Construction proves frustrating for navigation during Halifax Jazz Festival
Published Friday, July 14, 2017 7:29PM ADT
Headaches like parking and congestion are problematic enough in Halifax at the best of times but thanks to mega construction projects, the historic waterfront is becoming especially hard to navigate.
It’s a busy place at the peak of tourism season. With the sounds and crowds of the Halifax Jazz Festival, several thousand scouts and tourists taking to the seaside boardwalk.
A visitor from Eastern Passage, N.S., says he couldn’t even find a parking spot along the waterfront.
“We actually came down from Gottingen Street. Tried to find a couple of places there,” says Rob Gaudrault.
It’s difficult to find a parking spot at rush hour on an early afternoon. Parking is at a premium as vehicles pour into Lower Water Street while police direct traffic on the sidewalks on each side of the Queen’s Marque Project.
The Waterfront Development Corporation acknowledges that finding parking can be frustrating. The corporation says events like the jazz festival mean the loss of several hundred parking spaces in addition to the 150 swallowed up by the construction zone.
“Generally speaking parking is available, it just may not be available where you want it to be. So you may have to walk or take public transit,” says Jennifer Angel, president and CEO of the Waterfront Development Corporation.
Disability advocate Paul Vinneau says it’s not that simple for people with mobility issues.
“My life is logistics, being in a wheelchair, so this has just added to it,” he says.
Vienneau has worked with organizers of the jazz festival this year to make the venues more accessible for all. He says it’s the first step toward better accessibility elsewhere.
“Without the accessible festival it wouldn't matter if you could get here or not. So this is kind of setting the table,” says Vienneau.
Halifax Jazz Festival organizers say they haven’t heard any complaints about construction or parking yet.
Waterfront development is expected to exceed last year's total of 2.5 million visitors.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.