As the City of Nanaimo gets started on Terminal Avenue upgrades, downtown residents continue to oppose one piece of the project.
Citizens rallied on Sunday, July 16, to protest the potential move of the downtown transit exchange from its current location on Front Street to its planned new location on Terminal Avenue.
“We feel the area’s already suffering too much from social disorder and by putting up multiple bus shelters … plus a public washroom, it’s just going to bring more social disorder,” said Kevan Shaw, one of the organizers of the protest. “The city does not have the crime situation under control downtown.”
He added that a bus exchange on Terminal Avenue would subtract “much-needed” parking for Victoria Crescent businesses and create traffic congestion on Terminal. He noted that past south downtown waterfront plans envisioned a public transit exchange on Port Drive land and he believes that’s the best place for it.
The City of Nanaimo, in a press release last month related to the Jean Burns property at Commercial Street and Terminal Avenue, noted that “the city is working with B.C. Transit and the Regional District of Nanaimo to create a new transit hub in the downtown core starting in 2024.”
Shaw said residents are upset about the potential re-location of the bus exchange and said in his view, the city isn’t listening.
“We want the city, we want the regional district, we want the province – because B.C. Transit is tied into this – and the federal government where grant money is coming from to all be made aware that this is a bad location [for a bus exchange] on so many fronts,” he said.