COVID-19 restrictions, such as physical distancing requirements, have impacted the way we move around the region. In response, the Strategic Transportation Planning team was tasked to create the municipality’s Mobility Response: Streets and Spaces program.
To help research, create, evolve and implement the program, an interdepartmental team was formed with representatives from Transportation & Public Works, Planning & Development, Halifax Transit, Corporate Communications, Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE) and Public Safety. Not only was each member of the team solutions-focused, but the collaborative environment helped to reduce process timelines and provide faster approvals.
One aspect of the program included the installation of 16 kilometers of Slow Streets across peninsular Halifax and downtown Dartmouth. Additionally, the expansion of patios or outdoor dining areas were accommodated to support local businesses. According to the program’s public engagement and follow-up survey, 65 per cent of respondents were supportive of the of the Slow Streets initiative, 58 per cent visited extended patio or outdoor dining areas, and 59 per cent felt these spaces encouraged more street life.