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Nanaimo council reviews year of new bylaws and future construction

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As we close off 2021, Nanaimo council is reviewing this year’s changes— no more plastic bags, buildings purchased, and construction work chugging along.

The majority of Front Street’s construction finished in summer to a new 30km/h speed limit, bike lanes, and improved sidewalks. It, along with the updates to Metral Drive, received national and international awards for its Dutch-like approach to active transportation.

Council was also able to purchase multiple properties along Terminal Avenue for mobility upgrades and other plans. In September, the project was taking in public opinion for what they wanted to see along the highway.

“So, along Terminal Avenue, sort of south of there, where [the tattoo parlor and other building] are, is where we’re envisioning the transit exchange— or the potential transit exchange,” said Bill Sims, General Manager of Engineering & Public Works for the City of Nanaimo. “The Jean Burns location would be good for a public plaza, might be good for… Who knows? A restaurant?”

Alongside that is the Commercial Street revitalization plan, which includes a redevelopment plan for Diana Krall Plaza. The plan is currently seeking resident input before any solid plan is put forward.

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The city states a Downtown Security Action Plan is currently under development, which hopes to address public concerns around safety and security in the downtown core.

One housing unit for vulnerable residents was completed at 702 Nichol Street this December, and Council says they continue to work through the paperwork necessary for two other housing units at 250 Terminal Avenue and 355 Nicol Street.

Ten photo-monitoring stations were set up at eight restoration sites in Nanaimo as part of the city’s Chronolog project, aimed to preserve a record of ecological changes to determine restoration success.

On July 1, 2021, a new bylaw regulating checkout bags in Nanaimo came into effect. The 6,600 businesses in Nanaimo have made the switch.

“Thank you to the residents and businesses who have been leaders in saying no to plastic checkout bags and other avoidable waste,” said Kirsten Gellein, Zero Waste Coordinator for Nanaimo. “We are here to support the community with taking this unified step in reaching our Zero Waste goals.”

More information about the city’s year-in-review is available here.

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