Transportation tracked for new City of Nanaimo survey

NANAIMO – A new transportation survey looks at how people are moving within Nanaimo.

Intersection video cameras will help the city track movement in the Harbour City, including if people are carpooling or travelling alone.

A $85,000 transportation survey is being launched by the City of Nanaimo this month to see how people are travelling five years after transportation was last surveyed in this city.

Eighty-eight per cent of people’s daily travel was by car in 2012, while sustainable transportation, like cycling, walking and transit made up 12 per cent something the city wants to see doubled, the city’s transportation master plan shows.

Jamie Rose, city construction specialist, said the city has built more cycling facilities and bike routes, new sidewalks and has worked with transit, so there are opportunities to see shifts away from personal vehicles.

The new study is to look at what the trends are and if the city is going in the right direction.

Traffic hose counters were set up Wednesday and ridership counts on buses and the video cameras for intersections will begin this week.

Coun. Diane Brennan calls the survey imperative and said in an e-mail that it will assist in designing and implementing the next five-year budget.

“It has been five years since the last one was done. We adopted the [transportation master] plan in 2014 so three years down the road, what has the effect been?” she asked. “We need to know how our policies effect transportation choices, then we can see how policies have worked so far and what changes are necessary.”

Watt Consulting Group, which did the city’s transportation survey in 2012, will also do the new survey. Some of the same locations as before will be used to collect information, along with new ones for more robust data, such as 19 intersections along the Nanaimo Parkway and Old Island Highway, so consultants can see the north-south movement through the city.

Temporary video cameras will give consultants a bird’s-eye view of intersections where they will count number and type of vehicles and occupancy.

“For the video camera intersection counts it will be able to provide us with a really great snapshot on how much volume is travelling along each section of the city,” said Nadine King, senior transportation engineer for the consulting group. The city says privacy will be respected and maintained throughout the project. Survey work goes until mid-June and results are expected to be released this summer.

Nanaimo News Bulletin

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