Nanaimo city staff and council are in agreement about wanting to slow down traffic on Boxwood Road.
During a meeting on Monday night, councillors voted unanimously in favour or receiving a staff report that calls for temporary traffic calming measures along Boxwood Road while city staffers seek a more permanent solution.
According to a recent staff report, the city intends to put a road centre line on Boxwood Road between Dufferin Crescent and Tulsa Road while temporary curb extensions or plastic traffic delineator posts, will also be installed at the intersections of Boxwood Road and Bollinger Road, Island Diesel Way and Tulsa Road according to a recent staff report.
The temporary measures are expected to cost an estimated $25,000.
Approximately 4,000 vehicles travel along Boxwood Road each day according to the report, which also notes that construction work to extend Boxwood Road to East Wellington Road will be completed this fall.
Staff intend to start the planning process for permanent upgrades on Boxwood Road next year.
Poul Rosen, the city’s senior manager of engineering, told councillors on Monday that staff spent plenty of time working on temporary solutions for the road and have consulted with businesses in the area. He said the short-term solution is needed while they come up with a long-term solution.
“Turns out it’s an extremely challenging corridor to implement calming on just given the industrial nature of the road and the streetscape features that are present,” he said. “So what we are proposing here is that we implement some interim or temporary traffic calming measures while staff take a longer look at it and conduct some more thorough public consultation.”
Jamie Rose, manager of transportation, told councillors that the basic idea is to narrow the roadway along Boxwood in order to slow traffic down.
“The principle that we are applying is to narrow the travel lanes, so similar to Jackson Road, we are proposing to introduce a centre line and introduce curb extension which will provide a narrower pathway for vehicles, which is sort of a best practice for traffic calming on major roads,” he said.
Coun. Ian Thorpe said he recognizes that Boxwood Road is a challenging area and is pleased that staff have come up with interim solutions. He said he also supports the idea of staff taking a more “fulsome” approach and coming up with a more permanent solution for the area.
“I think we want to solve this problem in the best possible way, but at least we are doing something right now,” Thorpe said.
Coun. Bill Bestwick called the measures an “outstanding step” while Coun. Bill Yoachim felt that a roundabout is needed.
“It’s absolutely insane. I’ve been saying this for four years now. We are just waiting for a kid to get hit. We should put a roundabout right there on Boxwood and Diesel Way,” Yoachim said. “So out of control, man. I don’t know why we don’t look at that. I don’t need a study to suggest that. I just need common sense.”
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