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Heather Way in east Saint John. Image: © 2021 Google

City to close one half of Heather Way

By Brad Perry Jan 30, 2024 | 5:33 AM

A busy street in east Saint John will be going from four lanes to two this year, but what will happen to those closed lanes remains undecided.

Council approved a staff recommendation last week to resurface one half of Heather Way and close off the other side of the median with barricades.

Asphalt resurfacing was scheduled in 2021 but was postponed due to questions from councillors about options for road diets and active transportation opportunities.

City staff sought feedback from residents on potential options for imagining the street and brought up several ideas for discussion.

One involved reducing the street to one lane in each direction while maintaining the shared left-turn lane and adding buffered bike lanes on each side.

Another was to close one side of Heather Way to vehicle traffic, similar to a 2009 proposal, and use it solely for active transportation.

However, staff said there was no general consensus on what, if any changes, should happen on to the street.

“It is clear that after several debates at council, and follow-up discussions with individual councillors, that there remains an interest in consolidation of traffic on one side of the median,” said a staff report to council.

As an interim measure, the city will close the two lanes on the eastern side of the median and consolidate traffic on the western side of the median.

Staff will then re-engage with the local community in another attempt to generate options for the creative use of the abandoned street, according to the council report.

“This option would crystallize the savings from not resurfacing half of the roadway while keeping all options on the table for future investment,” said the report.

“If there was strong community consensus for the treatment of this space staff would return to council for endorsement at a later date, and refer the project to the capital planning process.”