HomeNewsIsland & CoastPedestrian safety in question around new Brechin Road building 

Pedestrian safety in question around new Brechin Road building 

Beach Estates residents in Nanaimo say the occupation of a building on Brechin Road will cause a significant increase in traffic and could carry serious consequences.  

Brechin Hill Community Association president Gregory Brown says the community isn’t opposed to the facility in general since it is built to code, but residents are concerned about how this will affect an already traffic-burdened neighborhood. 

Brown says although the facility meets the necessary guidelines and code specifications, there has been no real infrastructure investment in the area since it was built in 1950s and residents keep paying increased property taxes.  

“As part of the development, the city had mandated the traffic flows be ‘right in, right out’,” he says. “This means 100 per cent of the traffic from the development will now be funneled through Beach Estates. 

“It is not equipped to handle that volume of traffic. There are no sidewalks for pedestrians.” 

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According to a presentation by Brown the development at 550 Brechin Road will double the size of the community and was only slated to provide parking for one vehicle per unit, but with affordability issues on the rise in Nanaimo he says the suites will more than likely lead to double occupancy and an increase in the amount of parking needed. 

Brown says taking all this into consideration, as well as the existing traffic at the ferry terminal, pedestrians are at serious risk. 

“Traffic will be a problem because the building was only approved for one stall per unit,” he says. “There are no sidewalks, and with families living in the area this is a recipe for disaster. 

“Build a sidewalk and there is half the problem taken care of.” 

Councillor Erin Hemmens asked city staff if variances have been put forward to allow for more parking at the facility, but director of development approvals Jeremy Holm said so far there is no variance in place to accommodate more parking at 550 Brechin Road. 

Solutions put forward by the community were building a traffic roundabout, sidewalks, lowering the speed limit, establishing crosswalks, and traffic signals at Ocean Terrace and Brechin Road or installing speed bumps. 

The building application was submitted to council on March 18, 2020, and is a four-storey multi-family residential building with 87 dwelling units. 

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