Online opinion dominates transportation discussion

The city’s development of a transportation master plan continues to generate public interest – the majority of it online.

The city’s development of a transportation master plan continues to generate public interest – the majority of it online.

A pair of open houses at Beban Park Social Centre and Nanaimo Fire Hall No. 4 in Chase River last week generated some public interest, but Gordon Foy, city transportation engineer, said most feedback is arriving via the Internet.

The transportation plan will be used to guide decisions on major transportation and infrastructure issues over the next 20 years.

Foy said about 40 people attended the Beban Park open house, while the Chase River meeting was quieter. The city has received more than 50 survey responses online since then.

“We’re seeing those numbers continue to climb as people pass the survey on to friends,” said Foy. “It’s almost word of mouth  but online.”

Concerns expressed by residents at the open houses encompassed present and future Nanaimo, said Foy.

“There were today’s concerns around pedestrian safety and congestion, as well as future focus on sustainability, alternative modes of transportation and transit,” he said. “The concerns were all pretty consistent with what we anticipated. As we move forward the issues become different.”

Online content, including copies of open house materials, surveys and background documents is still available on the city’s website at www.nanaimo.ca/goto/transportationplan.The survey ends June 30.

“We’ll wait until the online stuff comes back because I think we’ll actually get as much or more feedback via the online survey than we will from the open houses,” said Foy. “At that point we’ll jump on it and put together a summary of what we have and bring it to the Transportation Advisory Committee.”