City adopts Complete Streets Standards

New Edition of Manual of Engineering Standards & Specifications Take Affect


At their September 14, 2020 meeting, Nanaimo City Council adopted a bylaw requiring Complete Streets Standards for all future roads within Nanaimo city limits. Complete streets shift the focus from solely moving cars efficiently to making them public spaces that are accessible to other modes of transportation such as walking, rolling and cycling. The core of Council’s Strategic Plan creates a community that is focused on people, liveable and accessible to all. These new standards will be demonstrated on the Metral Drive project which is just getting underway.

For the last eighteen months, the City developed changes to its Manual of Engineering Standards and Specifications (MoESS), in consultation with the public and the construction industry. The new bylaw and standards are now in effect for all civil infrastructure projects on City rights-of-way.

Other changes to the MoESS help with positive stewardship of infrastructure owned by the community, such as drinking water, sanitary and storm drainage, and support other critical assets, such as public trees, sidewalks and aggregates.

Link to Strategic Plan: The City is committed to proactively planning for Nanaimo’s growth by focusing on policies and good governance that support an inclusive, healthy, safe and desirable place to live.

Key Points

  • The Manual of Engineering Standards and Specifications (MoESS) forms part of the Subdivision Bylaw and is referenced in several other City bylaws. It is a guide for the construction of City-owned civil infrastructure projects.
  • Updates to the MoESS are based on evolving industry standards, best practices, City policies, guidelines, bylaws or strategies.


"The City thanks the public and development community for their invaluable feedback and helping us make changes to standards that support many of the City’s governing plans and strategies, including the Transportation Master Plan, Cross Connection Control Bylaw, and Active Transportation."

City of Nanaimo

"These updated engineering standards will shift the look and feel of new infrastructure, such as roads towards what the community desires and expects. It will also improve the safety and quality of the buried infrastructure that we all rely on. "

Director, Engineering
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • The Complete Streets Standards and their use on Metral gained Nanaimo Canada-wide attention, garnering a National Sustainable Urban Transportation Award from the Transportation Association of Canada.


Poul Rosen
Engineering Department
City of Nanaimo

Print News Release

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