$2.3 Million dollar roundabout, Core Review, Trees

At Monday’s meeting Nanaimo Council was presented with two options for the intersection at Rutherford Road and Nelson Road for the new development in Linley Valley West:

  1. traffic lights $1.68 million
  2. multi-lane roundabout $2.3 million*

Council voted to proceed with a multi-lane roundabout to be phased in with a connector road linking Rutherford Road and Linley Valley Drive. For now the roundabout will be one lane.

How much will it cost? Who is paying?

The $2.3 million cost for a phased in multi-lane roundabout does not include the $850,000* the City had to pay the developer for the road allowance. The multi-lane roundabout option is more expensive and has greater impacts on adjacent properties requiring the purchase of two parcels of land and one land exchange.

From a capital cost perspective, this multi-lane roundabout is about $470,000 more than traffic lights. That is because of the extra construction and earth work required.

The developer is contributing a total of $230,000 with a time limit on $20,000 for design costs and $50,000 for land.

Council discussion

Pratt: …so we would save $60,000 with traffic lights…I was just in Edmonton and they are getting rid of their multi-lane roundabouts because they had too many accidents and found they didn’t work…why we are not looking at the cheaper option?..

Hong: Did we buy the land? How much was it?

Staff: $850,000

Hong: …so that’s…($3.45 million)

Bestwick: …let’s get it done…I prefer to do it all at once…

Thorpe: …I like the phased in roundabout…
Fuller: … I like the phased in roundabout, that way we have an option to work it out later…
Brennan: …I support the phased in roundabout…
Yoachim: …I’m a fan of roundabouts…

Kipp was absent.

Roundabouts vs. Lights

splitter island before roundabout
splitter island before roundabout

Roundabouts were developed in England in the 1960s to increase road capacity and the concept spread to Canada in the 1990s where they gained a new name, traffic circles. Roundabouts can handle as much as 50% more traffic than an intersection that uses traffic signals but it is dependant on the skill level of the drivers.

How will pedestrians and those with disabilities fare in crossing this new intersection at Rutherford Road and Nelson Road? Are they planning for a splitter island, and if so, how much would this cost?

Last stand of trees gone

Look past the old vacant gas station lot at the corner of Island Hwy and Norwell Drive and you will see a significant stand of trees. They will soon be gone.

The City has approved plans for a 36 unit apartment building at 3690 Country Club Drive.  Council approved variances Monday night which include 21 less parking spaces and a reduced front setback.

3960 Country Club Drive, Nanaimo- last treed lot in the area - gone soon
3960 Country Club Drive, Nanaimo- last treed lot in the area – gone soon

Nanaimo Core Review

Core review will be a line item on every council meeting agenda going forward so people can speak to the topic. This suggestion was brought forward by Councillor Hong.

The City is hiring a Senior Strategic Planning and Policy Advisor, a full-time permanent position that reports directly to the CAO.