Downtown Halifax Business Commission’s (DHBC) previously announced tactical urbanism activation of a portion of Bedford Row will not be moving forward. As part of the activation, Bedford Row was set to have a temporary, partial closure between Prince Street and the Bedford Row entrance of Founders Square until November 1, 2022.
“Once the initial activations were set up late last week, we received concerns from businesses about the negative impact it had on vehicular access,” said Paul MacKinnon, CEO of DHBC. “Tactical urbanism projects such as this, call for organizers like us to be adaptive and flexible based on feedback.”
In 2020 and 2021, outdoor café extensions were permitted on Bedford Row as a part of the Bedford Row Streetscape Pilot Project. This initiative brought much-needed space for restaurants during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic was having a disproportionate impact on the restaurant industry.
This year’s DHBC-led, revised version of the Pilot Project – which allowed for a lane of thru-traffic and an area for public seating – was slimmed down due in part to increased business activity along Bedford Row and discussions surrounding vehicular access. Local restaurants opted not to participate in this year’s design.
“The Pilot Project’s success in the past two summers showcased the potential for new ways to think about Bedford Row,” said MacKinnon. “We do still believe that Bedford Row is a unique destination, and we will continue to look at how we can improve the public experience there.”
The current activated space will be taken down by the end of next week (week of August 22), including the barriers and public seating.