THIRD STREET & FITZWILLIAM STREET 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.
- Nanaimo's Council, staff, and residents have supported complete streets principles dating back to 2002.
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 this project required?
- The Third and Fitzwilliam Street Corridor is a major road connection from the Nanaimo Parkway to Downtown Nanaimo. It is identified for active transportation upgrades, pavement renewal, water distribution system replacement, stormwater management 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 Third and Fitzwilliam Street?
- The design proposes continuous sidewalks on both sides of the road for the extent of the project from Howard Ave to the railway crossing at Fitzwilliam Street.
- 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 Third and Fitzwilliam Street?
- The cycle tracks are designed to strengthen connections to destinations like the NAC and NIC from Downtown Nanaimo and vice versa.
- This project proposes continuous routes for cyclists on both sides of the road.
- Based on public feedback from other complete streets projects, the preference is 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 local roads to provide a safer and more consistent surface for wheel chairs and other wheeled modes.
a) What safety features will the design include?
- A lot of the safety improvements incorporated into the Third and Fitzwilliam Street 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 in this project:
- Roadway Safety Improvements included in this project:
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 visibly be entering the sidewalk instead of the user stepping out onto the road. See Raised Crossings above.
Will existing parking along Third and Fitzwilliam Street be removed?
- Parking needs are currently being assessed based on adjacent land-use development; however, the primary use of a collector street is to move people.
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.
- Where possible, the design has meandered sidewalks.
Will Third and Fitzwilliam Street be narrowed?
- The design will maintain a 2-3 lane cross-section with one lane in each direction and a centre turn lane where needed.
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.
- The City is expecting that, similar to the current conditions today, that boulevard maintenance will be the responsibility of the adjacent homeowners.
Will the improvements have environmental impacts?
- Environmental impacts during construction will be mitigated through the preparation and use of an environmental protection and stormwater management plan.
When will this be built?
- Construction of Third Street (Howard - Pine) will start in Spring 2025.
- Construction of Fitzwilliam is unknown at this time.
Q14: 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.
- If you're commuting, please consider using alternate routes to avoid construction completely.
- Please be respectful towards workers. Abusive conduct or comments will not be tolerated.