Closing several streets to traffic and opening them up to active transportation on a quiet Sunday afternoon might happen in Halifax this fall.
Open street Sundays are popular events in many cities around the world – including several cities in Canada.
Ben Buckwold, one of the organizers of ‘Switch’ in Halifax said the Planning Design Centre at Dalhousie University has been working on it for over a year.
“The basic idea is to open up a route on the peninsula that is open to pedestrians, cyclists, rollerskaters, rollerbladers, skateboarders – anybody who’s using some form of active transportation,” he told Metro Thursday.
Buckwold gave an update to HRM’s active transportation committee Thursday afternoon and they passed a motion to fully support the event.
They’re shooting for Sunday, Sept. 9 for the first pilot event, and with any luck – and popularity – organizers are hoping to make it a regular event in the summer months.
“We’re trying to build momentum and pilot this event and we’re hoping that’s something really exciting for the city and something that can repeat itself,” he said. “If we had an ideal world we could have it happening every Sunday, but to be realistic about such things we’ll have the one event, hope it’s a big success and go from there.”
The plan is to get permission to close a five-kilometre route from Agricola Street near the Hydrostone Market area all the way to Point Pleasant Park. Traffic will be allowed to cross and signalized intersections.
Activity nodes will pop up along the route for discussion groups and physical exercises like yoga and Zumba classes.
“It’s a way to encourage people to come together and be physically active,” said Coun. Jennifer Watts who sits on the active transportation committee.