I have been looking at old pictures of Halifax quite a bit lately. As new development are built and more announced my mind has been thinking about transportation in the city. There is the ever present debate about commuter rail, which could make travel into the city core much more efficient if done properly. What happens when we get downtown?
Currently, we have a mess of buses going down Barrington Street, clogging up the roads, running less than frequently. When I look at old pictures of Halifax I am amazed by the old street cars that are prominent in many of the pictures. Why not bring back the streetcar for use downtown.
Trains and buses could bring the commuters into the centre of the city, continuing down the major arteries street cars would fill the connection void. Running on electricity there would be less diesel fumes, they could be more frequent and free up some of the road space for public spaces. Not to mention the tourism potential, some added charm to the centre of Halifax.
I haven’t looked at the economics of this thought but I imagine a city centre less reliant on cars, with bike lanes sharing the road with charming and efficient street cars. This would keep busses off the roads and wisk citizens and tourists alike down the main city roads, along the waterfront, maybe as far as the Hydrostone in the North End.
The same thing could be put into motion in downtown Dartmouth, spreading out from the bus terminals past the Ferry Terminal and reaching the new development at Kings Wharf.
A final connection to commuter rail, bike lanes and bus service.