2. What Mayoral Candidates think about transforming Nicol Street.

Question 2 of 4 questions.  Please check back soon for Question 3.

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Candidates for Mayor

It seems that when the new Island Highway was completed, Nicol Street’s shift from highway to city street was overlooked in the process. We still have cars racing down an underutilized road with few safe crosswalks and no traffic calming measures. Motels that were vibrant decades ago have resorted to housing low-income and transient tenants to keep cash coming in, magnifying the area’s social problems. Further up Nicol, most stores are either struggling or empty, partially due to the lack of parking access or community development.  The province is in charge of highways, the city in charge of streets. What is Nicol Street classified as? If elected, what actions would you recommend to the city to transform Nicol Street from an outdated highway to a vibrant urban corridor?

The best option is the de-industrialization of the Assembly Wharf and rail yard but until that happens we need to enforce Truck Route and noise rules.  With the great views and infilling, I expect this area to see a major residential revival over the next 10 years.  Nicol St would likely see commercial on the street level with housing above.  As Nicol street is part of the Provincial Highway system, any development along the corridor will require MoT approval.     ~Gary Korpan

Nichol Street is still under the jurisdiction of (the Provincial) Highways Department and requests for change are at their discretion.  There will likely be a future opportunity to bring this under municipal control, but before this can occurr, we must ensure that Nichol Street is upgraded, at Provincial cost, to a primary road standard consistant with present day codes, together with securing the necessary funding to offset the transfer costs. ~John Ruttan

Nicol Street is a highway/truck route, I believe.  At the steering committee level (Nanaimo Traffic and Safety) I proposed traffic calming and designated bike routes on old Victoria Rd. and Haliburton St. and improve access to Nicol St. businesses from both.     ~Larry Iwaskow

The DNPS held a planning charet several years ago to generate ideas and plans for a transformation of Front Street from Esplanade to Comox Road.  A planning charet brings together all sectors, neighbourhoods, businesses, etc for a brain storming planning session.  The sky is the limit in terms of ideas and plans can become very creative.  I would use the planning charet model to determine the needs and generate ideas from the neighbourhood and businesses and services on and around Nicol Street.  I would expect to see traffic calming ideas, improved transit strategies, greening options, ideas for commercial space and more.  From there, we would begin the hard work of creating a strategic plan to begin to refine and ultimately implement the plan.     ~Diane Brennan

Don’t forget to check out the response to this question from our Council candidates here.

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