North Park Intersection Redesign

Construction on the second roundabout at the Cogswell intersection (Phase 2) is now underway. During this first stage (2A), the following streets will be closed to all vehicle traffic and parking until further notice:

· North Park Street between Cornwallis Street and Cogswell Street

· Cogswell Street between North Park Street and Bauer Street

· Cogswell Street between Bauer and Gottingen streets will also be closed to through traffic starting Sunday. Crews will accommodate local traffic on that block only.

This first stage of closures will last until early June; however, construction is expected to continue into the fall. The sidewalks on the above noted streets will also be temporarily removed. Crews on site will accommodate access for pedestrians to homes in the area.

The next stages (2B & 2C) include the realignment of Rainnie Drive to Cogswell near Bauer Street. This will result in Rainnie being converted to a one-way street towards downtown, from Cogswell Street to Gottingen Street. This is a permanent change that will go into effect later this year. Other work this year will include upgrading greenway trails in the area, developing new entrances to the Common, moving overhead utilities underground and the installation of concrete curbs, new sidewalks, asphalt and new lighting.

The crosswalk at Cornwallis and North Park streets will also be shortened from 24 metres to a six-metre and seven-metre crossing, with a 3.7-metre pedestrian refuge in between. The crossing will continue to have overhead push-button activated crosswalk lights.

____________________________________________________________________________________

To view all of the background information, please visit the Library section of this page.

If you have any questions at this time, please email traffcom@halifax.ca or call 311.

For updates on the construction schedule, visit www.halifax.ca/traffic/NorthParkIntersectionRedesign.php

____________________________________________________________________________________

Background:

Roundabouts are a proven method to move various users more quickly and safely to their destination. To address aging intersections, like those on North Park Street, Regional Council supports modern roundabouts on municipal roads where appropriate design guidelines and standards can be met.

The North Park Intersection Redesign project is the first major municipal roundabout project. This is about more than just reconfiguring two intersections — it is a bold approach to a larger civic project that includes many disciplines, departments and goals. The two intersections — North Park, Cunard and Agricola, and North Park, Cogswell, Rainnie, Trollope and Ahern — were good candidates for redesign, as neither met national transportation standards and both suffered from aging infrastructure, problematic traffic flow, frequent collisions and poor connectivity.

Redesigning these two sites also presented opportunities to move overhead power and telecommunications infrastructure underground, integrate Halifax Water repairs, install LED streetlights, upgrade street, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and develop high quality public spaces. WSP was hired in June 2013 as the preliminary and detail designer for this massive undertaking.

The first roundabout at the Cunard intersection (Phase 1) opened on Nov. 17, 2014. In its first five months of operation, the Cunard roundabout has helped reduce delays for all users and improved safety, particularly for those walking. Pedestrians now have to cross only one direction of traffic at shorter distances, reducing their exposure time by more than half.

Construction on the second roundabout at the Cogswell intersection (Phase 2) is now underway. During this first stage (2A), the following streets will be closed to all vehicle traffic and parking until further notice:

· North Park Street between Cornwallis Street and Cogswell Street

· Cogswell Street between North Park Street and Bauer Street

· Cogswell Street between Bauer and Gottingen streets will also be closed to through traffic starting Sunday. Crews will accommodate local traffic on that block only.

This first stage of closures will last until early June; however, construction is expected to continue into the fall. The sidewalks on the above noted streets will also be temporarily removed. Crews on site will accommodate access for pedestrians to homes in the area.

The next stages (2B & 2C) include the realignment of Rainnie Drive to Cogswell near Bauer Street. This will result in Rainnie being converted to a one-way street towards downtown, from Cogswell Street to Gottingen Street. This is a permanent change that will go into effect later this year. Other work this year will include upgrading greenway trails in the area, developing new entrances to the Common, moving overhead utilities underground and the installation of concrete curbs, new sidewalks, asphalt and new lighting.

The crosswalk at Cornwallis and North Park streets will also be shortened from 24 metres to a six-metre and seven-metre crossing, with a 3.7-metre pedestrian refuge in between. The crossing will continue to have overhead push-button activated crosswalk lights.

____________________________________________________________________________________

To view all of the background information, please visit the Library section of this page.

If you have any questions at this time, please email traffcom@halifax.ca or call 311.

For updates on the construction schedule, visit www.halifax.ca/traffic/NorthParkIntersectionRedesign.php

____________________________________________________________________________________

Background:

Roundabouts are a proven method to move various users more quickly and safely to their destination. To address aging intersections, like those on North Park Street, Regional Council supports modern roundabouts on municipal roads where appropriate design guidelines and standards can be met.

The North Park Intersection Redesign project is the first major municipal roundabout project. This is about more than just reconfiguring two intersections — it is a bold approach to a larger civic project that includes many disciplines, departments and goals. The two intersections — North Park, Cunard and Agricola, and North Park, Cogswell, Rainnie, Trollope and Ahern — were good candidates for redesign, as neither met national transportation standards and both suffered from aging infrastructure, problematic traffic flow, frequent collisions and poor connectivity.

Redesigning these two sites also presented opportunities to move overhead power and telecommunications infrastructure underground, integrate Halifax Water repairs, install LED streetlights, upgrade street, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and develop high quality public spaces. WSP was hired in June 2013 as the preliminary and detail designer for this massive undertaking.

The first roundabout at the Cunard intersection (Phase 1) opened on Nov. 17, 2014. In its first five months of operation, the Cunard roundabout has helped reduce delays for all users and improved safety, particularly for those walking. Pedestrians now have to cross only one direction of traffic at shorter distances, reducing their exposure time by more than half.

Discussions: All (19) Open (19)
  • If we have missed something and you have additional comments to add please post your comments here.  We want to hear from you.

    If we have missed something and you have additional comments to add please post your comments here.  We want to hear from you.

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  • Atlantic Canada has over 35 roundabouts in use.

    Roundabouts are specifically designed with sharp entry and exit angles in order to slow vehicles down.  The result of this type of geometric design is lower speeds, typically between 25-40 kph.  This means that motorists have a greater ability to detect and stop for  a pedestrian. Lower speeds result in  less severe collisions.

    Individual crossing distances at the proposed  roundabouts crosswalks would be shortened to between 4-8 metres? The pedestrian crossing distance at the  crosswalk on North Park Street is currently 30m

    Out of  the 89 collisions that have occurred over the last 6 years at North Park & Cogswell at least 50 of them (and most likely more) could have been prevented if a roundabout was implemented  at this intersection?  The  most serious collisions, t-bones, would be eliminated with a roundabout.

    Atlantic Canada has over 35 roundabouts in use.

    Roundabouts are specifically designed with sharp entry and exit angles in order to slow vehicles down.  The result of this type of geometric design is lower speeds, typically between 25-40 kph.  This means that motorists have a greater ability to detect and stop for  a pedestrian. Lower speeds result in  less severe collisions.

    Individual crossing distances at the proposed  roundabouts crosswalks would be shortened to between 4-8 metres? The pedestrian crossing distance at the  crosswalk on North Park Street is currently 30m

    Out of  the 89 collisions that have occurred over the last 6 years at North Park & Cogswell at least 50 of them (and most likely more) could have been prevented if a roundabout was implemented  at this intersection?  The  most serious collisions, t-bones, would be eliminated with a roundabout.

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  • North Park is a significant street; it is a  commonly used route on foot, on bicycle and by vehicle. It is a popular route  to downtown and is a connector of neighbourhoods, the Citadel, Citadel High,  the Emera Oval, and the Halifax Common.

    The fabric of the neighbourhoods surrounding North  Park Street and the Halifax Common is changing. Projects moving this change  include the Peninsula Bikeway Network (north/south), Cogswell Interchange, Open Space Plan, Halifax Common Plan, Corridor Plan, etc.

    Roundabouts at these intersections could:

    • Improve safety;
    • Reduce delays for all  users;
    • Improve street use for  pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles;
    • Repatriate land back  to the Commons;
    • Improve aesthetics;
    • Profile a key gateway  to the downtown; and
    • Support several  anticipated objectives/projects planned for the Commons.

    North Park is a significant street; it is a  commonly used route on foot, on bicycle and by vehicle. It is a popular route  to downtown and is a connector of neighbourhoods, the Citadel, Citadel High,  the Emera Oval, and the Halifax Common.

    The fabric of the neighbourhoods surrounding North  Park Street and the Halifax Common is changing. Projects moving this change  include the Peninsula Bikeway Network (north/south), Cogswell Interchange, Open Space Plan, Halifax Common Plan, Corridor Plan, etc.

    Roundabouts at these intersections could:

    • Improve safety;
    • Reduce delays for all  users;
    • Improve street use for  pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles;
    • Repatriate land back  to the Commons;
    • Improve aesthetics;
    • Profile a key gateway  to the downtown; and
    • Support several  anticipated objectives/projects planned for the Commons.
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  • In response to comments from "Westwood" and "Haligonian", please see below: 


    Cycletracks within roundabouts exist in parts of the world that already have very high proportions of bicycle traffic (primarily in The Netherlands and Denmark). They require drivers to yield to bicyclists when turning across their paths. Installing Dutch bicycle infrastructure without Dutch laws or culture would be considered irresponsible by most, if not all, North American designers. In North America, roundabouts with on/off ramps for cyclists and multi-use paths around the roundabout are the preferred design for cyclists, and that is what is proposed for the North Park Roundabouts.

    ... Continue reading

    In response to comments from "Westwood" and "Haligonian", please see below: 


    Cycletracks within roundabouts exist in parts of the world that already have very high proportions of bicycle traffic (primarily in The Netherlands and Denmark). They require drivers to yield to bicyclists when turning across their paths. Installing Dutch bicycle infrastructure without Dutch laws or culture would be considered irresponsible by most, if not all, North American designers. In North America, roundabouts with on/off ramps for cyclists and multi-use paths around the roundabout are the preferred design for cyclists, and that is what is proposed for the North Park Roundabouts.

    Installing bicycle lanes between the parked car and the curb instead of between the parked cars and travel lanes can reduce the risk of dooring style collisions, however they may not be appropriate or suited to every condition. At intersections, protected bike lanes need to come back closer to the travel lanes so that cyclists are visible to turning drivers.   In this context, weaving the bike lane behind the parking for the relatively short stretches where parking is provided might create a needlessly meandering path for road cyclists without significant benefit.  The 5.4m wide travel lane that is available will provide for plenty of manoeuvrability for cyclists to avoid dooring collisions, and may be striped with a bike lane to improve awareness of people who are parking of the potential presence of bicycles. Cyclists who prefer to ride in an environment that is protected from vehicular traffic will have the option of leaving the road entirely and using a 4m wide multi-use path on the Halifax Common to travel between the roundabouts.

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  • In response to a question posted from Judith:

    Once the roundabouts are operational, the signal timings will be reviewed at the intersection of Robie and Cunard to ensure that they are operating optimally.  The expectation is that the existing vehicle queuing will not be made worse by the installation of a roundabout at Cunard. The distance on Cunard between North Park Street and Robie Street is approximately 320m. Traffic modelling projections show a queue length of 132m from Robie Street during the PM peak. Therefore even with this future queue length, traffic is not expected to back up from Robie Street to the Cunard roundabout. Today the current options for pedestrians to cross are to cross at the traffic signals either at North Park or at Robie.  These two crossings will remain in the future.  Based on feedback from the February 2013 community engagement for this project, staff undertook pedestrian and traffic counts on Cunard between Robie and North Park during the summer of 2013.  At that time the warrants were not met for a marked pedestrian crosswalk at any of the intersections along this section of Cunard.  This is based on the low pedestrian volumes and the short distance between the two intersections. Upon completion of the project, HRM staff has committed to conduct another study to gather information and form a decision with respect to pedestrian requirements on this section of Cunard.

    In response to a question posted from Judith:

    Once the roundabouts are operational, the signal timings will be reviewed at the intersection of Robie and Cunard to ensure that they are operating optimally.  The expectation is that the existing vehicle queuing will not be made worse by the installation of a roundabout at Cunard. The distance on Cunard between North Park Street and Robie Street is approximately 320m. Traffic modelling projections show a queue length of 132m from Robie Street during the PM peak. Therefore even with this future queue length, traffic is not expected to back up from Robie Street to the Cunard roundabout. Today the current options for pedestrians to cross are to cross at the traffic signals either at North Park or at Robie.  These two crossings will remain in the future.  Based on feedback from the February 2013 community engagement for this project, staff undertook pedestrian and traffic counts on Cunard between Robie and North Park during the summer of 2013.  At that time the warrants were not met for a marked pedestrian crosswalk at any of the intersections along this section of Cunard.  This is based on the low pedestrian volumes and the short distance between the two intersections. Upon completion of the project, HRM staff has committed to conduct another study to gather information and form a decision with respect to pedestrian requirements on this section of Cunard.

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  • Signage will be included in the design which clearly depicts which lane you should be in in order to arrive at your desired street.  In addition, pavement markings will help to supplement these signs.  Currently, at the signalized intersection there are three lanes when you approach Cogswell Street from North Park Street.  Roundabouts provide a more efficient and continuous flow for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.  Due to these increased efficiencies the number of lanes on North Park Street can be reduced.  Therefore, the same three lanes on North Park Street heading southbound towards Cogswell can be reduced to 1 lane between Cornwallis and Cogswell, with 2 approach lanes at the entrance to the roundabout.  The Armdale Roundabout is a significantly larger and busier intersection that deals with more than twice the traffic (about 55,000 vehicles a day) that would normally come through the North Park Street intersections. The proposed roundabouts at North Park will be 1 and 2 lane approaches with all one lane exits, which is significantly different than the Armdale roundabout configuration.

    Signage will be included in the design which clearly depicts which lane you should be in in order to arrive at your desired street.  In addition, pavement markings will help to supplement these signs.  Currently, at the signalized intersection there are three lanes when you approach Cogswell Street from North Park Street.  Roundabouts provide a more efficient and continuous flow for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists.  Due to these increased efficiencies the number of lanes on North Park Street can be reduced.  Therefore, the same three lanes on North Park Street heading southbound towards Cogswell can be reduced to 1 lane between Cornwallis and Cogswell, with 2 approach lanes at the entrance to the roundabout.  The Armdale Roundabout is a significantly larger and busier intersection that deals with more than twice the traffic (about 55,000 vehicles a day) that would normally come through the North Park Street intersections. The proposed roundabouts at North Park will be 1 and 2 lane approaches with all one lane exits, which is significantly different than the Armdale roundabout configuration.

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  • In response to a comment from Anne, please read below:


    The redesign will provide a much improved environment for pedestrians then what currently exists.  Today while crossing the North Park leg heading eastbound on Cogswell towards Gottingen, you first cross a 9m wide right turn channel. Then you further have to cross 30m of roadwaywhere you would be tasked with looking for left and right turning vehicles.  In the future with the proposed roundabout, you would be faced with an 8m crossing set back 1-2 car lengths from the yield line, where as a pedestrian you would only have to look... Continue reading

    In response to a comment from Anne, please read below:


    The redesign will provide a much improved environment for pedestrians then what currently exists.  Today while crossing the North Park leg heading eastbound on Cogswell towards Gottingen, you first cross a 9m wide right turn channel. Then you further have to cross 30m of roadwaywhere you would be tasked with looking for left and right turning vehicles.  In the future with the proposed roundabout, you would be faced with an 8m crossing set back 1-2 car lengths from the yield line, where as a pedestrian you would only have to look left for vehicles approaching from one direction (heading southbound on North Park Street).  Upon crossing this 8m of roadway you would then have a large refuge island(concrete median) to travel across before you made another 8m crossing looking only right for vehicles heading northbound on North Park Street.  There will be sidewalks leading up to and completely around each roundabout, with marked crosswalks on each leg that includes zebra marked crosswalks with tactile walking indicators for the visually impaired at each crossing location.  All of the sidewalks in this area are proposed to be upgraded, with a minimum width of 2m.  A 4m wide active transportation trail is also included along North Park Street in the North Common to accommodate all users.  In addition, Rainnie is being reviewed to have an upgraded cycling facility and the existing sidewalks will remain for pedestrian use. 

    Roundabouts do provide a more efficient and continuous flow for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists; however they are not intended to increase speeds. One of the benefits of the installation of roundabouts is that a roundabout’s geometry is designed specifically to direct traffic around the circle at a much slower speed. Therefore, lower speeds (between 25 and 40 km/h) provide more time for all users to detect and correct for their mistakes. If a collision does occur, it is less severe due to the lower speeds. The Armdale Roundabout is a significantly larger and busier intersection that deals with more than twice the traffic (about 55,000 vehicles a day) that would normally come through the North Park Street intersections.  The proposed roundabouts at North Park will be 1 and 2 lane approaches with all one lane exits, which is significantly different than the Armdale roundabout configuration.

    I encourage you to come to the public meeting on February 5th (rescheduled from January 29th) to see how these roundabouts are promoting active transportation and shorter pedestrian crossings distances.

     

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  • In response to a comment from  KitKat, please see below:


    There has been significant traffic modeling done at these intersections and for the surrounding areas.  The designs shown a combination of single and double entries, and all single exits.  We have only used double configurations where necessary to accommodate traffic. The geometry of the intersections is also designed to keep drives at slow speeds and we are spending significant time on the signage and pavement markings to give all users the best direction.

    On double lane entries, the signage and pavement markings will guide drivers to use the correct... Continue reading

    In response to a comment from  KitKat, please see below:


    There has been significant traffic modeling done at these intersections and for the surrounding areas.  The designs shown a combination of single and double entries, and all single exits.  We have only used double configurations where necessary to accommodate traffic. The geometry of the intersections is also designed to keep drives at slow speeds and we are spending significant time on the signage and pavement markings to give all users the best direction.

    On double lane entries, the signage and pavement markings will guide drivers to use the correct lane before entering the roundabout. Once in their lane of choice, drivers should not switch lanes within the roundabout. Street name signs will also be posted at each exit to give drivers confirmation of their destination.

     

     

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  • In response to a post from Ishko


    Based on the preliminary design, it is expected that the number of parking spaces will change at different times of the day, and that parking will not be completely eliminated. Today there are 20 evening only parking spaces on the west side of North Park Street. This parking area will be reduced to 8 parking spaces, but, these spaces will be provided in an exclusive parking lane and available for use at all times.  On the east side of North Park Street there are currently about 7 one hour during daytime/evening spaces and... Continue reading

    In response to a post from Ishko


    Based on the preliminary design, it is expected that the number of parking spaces will change at different times of the day, and that parking will not be completely eliminated. Today there are 20 evening only parking spaces on the west side of North Park Street. This parking area will be reduced to 8 parking spaces, but, these spaces will be provided in an exclusive parking lane and available for use at all times.  On the east side of North Park Street there are currently about 7 one hour during daytime/evening spaces and ten daytime/evening spaces.  With the proposed changes to North Park Street there will be approximately 16 all day spaces.    Therefore there will be a total reduction of 13 spaces, but, a gain in the ability to have parking all the time (potential to have some limits on how long a vehicle can park will be determined) instead of restricted daytime parking.

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  • In response to jendelahaye    29 Jan 2014,  7:36 PM   


    The 50% design drawings show the proposed parking locations. You can view the plans in the "library" section of this portal and they will also be displayed at the rescheduled meeting on February 5th. At this stage of the design, parking restrictions have not been confirmed and there is still potential for different outcomes with help from the feedback we receive. As North Park Street is a public street, our goal is to provide the best solution for both residents and the general public together.

    In response to jendelahaye    29 Jan 2014,  7:36 PM   


    The 50% design drawings show the proposed parking locations. You can view the plans in the "library" section of this portal and they will also be displayed at the rescheduled meeting on February 5th. At this stage of the design, parking restrictions have not been confirmed and there is still potential for different outcomes with help from the feedback we receive. As North Park Street is a public street, our goal is to provide the best solution for both residents and the general public together.

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