Nanaimo's street design standards win Provincial and North American awards

Raised local intersections on Metral pave the way in new Complete Street designs

Summary

The City of Nanaimo is winning awards for its transportation engineering design standards and raised-local intersections. The new Complete Streets Engineering Standards, adopted by Nanaimo City Council in 2020, prioritize safety and accessibility for all commuters by embracing traffic-calming and multi-modal transportation.

The City's new standards include continuous sidewalks and bicycle lanes that remain raised as they cross over local road intersections. This Dutch-inspired approach is a shift in thinking, moving from creating crosswalks and bike paths that cross roads, to creating roads that cross over pedestrian and bicycle spaces. The emphasis to slow down and safely make a turn shifts to the motorist, which reduces the likelihood and severity of a collision with a pedestrian, cyclist or any other motor vehicle. As per the Province’s BC Community Road Safety Toolkit, “raised crossings can reduce vehicle-pedestrian crashes resulting in injury by as much as 46% and reduce vehicle-bicycle crashes resulting in injury by as much as 51%.”

The raised and continuous sidewalks are also safer for mobility-impaired pedestrians and visually-impaired pedestrians, creating a continuous walk without the need to navigate curb ramps.

As one of only a few North American cities to implement true Dutch-style raised intersections, and the first to adopt it into municipal engineering standards, Nanaimo (and its Metral Drive Project) is quickly becoming a national example. The complete street engineering standards, adoption of the raised-local intersection, and the Metral Drive project have now been recognized with three significant awards: the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) 2020 Sustainable Transportation Award and the Institute of Transportation Engineer's (ITE) 2021 North American Complete Street Technical Achievement Award, and most recently, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) 2021 Community Excellence Award for Excellence in Sustainability.

To learn more about the City of Nanaimo's new Engineering Standards for Complete Streets design, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/CompleteStreets and to learn about the Metral Drive Complete Street, visit www.nanaimo.ca/goto/Metral

Link to Strategic Plan: The City's new engineering standards which promote multi-modal transportation support Council's commitment to Environmental Sustainability and Livability.

Key Points

  • Phase One of the Metral Drive Project is now complete, showcasing seven raised local intersections that improve safety and multi-modal transportation options.
  • The City of Nanaimo has won three awards for the new standards and implementation: the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) 2020 Sustainable Transportation Award, the Institute of Transportation Engineer's (ITE) 2021 North American Complete Street Technical Achievement Award, and most recently, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Community Excellence Award for Excellence in Sustainability.

Quotes

"Road design standards have been largely unchanged for decades, and now is the time to shift towards a friendlier and more sustainable transportation system. We aren't asking anyone to ditch their car, but we are presenting more options for your commute, safer roads and a better connected community. Indeed, Metral is now a concrete example of the future of Nanaimo's roads."

Mayor
City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • The new City of Nanaimo Complete Streets Engineering Standards were guided by a public engagement process that began in 2014 and concluded in 2020. Nanaimo City Council adopted the standards in November, 2020.
  • Phase One of the Metral Drive project received the $500,000 Active Transportation Grant from the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in 2020. Nanaimo has applied for the 2021 Grant for Phase 2.
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Contact:

For media enquiries, please contact
Communications
City of Nanaimo
250-754-4251

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