a lot of people on here have tons of knowledge and lots of interesting points of view, but Keith man you seriously need to keep all the negativity to yourself. You really seem to hate just about everything. Would you mind naming a few developments/initiatives that you actually like for a change and just keep all your negativity to yourself cause I really don't think anybody gives a **** about 99% of your posts. End rant.


[line removed]

I like lots of developments. GOOD developments. Not everything is, and we punch way above our weight in this town with bad design.

RyeJay
Oct 24, 2013, 2:08 AM
I know that I don't exactly bring anything to the table on the message board. I log on religiously like 10 times a day because I'm so interested in whats going on around the city and I think a lot of people on here have tons of knowledge and lots of interesting points of view, but Keith man you seriously need to keep all the negativity to yourself. You really seem to hate just about everything. Would you mind naming a few developments/initiatives that you actually like for a change and just keep all your negativity to yourself cause I really don't think anybody gives a **** about 99% of your posts. End rant.

Everyone is free to criticise developments. In fact, I hope to see more of your posts on this forum :)
We enjoy the traffic.

I do agree with you, though, that some people take it too far. I would recommend ignoring them (there is an ignore option) so that more of your free time is spent reading constructive, non-emotional, non-attention seeking material.

The vast majority of posters here bring quite a bit of substance to the table.

IanWatson
Oct 24, 2013, 2:30 AM
Actually, I agree with that. Keith's endless negativity on the North End is starting to get almost predictably amusing, though.

Yeah I specifically left out the half of Keith's quote mentioning the neighbourhood. Sure, the neighbourhood isn't the South End, but it's not exactly Baltimore à la "The Wire" either. I don't feel particularly unsafe in that area.

The developer doesn't seem to be alone in their thinking either. Polycorp seems to believe the circa $400k Q Lofts will sell, and they're even further up the street into "sketchy" territory.

Drybrain
Oct 24, 2013, 2:49 AM
Yeah I specifically left out the half of Keith's quote mentioning the neighbourhood. Sure, the neighbourhood isn't the South End, but it's not exactly Baltimore à la "The Wire" either. I don't feel particularly unsafe in that area.

The developer doesn't seem to be alone in their thinking either. Polycorp seems to believe the circa $400k Q Lofts will sell, and they're even further up the street into "sketchy" territory.

Check MLS for house prices too. Not quite ghetto territory--it ain't the North End of 1995 anymore.

Dmajackson
Oct 24, 2013, 4:20 AM
Just a friendly reminder to please avoid posting personal attacks. If you have issue with a forumer or a post please report the post using the option at the bottom of each post or p.m. a moderator. Alternatively as mentioned by RyeJay you can add people to your ignore list (available via your profile page).

:cheers:

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 24, 2013, 2:42 PM
Everyone is free to criticise developments. In fact, I hope to see more of your posts on this forum :)
We enjoy the traffic.

I do agree with you, though, that some people take it too far. I would recommend ignoring them (there is an ignore option) so that more of your free time is spent reading constructive, non-emotional, non-attention seeking material.

The vast majority of posters here bring quite a bit of substance to the table.

Very good, positive post. :tup:

I think all views, both for and against a project or idea, bring something valuable to the table. Keith's posts, whether you agree with him or not, bring an opposing viewpoint which is often against the majority in this forum, but will often lead to more thorough and interesting discussion in the long run. The opposing viewpoint helps to deepen the discussion IMHO.

If the only posts allowed here were back-patting "attaboys" what would be the point of having a discussion?

:2cents:

RyeJay
Oct 24, 2013, 6:01 PM
Very good, positive post. :tup:

I think all views, both for and against a project or idea, bring something valuable to the table. Keith's posts, whether you agree with him or not, bring an opposing viewpoint which is often against the majority in this forum, but will often lead to more thorough and interesting discussion in the long run. The opposing viewpoint helps to deepen the discussion IMHO.

If the only posts allowed here were back-patting "attaboys" what would be the point of having a discussion?

:2cents:

Thank you for the compliment. It is appreciated.
I must disagree with you, however, on the worth of many of Keith's posts.

Many people on this forum bring opposing views: and these views are mostly non-ideological, non-emotional, and constructive.

When comments become a predictable parody, progress is hindered because readers get distracted, go off-topic, and are tempted to abandon the conversation entirely as the discussion becomes an endless war of words.

Of course there will always be people who have low tolerances for being disagreed with. I'm not at all suggesting we become an echo chamber of identical viewpoints. I am suggesting, strongly, that attention not be paid to attempts to transform constructive dialogue into close-minded, hateful rants.

If someone is truly upsetting you, don't freak out at them. Ignore them! This will free up your time to read other posts. :)

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 24, 2013, 6:40 PM
Thank you for the compliment. It is appreciated.
I must disagree with you, however, on the worth of many of Keith's posts.

Many people on this forum bring opposing views: and these views are mostly non-ideological, non-emotional, and constructive.

When comments become a predictable parody, progress is hindered because readers get distracted, go off-topic, and are tempted to abandon the conversation entirely as the discussion becomes an endless war of words.

Of course there will always be people who have low tolerances for being disagreed with. I'm not at all suggesting we become an echo chamber of identical viewpoints. I am suggesting, strongly, that attention not be paid to attempts to transform constructive dialogue into close-minded, hateful rants.

If someone is truly upsetting you, don't freak out at them. Ignore them! This will free up your time to read other posts. :)

Well said. I see your point, but am guarded against completely disregarding everything posted by any particular participant because oftentimes if you read between the lines there is actually some poignant information contained within.

However, at the end of the day it's important to remember that although the discussion is generally interesting, informative, but sometimes heated and combative - it is only an internet forum and sometimes the best course of action is to simply walk away from the keyboard.

I firmly agree with your last point: heated exchanges will only escalate if more than one party participates. If we ignore those posts that offend us or simply don't respond to them they will end at that - everyone gets their say and the discussion remains on target. It is a challenge, though, as I can attest that I still struggle with it from time to time.

I am happy to see that the mods will step in when personal attacks occur, though, this alone will help to keep things civil. :tup:

Keith P.
Oct 24, 2013, 8:29 PM
Well said. I see your point, but am guarded against completely disregarding everything posted by any particular participant because oftentimes if you read between the lines there is actually some poignant information contained within.


It is actually not at all well said. What he is saying is exactly what you cautioned him about - essentially that he does not want any disagreement that runs counter to his rather unique view of the world. I have never agreed with any post of his that I can recall, so naturally I am going to disagree with him most of the time. Because he is usually wrong. He seems to have a rather thin skin, perhaps not surprising considering he is young and not well-seasoned in the ways of the world. But simply disregarding or ignoring views he does not understand because he has minimal life experience to appreciate them is hardly a way to grow and learn and mature.

ILoveHalifax
Oct 24, 2013, 8:47 PM
it is actually not at all well said. What he is saying is exactly what you cautioned him about - essentially that he does not want any disagreement that runs counter to his rather unique view of the world. I have never agreed with any post of his that i can recall, so naturally i am going to disagree with him most of the time. Because he is usually wrong. He seems to have a rather thin skin, perhaps not surprising considering he is young and not well-seasoned in the ways of the world. But simply disregarding or ignoring views he does not understand because he has minimal life experience to appreciate them is hardly a way to grow and learn and mature.

very well said!!!

RyeJay
Oct 24, 2013, 9:34 PM
Well said. I see your point, but am guarded against completely disregarding everything posted by any particular participant because oftentimes if you read between the lines there is actually some poignant information contained within.

I actually enjoy finding viewpoints with which I disagree. Debates are enjoyable; and ultimately I wish to refine my own understanding of the issues we discuss. We have many knowledgeable people who frequent this message board, all from different backgrounds. This enriches our conversations and benefits everyone. We're a very fortunate bunch. :)

That being said, when any user expresses their opinions as though they are entitled to their own facts, when any user is consistently shifting the focus away from the issue of the thread and is instead purposing their posts to provoke and insult other people visiting the page -- that sort of rigid, prolonged juvenile behaviour is something that I'm too old to waste time on.

None of us are all-knowing, folks!

JET
Oct 25, 2013, 5:05 PM
I actually enjoy finding viewpoints with which I disagree. Debates are enjoyable; and ultimately I wish to refine my own understanding of the issues we discuss. We have many knowledgeable people who frequent this message board, all from different backgrounds. This enriches our conversations and benefits everyone. We're a very fortunate bunch. :)

That being said, when any user expresses their opinions as though they are entitled to their own facts, when any user is consistently shifting the focus away from the issue of the thread and is instead purposing their posts to provoke and insult other people visiting the page -- that sort of rigid, prolonged juvenile behaviour is something that I'm too old to waste time on.

None of us are all-knowing, folks!

While you purport to be easy going, welcoming and reasonable, some of responses, particularly those directed to Keith have been anything but that. The tone of your recent posts have changed, hopefully there is a change in attitude. I should clarify that i often don't agree with Keith's views, but that's OK. I would also like to mention that the mods may step in when things get testy, but it sometimes seems that not all posters are treated equally and fairly, there is at times a bias, and for some folks their comments although over the line, get a passing grade. IMHO

Jonovision
Oct 29, 2013, 2:38 PM
A fence has gone up around the old H&R Block building on Rainie Dr. Demolition is imminent.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 29, 2013, 4:38 PM
It is actually not at all well said.

I understand all your points, but I guess where I was going with this is that maybe we all can work a little harder to keep it civil and more "professional", myself included. Let's try to take the high road to keep the good information flowing and not bog it down with petty personal attacks. Not meaning you, specifically, but everybody.

I don't want this post to perpetuate this part of the thread, but rather want to close with it.

That said, I do enjoy reading everybody's input and opinions, whether I personally agree or not. Varying viewpoints keeps the discussion vibrant and rich, IMHO. :cheers: