Extension Road Traffic Calming

 

After going through the traffic calming process including data collection, conceptual design, public engagement, and internal stakeholders consultation, the Extension Road Traffic Calming pilot was approved by Council in July 2023 to advance to the construction stage.

A detailed design is being finalized in Fall 2023 and construction is scheduled for 2024.

The project proposes traffic calming features such as crosswalk improvements, a speed table, intersection narrowing with flexible bollards, signage, and road marking. The design takes into consideration feedback from stakeholders, including residents in the area, the Chase River Community Association, and the Chase River PAC, as well as from internal stakeholders including Nanaimo Fire Rescue.

These traffic calming features are anticipated to moderate speeds within the fastest parts of Extension Road, while seeking to minimize inconvenience for road users using Extension Road to access their neighbourhood. We also aim to maintain accepted response time targets for emergency vehicles and minimize impacts on transit buses and their riders.

We have taken snow and ice control into account by offering temporary features that can be changed or removed if City crews indicate this is necessary to achieve effective winter maintenance.

Staying Connected

We welcome your feedback! If you have any questions, concerns, or ideas to share, please contact us.

By email: transportationinfo@nanaimo.ca
By phone: 250-755-4460 Ext 4385
By mail: Engineering Department, 455 Wallace Street, Nanaimo BC, V9R 5J6

Gallery

  • Progress

    When are things happening?  

     

    With the incorporation of feedback from the public and internal stakeholders into the functional design, Staff presented the Extension Road Traffic Calming pilot to Council in July 2023.

    As Council has approved to advance the project to the construction phase, the detailed design is being finalized in Fall 2023 and construction is scheduled for Spring 2024, but is subject to weather and contractor availability.

  • Documents
  • Details

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the objectives of traffic calming?

    The objectives of the Extension Road Traffic Calming project are to create a safe community and to increase the livability of this neighbourhood for residents. Traffic calming effectively addresses traffic problems in a way that is cost-effective, self-enforcing, and compatible with the existing road network.

    How many concepts will be prepared?

    One concept plan will be prepared using feedback gathered during the public consultation phase. See the document tab to see how the conceptual plan developed based on feedback received.

    How much does the project cost?

    Once the concept plan is complete, a cost estimate will be created. Funding for the construction will come from available sources within current budgets.

    What about emergency services? How will Fire and Ambulance be affected?

    Emergency service providers have been consulted and agree with the proposed project. Improving road safety reduces the likelihood of serious vehicle crashes which in turn reduces the need for emergency services.

    Will sidewalks be included?

    Early in 2021, city staff examined the opportunities to build sidewalks on Extension Road. The review confirmed there is limited right-of-way, ditches, and steep slopes. Unfortunately, these factors made it very costly to build sidewalks at this time so sidewalks are not included in the traffic calming plan. Building sidewalks is most cost effective when other capital works are being carried out. Looking to the future, sidewalks will likely emerge as development happens and as the City carries out capital projects for utilities upgrades.

    What will the raised crosswalks look like?

    If a raised crosswalk is installed, it would have table-like features, with a ramp up and down, and a flat surface of 3 metres wide. It will have signs and pavement markings to show drivers where it is. Similar examples of raised crosswalks can be seen and experienced on Nelson Road and Lost Lake Road.

    Will the crosswalks have flashing warning lights?

    The crosswalks will first be installed with signs and pavement markings, and then monitored for safety and operational performance. If safety issues arise at a specific location, the crossing would be evaluated as part of the annual crosswalk enhancement program. If warranted, flashing warning lights would be installed as funding and priorities allowed.

    Will additional street lights be installed?

    The street lights on Extension Road are mostly owned by BC Hydro with a few owned by the City, and the BC Hydro ones have been upgraded to LED street lights. No new lights are planned as part of the traffic calming.

    What will the concrete median barriers and road narrowing look like?

    See the “Extension Road Full Conceptual Design” under the Documents tab for more details.

     

  • Background

    Background

    Speeding, walking, and biking issues have been a concern along Extension Road for many years. This is a road that was built to a rural mountainous standard long before being incorporated into the City, and as such, does not meet current expectations for mobility. Numerous requests from residents to install traffic calming generated this traffic calming project in order to moderate traffic speeds.

    The City considers traffic calming on neighbourhood streets where: traffic speeds and volumes are high, neighbourhood streets are being used to shortcut between major roads, transit buses are not operating, and there is neighbourhood support for traffic calming. Where transit routes exist, the City seeks support from transit operators before proceeding with traffic calming.

    To better understand existing traffic conditions, several traffic studies on Extension Road have been conducted, including one in July 2020 and one in April 2023 (when school was in session).  These studies confirmed that speeds are high; the 85th percentile speed is our engineering benchmark and was measured at 60 km/h at the northern end of Extension Rd, and gradually increased at the southern end of Extension to 68 km/h. This is substantially above the posted speed limit of 50 km/h.

    Based on existing traffic conditions, raised crosswalks, speed tables and speed humps are considered effective strategies for moderating speeds. Several other measures are also being considered, including flexible bollards in combination with curb extension and concrete medians. Raised features in combination with these additional measures are anticipated to moderate speeds within the fastest parts of Extension Road. The traffic calming plan will be designed such that it also minimizes inconvenience for legitimate road users using Extension Road to access their neighbourhood and maintains acceptable response time targets for emergency vehicles.

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