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Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan

On this page you can find information about the following topics:

The Plan

The City of Nanaimo completed developing its first long-term multi-modal Transportation Master Plan. The first plan of its kind for BC's third oldest city. Transportation touches every part of our daily lives, affecting how we move, how food, goods and services reach us, how we access employment, our household budgets, what housing choices we make, how our City looks and feels and how we interact with our fellow citizens.

As our City approaches 100,000 people, transportation issues will become more complex requiring a coordinated strategy moving into the future. The Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan will guide transportation decision-making over the next 25 years and will recommend improvements for all modes of transportation, including walking, cycling, public transit, goods movement, and vehicles. The Plan will ensure that transportation investments work towards achieving the City's strategic goals, make the best use of our tax dollars and help shift towards a more sustainable future.

The Plan seeks to address key objectives of the City's Official Community Plan, Strategic Plan, and the Regional Growth Strategy and will help create a future transportation system with attractive alternatives to the car and support a shift towards more sustainable transportation options. Principles identified through consultation created a vision for a future transportation system that provides mobility across all transportation modes that is safe, connected, sustainable, affordable and accessible for residents of all ages and abilities. The Plan includes targets to both increase the use of sustainable transportation modes and to reduce the growth of vehicle use. By 2041 the Plan seeks to shift the City's travel patterns by;

  • doubling the proportion of trips made by sustainable transportation modes, from 12 to 24%,
  • increasing the number of walking trips (2x), cycling trips (5x) and transit trips (5x) over current conditions, and
  • reduce vehicle travel from just under 14 km to 10 km/day/resident.

The Plan provides the long-term directions that will guide transportation policies, priorities and investments within each element of the transportation network, including:

  • Better coordinating land use and transportation planning to create future developments and neighbourhoods that are more walkable, rideable and can be effectively serviced by transit.
  • Making walking and cycling a more comfortable way to move throughout more parts of the City for people of all ages and abilities.
  • Increasing the quality, convenience and accessibility of transit for trips within the City and region.
  • Major roads improvements that make best use of the existing infrastructure create streets that are comfortable for all road users and create an effective future road network, while seeking to reduce our use of cars.
  • Parking management strategies that support the development of quality urban environments in key areas of the City and reflect the expectation that less, but better utilized, parking will be needed in denser, mixed-use areas as walking, cycling and transit become more attractive.
  • A refreshed approach toward Neighbourhood transportation to manage the impacts of traffic while encouraging walking and cycling within neighbourhoods; enhancing their livability and sustainability.
  • Improving strategic connections for people, goods and services that support our economy between Nanaimo and adjacent communities on Vancouver Island as well as to Metro Vancouver and the rest of British Columbia.


What's New - Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan approved by Council 

On May 26th, 2014 council meeting, the Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan was approved unanimously. The approved Plan document includes an improved layout and incorporates additional input from stakeholders and final recommendations from the Transportation Advisory Committee.

The Plan is composed of four major sections, including:

  • Sections I and II provide community context and the overall direction.
  • Section III includes stand-alone chapters providing detailed policies and actions for each element of the transportation system.
  • Section IV provides a summary of short-term priority projects over the next five years.

To download the Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan approved document, click here for Low resolution [PDF - 9 MB], click here for high resolution [PDF - 160.1 MB]

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Getting Ready, Discussion Paper One, Two and Three

In order to get ready for the NTMP, the city conducted a pre-plan consultation to gain insight into community expectations and areas of interest. Results from the pre-plan consultation can be found here. In addition, in Spring 2012 the City's Strategic Plan identified transportation as a key priority for the community. The City has also been assembling information on our current travel patterns through a series of traffic, travel and transit surveys during 2012. Click here for more information on this work.

Phase One of the NTMP took place during Fall 2012 and Winter 2013. It included multi formats public consultation and preparation of a Existing Condition Report. This Discussion Paper begins with a review of policy initiatives at the local, regional, and provincial levels that influence the transportation system and provide guidance for the City as it develops the Transportation Master Plan. The following sections of the paper provide a comprehensive assessment of Nanaimo's pedestrian, bicycle, transit, and road networks, identifying challenges and opportunities to be addressed through the development of the NTMP.

The public input, information and data collected in Phase One, the OCP and Strategic Plan were used to develop a plan vision with goals and objectives. The NTMP's vision, supported by guiding principles, mode and topic-specific goals and objectives are the outcome of Phase Two. Phase Two recommends mode share targets to measure progress towards achieving the stated goals and objectives. Discussion Paper #2 Setting Future Directions (August 2013) presented the outcome of Phase Two.

Developed in the fall of 2013, Discussion Paper #3 - Transportation Possibilities outlines potential policies and actions for each element of the NTMP including: land use, walking, cycling, transit, major roads, neighbourhood transportation, parking and strategic connections. These policies and actions have been developed to meet the targets, goals and objectives of the NTMP (Discussion Paper #2) and address the issues and opportunities identified through consultation in the Fall of 2012 (Discussion Paper #1). The Transportation Master Plan was developed based on the feedback received during the consultation phase.

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How Can You Get Involved?

The Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan process is nearing completion. If you have any additional comments please send an email

Keeping Up to Date

This site is the main portal for information about the NTMP. We invite you to visit it for updates as the Plan moves forward.

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