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.
Will there be sidewalks on both sides of Metral Drive?
- 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?
- 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.
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.
a) What safety features will the design include?
- A lot of the safety improvements incorporated into the Metral Drive project are from the Provincial Government’s BC Community Road Safety Toolkit, created in the hopes of working towards Vision Zero in communities throughout the province.
- Pedestrian & Cycling Safety Improvements included on Metral Drive:
- Roadway Safety Improvements included on Metral Drive:
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.
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.
How much will the improvements cost?
- The overall budget allocated for improvements for Phase 1 (Mostar Rd. to Turner Rd. 1.4 km) is approximately $4.5 Million.
- The cost estimate for Phase 2 (Turner Rd. to Aulds Rd.) is being developed and is expected to be approximately $6 Million.
- The project has received substantial federal funding through the Community Works Fund (Gas Tax) given to municipalities to upgrade aging infrastructure.
- The project has received a 2020 Active Transportation grant from the provincial government valued at $500,000.
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 and will act as traffic calming.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.