Plan aims to drive Nanaimo residents toward alternative transportation

NANAIMO – The public has a chance to weigh in on the city's first transportation master plan during a series of open houses this month.

Nanaimo city staff members are pitching a new rapid transit route and more cycling trails to help drive residents toward alternative transportation.

The City of Nanaimo is presenting new transportation possibilities during the last wave of public consultation for a budding master plan this month.

The first-ever long term transportation plan, launched last year, is aimed at directing decision-making for the next 25 years, including polices to encourage people to travel any other way but car.

According to a new report by B.C.-based Urban Systems, 88 per cent of trips made each day in the Harbour City are via car, compared to 12 per cent made by walking, cycling and bus. The city wants to double the number of people using sustainable travel by 2041 with strategies like a faster, more direct transit service and “complete streets” that are safe and attractive for cyclists and pedestrians.

Some projects have already started to roll out, including piecemeal bike lanes on residential roads.

The latest public consultation series will allow people to weigh in on whether the new strategies are on track so more complete networks can be created, said Gordon Foy, the city’s traffic and transportation planning engineer.

“By pulling and putting together a strategic plan it gives us a much stronger piece of policy to work with and a clear sense of direction on where we are going,” Foy said. “Instead of incremental, small changes we basically have a road map – no pun intended – to move this forward.”

The latest draft plan presents transportation goals and ways to meet them, from more pedestrian-friendly neighbourhoods to more convenient bus routes.

According to the city’s early research, people that live close to service centres like the downtown core and Woodgrove Centre are trending more toward walking and cycling. The plan is to invest in making it easier for people to travel within those hubs and densify neighbourhoods to encourage shorter trips.

Nanaimo is considering sidewalks,  street lighting, weather protection and curb extensions at intersections so people wouldn’t have to cross as far. Bike networks and a “spine” of transit facilities where people could access frequent transit at 15-minute intervals and a new ‘express’ bus would also be available on the Island Highway.

Coun. George Anderson, chairman of the transportation advisory committee, believes with the right mix of strategies more people can be encouraged to pick sustainable modes of travel.

“Look at Bellingham, a community roughly the same size as Nanaimo,” he said. “They have an 18 per cent [alternative] mode share in their community right now and currently Nanaimo is at 12 per cent. It does show potential to encourage people to use alternative modes of transportation.”

Public consultation happens at University Village at 3 p.m. Friday (Nov. 8), as well as Port Place and Woodgrove Centre on Saturday (Nov. 9). The plan is slated for completion in 2014.

Just Posted

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Casino Nanaimo workers launch class-action lawsuit against corporation

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

Beban Pool is expected to re-open Oct. 4 after a vote by councillors at a finance and audit committee meeting Wednesday, June 16. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will re-open Beban Pool in October

User groups warn COVID-19 pool closures have left a gap in water safety education

Beef to the lady who went onto my property then proceeded to take my large plant from my home. I found out and asked for it returned. You said I was dramatic? You should be ashamed of yourself.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts’s body was discovered near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Lotto Max player in Nanaimo wins $500,000

Campbell River lotto player wins $1 million in the Tuesday, June 15 draw

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 4 deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Most Read