Terminal Avenue Project FAQ
Q1: What are the projects being considered along Terminal Avenue from Esplanade to Commercial Street?
Concepts for physical improvements are under development, in concert with Nanaimo’s partner agencies, for the following areas:
- Terminal Avenue, from Esplanade to Commercial – pedestrian-scale improvements and road repaving
- Concept development of an attractive public space or plaza on the site of the former Jean Burns building, including this block of Commercial
- Upgrades to the Albert/Victoria/Wallace intersection
- Development of the Albert St cycle route to and through the downtown
- Potential to incorporate a transit hub between Terminal and Shaw Lane (south of the Jean Burns site)
- Concept development of improvements to Lois Lane, in coordination with the potential proposed transit hub and plaza area
Q2: Why did the City purchase the properties on the 500 block of Terminal Avenue?
Council is taking the following actions for a cohesive, thriving, livable downtown:
- Through a series of steps, Council has acquired several key properties on the west (south) side of the 500 Block of Terminal, between Commercial and Esplanade. (The former Jean Burns building along with the print shop and tattoo shop).
- Council’s intention is to use the important corner of Commercial & Terminal to create a positive and attractive public space, and spark excitement in ensuring downtown remains vibrant and thriving.
Q3: How will this project contribute creating a vibrant, dynamic, thriving downtown?
With extensive public realm improvements and surrounding plaza spaces, 500 Terminal will be more than a spot to start or end a trip - it will help shape the urban landscape for downtown Nanaimo. Projects at this location provide an opportunity to address many longstanding concerns raised by residents and businesses, including:
- Improving linkages between Downtown, Victoria Crescent and the Old City Quarter across Terminal Avenue
- Filling in the very large hole in the ground at the corner of Commercial and Terminal (Jean Burns building) and activating this highly visible, underutilized site.
- Improving the functionality and safety of the intersection at Wallace Street / Albert / Commercial / Victoria
- Improving pedestrian and public safety in and around the project site
Q4: What is being done for safety, specifically at night?
- Plaza and public realm spaces will be planned in accordance with Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED ) principles and best-practices for safe and comfortable public space.
- Programmatic public realm improvements aim to provide positive activity throughout the day and into the evening hours.
- Upgraded lighting will be integrated along Terminal Avenue, and within the plaza and public realm improvements, to increase visibility for cars, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians
Q5: Is a transit exchange being planned for this location?
The City is exploring the potential to incorporate a transit hub between Terminal and Shaw Lane. As the Terminal Avenue Upgrades Project is already scheduled for 2022, pursuing the exchange at this location will allow for possible implementation within the next two to three years.
Q6: Could the City put a transit exchange in a different location?
Through the recent engagement exercises, the City has pursued three main options for the downtown transit exchange and the Downtown Mobility Hub engagement process elicited feedback on the Front Street location. While these locations are still viable, the opportunities presented by the Terminal exchange over the others are as follows:
- The development of the port drive site still requires a significant level of investigation and the timeline to install a permanent exchange could be greater than 5 years
- Integrating the transit exchange into whatever redevelopment occurs on that site is a challenge. Removing that requirement allows for flexibility in future redevelopment.
- The Front Street concept is an "on street" exchange. If possible, it is preferable to remove general traffic from transit stops and this location has the additional coordination challenge of the Ferry traffic to Gabriola.
- The long term preference is to have a roundabout servicing the Port Drive lands and constructing this intersection within an operational exchange would likely require the temporary relocation of the exchange.
Q7: How will buses be routed to avoid traffic congestion and negative impact to the pedestrian experience of downtown?
The project team is currently exploring multiple options for routing of buses to determine strategies that focus on increasing mobility in the downtown core.
- Final routing alignments will be determined in the future detailed design phase, based on requirements and input from the Regional District of Nanaimo, BC Transit, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Emergency Services, and public input.
- Traffic heading south on Terminal Avenue will be stopped with a red light at the Gordon Street pedestrian lights to make way for transit vehicles exiting the exchange
Q8: How will the local businesses be affected? How will they receive deliveries?
- Service access to all local businesses will be maintained
- Service access routing may differ depending on the overall project design (to be confirmed during detailed design)
- The City will be consulting directly with local businesses on this project.
Q9: How will the project affect parking?
- Changes to public parking areas will be studied further during the detailed design phase, based on the confirmed conceptual direction.
Q10: What will be the impacts to existing trees?
- The impact to existing trees will be further clarified during the detailed design phase, based on the final routing alignment of the transit exchange.
- The preservation of existing trees will be prioritized