Metral Drive Complete Street

 Metral Logo


Each year the City of Nanaimo (City) undertakes capital improvement projects driven by growth, development, asset management, and other priority-based frameworks. As part of the City’s strategic planning process the 5-year Capital Plan identifies these projects and where possible combines those of similar scope and proximity to achieve economy of scale and a comprehensive product. There are several infrastructure improvements scheduled for construction within the Metral Drive corridor in 2020. As a result, these projects have been combined to create a comprehensive project that helps achieve the City’s goal to create and build a more sustainable, multimodal network that accommodates and moves people - not only motorists.

The Metral Drive Corridor Plan aims to increase the safety and comfort for people who walk, bike, take transit, and drive while ensuring that utility upgrades within the project area are completed with the proposed surface improvements.

The complete street concept will provide a comprehensive design that:

  • Ensures comfortable and effective mobility for people of all ages and abilities;
  • Improves safety, especially for those walking, cycling, or taking transit; and
  • Enhances public amenities in the corridor, makes the streetscape more inviting, and provides connection to other trails.

Metral Rendering 


Did you miss our Open House on November 27?  No worries. You can check out the display materials by clicking here. (19.6 MB)


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  3. Call us: 250-758-5222


  • Progress

    Interested to see the design elements of what is currently being constructed? The Phase 2 design has been uploaded on the bottom of the documents tab. 



    December 2022:


    September 2021:  

    • The Metral Drive Phase 2 receives 2021 Active Transportation Grant from the provincial government, valued at $500,000. 


    August 2021:

    • Metral Drive Phase 2 (Turner-Aulds):
      • Construction tender awarded to IWC Excavation and active construction starting July 12th, 2021.
    • Metral Drive Phase 1 (Mostar-Turner):
      • Complete!


      June 2020:  

      • The Metral Drive Phase 1 receives 2020 Active Transportation Grant from the provincial government, valued at $500,000. The project has also been awarded TAC's national 2020 Sustainable Urban Transportation Award.
    • Documents

      Council, staff, and residents have supported complete streets principles dating back to 2002. Over 17 documents and plans have been created over the past 16 years, referencing complete streets or speaking to the principles of creating a greener, sustainable, and multi-model network that accommodates and moves people - not only motorists. 

      In 2014, Nanaimo’s City Council approved the Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan (NTMP), which included recommendations to create complete street standards and to expand the cycling network. One identified project included the construction of facilities on Metral Drive from Mostar Rd to Aulds Rd. 

      Nanaimo Transportation Master Plan


      In the spring of 2019, we reached out to the community with an online survey and an open house at Woodgrove Mall. The feedback we received has shaped the development of the functional design for the corridor.

      Open House Events

      Dates & Times

      Woodgrove Centre


      March 23, 2019


      Pleasant Valley Social Centre


      November 27, 2019




      Consultation - Spring 2019:     

      Consultation - Fall 2019:     

      Updated Phase 2 Design Drawings (Based on Public Consultation) 2021:     

    • Details


      Metral Drive Complete Street Project FAQ

      Q1: Complete Streets?

      What are Complete Streets?

      • “Complete Streets” is an international initiative and design approach that requires streets to be planned and operated to enable safe and comfortable use for all ages and abilities.
      • Complete Streets move people, not just cars.
      • The initiative recognizes that streets have different roles, functions, and characteristics depending on their context.
      • A Complete Street aims to provide balanced mobility for a range of users including pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicles and transit in a shared roadway experience.

      Q2: How are decisions made?

      As part of the decision-making process decisions are made based on three components:

      • Technical Requirements - what infrastructure best meets the area's needs, where it can fit, and what impacts it will have to the immediate and surrounding area
      • City Policies - how City initiatives and activities are implemented
      • Public Input - local knowledge of the community

      Q3: Why Change?

      Why are the road upgrades along Metral Drive required?

      • Metral Drive is identified for active transportation upgrades, pavement renewal, water distribution system replacement, stormwater management upgrades, street-lighting upgrades, and accessibly improvements.
      • This project combines all of the planned needs into one comprehensive project.
      • The City’s goal is to provide a greener, more sustainable, multi-modal network that accommodates all user groups safely and efficiently.
      • Nanaimo is one of the fastest growing communities in BC. This means the City must plan ahead to ensure sustainable modes of transportation are incorporated into today’s projects for future uses.

      Q4: Sidewalks?

      Will there be sidewalks on both sides of Metral Drive?

      • Yes!
      • The Metral Drive Complete Street design proposes continuous sidewalks on both sides of the road.
      • The sidewalks are proposed to be separated from the vehicle travel lanes by landscaped boulevards.
      • The aim is to provide a comfortable and functional environment that is universally accessible for pedestrians of all ages and abilities.

      Q5: Cycle Tracks?

      Are there going to be designated routes for cyclists on Metral Drive?

      • Yes!
      • The Metral cycle tracks are designed to strengthen connections to existing cycle routes such as the E&N and Parkway multi-use trails.
      • This project proposes continuous routes for cyclists on both sides of the road.
      • Based on public feedback, the preference was for cyclists to be physically separated from the road, this is being accommodated where possible.
      • Physical separation encourages comfort for users of all ages and abilities.

      Q6: Accessibility?

      What accessibility features will the design include for more vulnerable road users?

      • Tactile warning surface indicators at all crosswalks and bus stops to aid the visually impaired.
      • Raised crossings will be incorporated at all local roads to provide a safer and more consistent surface for wheel chairs and other wheeled modes.
      • Benches will be included at key locations along the corridor to provide the elderly with locations to pause and rest.

      Q7: Safety?

      a) What safety features will the design include?

      b) Won’t cars block the sidewalk and bike lanes at local roads?

      • The same conflict between a car and the pedestrian or cyclist exists today. The only difference is the car will be visibly entering the sidewalk instead of the user stepping out onto the road. See Advance Stop Lines & Raised Crossings above.


      Q8: Parking?

      Will existing parking along Metral Drive be removed?

      • Parking needs have been assessed based on adjacent land-use development.
      • On-street parking is being maintained at the south end of Metral Drive around Pacific Station.
      • Parking layout has been adjusted around Pacific Station and Dublin Way for safety and clear sightlines.
      • Feedback received did not favour on-street parking along residential portions of Metral Drive.

      Q9: Budget?

      How much will the improvements cost?

      • The project has received substantial federal funding through the Community Works Fund, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities, given to municipalities to upgrade aging infrastructure.
      • The project received the 2020 & 2021 Active Transportation grants from the provincial government valued at $1 Million.
      • As of November 2022, the projected total cost for the project is expected to be approximately $13.6 Million.  



      10: Encroachments?

      Will the improvements be utilizing the City right-of-way up to the property line?

      • The proposed design uses the full road right-of-way to provide the corridor improvements.
      • The right-of-way varies between 20-23m wide.
      • Where possible, the design has meandered sidewalks around hedges and mature trees.

      Q11: New Traffic Lights?

      Can the City put lights at the Dunbar, Doumont, or Turner intersections?

      • Current evaluation of the Dunbar, Doumont, and Turner intersections and proposed improvements does not warrant signalization (traffic lights) at this time.
      • Based on public feedback, the Doumont and Turner intersections will be converted to 3-way stops, and Dunbar will be monitored. This will deter people shortcutting down Metral Drive instead of taking Hwy 19A.
      • The intersections have also been future proofed with conduit, so that when the intersections do warrant signals, they can be added easily later.

      Q12: Narrowing?

      Will Metral Drive be narrowed?

      • The design maintains a 2-3 lane cross-section with one lane in each direction and a centre turn lane where needed.
      • Traffic volume studies indicated that the 5-lane cross-section north of Enterprise Way is not warranted.
      • The proposed design north of Enterprise Way is a 3‐lane cross‐section (one lane in each direction and a centre turn‐lane).

      Q13: Maintenance?

      How will sidewalks and boulevards be maintained?

      • As per the City’s current bylaw, snow clearing of sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.
      • Feedback gathered in spring 2019 indicated a priority for boulevards and greenspace.
      • The City is expecting that, similar to the current conditions today, that boulevard maintenance will be the responsibility for the adjacent home owners.

      Q14: Environment?

      Will the improvements have environmental impacts?

      • Environmental impacts during construction will be mitigated through preparation and use of an environmental protection plan.
      • A project arborist was retained to ensure mature trees are projected throughout construction.
      • The project will be contributing to Nanaimo’s urban forest by planting over 100 trees along the boulevards of Phase 1.

      Q15: When?

      When will this be built?

      • Construction of Phase 1 (Mostar to Turner) will start September 2020 and be complete by August 2021.
      • Construction of Phase 2 (Turner to Aulds) is scheduled to begin July 2021 and be complete by Summer 2022.

      Metral Map


      Q16: Construction Inconveniences?

      How will this affect my property or business?

      • All business and property accesses will remain open during construction; we will work with you ahead of time if we foresee there being an issue. 
      • Construction is never convenient and can often cause frustration, so we ask residents and businesses (including clientele) to please exercise patience and understanding as the crews work to renew the utilities and roadway.
      • Everyone is always in a hurry. Please account for extra time when navigating the site and respect signage and flagpersons.
      • The Island Highway 19A runs parallel - if you're commuting, please use alternate routes to avoid construction completely. 
      • Please be respectful towards workers. Abusive conduct or comments will not be tolerated.
    • Background

      The Metral Drive Corridor project stretches from Mostar Road to Aulds Road and is classified as a major collector road within the Nanaimo network carrying approximately 6500 vehicles a day. It connects the Woodgrove and Nanaimo North Town Center mobility hubs and currently RDN Transit runs the #15, #25, and #30 along the corridor. 

      Located within the Rutherford/Pleasant Valley neighbourhoods, the corridor services commercial land use and multi-family residential at the north and south limits, with single family residential in between. With a school and senior housing along the corridor, it is important to design for all ages and abilities.


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