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Archive for November, 2012

are all listed in the latest issue of City Notes.

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We all know the danger spot…the intersection where the Island Highway meets both Victoria Road and Haliburton Street.

Sandra LaRoque, Joel Canfield (who lives right above the crash site) and I were put early on the Agenda for Committee of the Whole yesterday, and as we stepped up to present over 700 petitions, The Mayor made a statement that the plans are started, and the deals are done and the lights will be in.

I still presented the petitions on behalf of SECA and thanked Council and emphasized that the hard work the community has put in to the Community Plan is working.  I also put on record that we had lots of help from our MLA, Doug Routley and also the Mayor.

You can watch the presentation here.  Just click on the link at 4:47  and the presentation will start right away.

Pat Portsmouth

P.S. the bundle of individual petition letters was most impressive and thank Garth  for suggesting that avenue.  And thanks to the gang who went round and collected signatures.

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And in case you missed it, here’s a link to the article in Saturday’s Daily News. Click on the headline to read it.

Group claims city intersection is a hazard
Spencer Anderson, Nanaimo Daily News
24 Nov 2012

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Dear Minister Lebel and Members of the Nanaimo Port Authority,

At our recent neighbourhood association meeting held on November 7th, the topic of the redevelopment plan for the boat basin was addressed. The harbour represents the northern border of our neighbourhood and has been a much cherished resource to residents for generations.

There was discussion about the future impact of the redevelopment with respect to the issue of guaranteed and affordable public access between downtown and the homes of Protection Island residents for the duration of the thirty year lease.

Increased rates with less service for the local fishing fleet are also a concern. I would refer to the letters written after meetings between the NPA and the Underwater Harvesters Association and the BC Seafood Alliance which are in general circulation. They state that the plan for an alternate facility at the Assembly Wharf does not include a fixed crane. There has also been expressed concern about safety issues at the proposed site because of the openness of the location to weather conditions. With the PNMG’s priority focus on providing moorage for high end residential yachts, there is a concern about the availability of affordable moorage for transient and resident fishing boats.

The South End Community Association values the diversity of activity and uses in the boat basin. We are interested in preserving the working history and integrity of this important community resource. The docks at the boat basin are presently available to local and transient vessels and the principal of flexible, affordable public access to the Harbour is one that needs careful stewardship and safe-guarding for now and into the future. We hope that there may be a way to slow this process down so that there can be further consideration of the issues outlined above.

Sincerely,

Douglas Hardie
Chair
South End Community Association

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How three new small buses can solve three of Nanaimo’s challenges, save a fortune and free up space.

These are fascinating days for Nanaimo’s future as ‘the harbour city’. As a temporary resident, I spotted three challenges.

First there’s the question whether the dams at Colliery Dam park should be taken down, or rebuilt.

Then, there is great uncertainty about the future of the downtown harbour front, especially for residents of Protection Island and our fishermen.
Last, as a town depending on ferries, we are seeing that our BC Ferries is losing money, endangering the future of our seaborne transportation.

By a nice twist of fate, there seems to be one simple solution to help face these three challenges. Namely, three simple bus routes.

Bus to Westwood Lake
The city has two options. Either rebuilding the dams and make them stronger, or dismantle them, drain the lakes, and return the park to its original state. A big concern for residents is that with the water, their favourite swimming and fishing spot will disappear. But, there is another, beautiful, lake in Nanaimo. Only, there’s no way to get there if you don’t have a car. And yes, lots of the people living closer to Colliery Dam Park have no car. A summertime-only shuttle bus can serve Nanaimo’s population reaching fantastic Westwood Lake. A bus could run between 10am and 6pm, ensuring families can enjoy the lake during the daytime. A route from downtown over the South End, Harewood and the University village can service those people who need the bus most.

This bus can be funded by allowing the city to return Colliery Dam Park to it’s natural state (saving 15 million dollars).

Bus on Gabriola Island
Gabriola Island is a favourite destination, only it’s hard to get around without a car. Residents and visitors alike have to either take their car or count on hitchhiking. Conveniently, the island’s main road is a loop, with the two main centres of activy on that loop. A great part of Gabriola’s population is either retired, approaching the moment when they will no longer be able to drive, or are temporary residents. Either daytripper or on a homestay. All these people can save on cars and gas by using the bus service.

With a bus on the island, there is less need for car ferries to Nanaimo. BC Ferries could replace half of the ferries by a foot/bike-only ferry. A smaller ferry requires less staff and gas to operate, saving money from the start. Such a ferry could dock at either the existing terminal, or the Dinghy Dock terminal. Both walking distance from Port Place mall (a major destination for Gabriola residents).

Bus to Duke Point
Duke Point terminal has the capacity to include travel to Vancouver. By relocating the ferries to Vancouver to Duke Point, lots of traffic that’s is now clogging the Departure Bay area could travel over the Parkway straight to the Duke Point highway. Since there is hardly any traffic on the Parkway between Cedar and Fifth Street, no extra capacity needs to be provided. A simple shuttlebus to downtown Nanaimo will provide foot passengers with a service just as convenient as a ferry at Departure Bay. And hey, that means foot passengers can get to Tawassen too, now. This shuttlebus can also provide access to Jack’s Point park for nature lovers without a car. Bonus!

The bus can be funded by the massive savings BC Ferries can see by only having to operate one terminal. Less staff, less infrastructure. The shuttlebus can also provide BC Ferries’ personnel with an easy way to get to work and back. The space that is freed at Departure Bay has tons of possibilities, not in the least a offering a place to the fishermen and Protecion Island residents who fear for anchorage at a renewed downtown harbourfront. With all the money saved, there probably is even enough money left to finally start operating that footpassenger-only ferry service to downtown Vancouver. A ferry that could leave from the Gabriola ferry terminal, the Dinghy Dock terminal or the (renewed) Departure Bay.

To sum it up, these three buses require very little money to operate, require no investment in infrastructure and build a stronger community.

They can provide solutions to the large parts of Nanaimo’s population for whom a car is not an option (low income families, students, our senior citizens). Those solutions are also providing for tommorow’s challenges of an ever aging population and always soaring gas prices (let’s face it, gas in never ever going to be cheap again).

Some people might argue that priority should go to car users. These same people will be tomorrow’s senior citizens, having to rely on expensive taxi rides just to get some groceries.

Such a simple solutions, so much to be gained. Is it too good to be true? Thank you for taking this outsider’s point of view seriously. Talk to your representatives, to your befriended politicians, town personnel and policy makers. You can make a change.
J. Thomas Molineaux

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Planning-

Alice’s Restaurant would like to have a permit to allow dancing. An entertainment license is needed. Meeting approves this move.

711 – Keith Brown addresses meeting. One apartment is complete and occupied but approval is needed for the next two units. Probably the only 711 with three apartments above it. Parking increased by two spaces. No public washroom, four cameras and more lights in parking lot help cut down possible problems. According to Gord, no major problems with the 711.There is an awareness of the need for smaller and therefore affordable suites in the neighborhood. The Neighborhood Plan supports such. Possible multi-family development at the corner of Milton and Haliburton. This could set a positive tone for the area by the park.

Harbour Basin – Joan- Protection Island people and fishers not happy. No guaranteed access for Protection Islanders. Restricted access and fear that the rates will be raised when privatized. Small boat area has been raised from 17% to 31%. The unloading crane is being removed and the loading dock moved to the Assembly Wharf. Fishers feel being pushed out. Commitments by Port Authority are very vague. City should be obliged to support Protection Islanders as their neighborhood is part of Nanaimo. Let’s keep the diversity in the harbour. Let’s have some meaningful communication between the Port Authority and the people of Nanaimo. SECA will draft a letter of support for our neighbors on Protection Island.

Colliery Dam – Larry – Removal of dam may well be necessary but there has been a lack of public consultation and an apparent lack of concern for the neighbors who use this park. If the dam is removed their ought to be a bus to Westwood Lake.

Parks Report – Thomas – Nine people came and 6 tarps full of ivy were removed. Perhaps we can do this once more. Thomas is returning to Belgium in January so if anyone else is interested in being a volunteer park warden please talk to Thomas.

Haliburton Traffic Light – Nov 19 at 7PM Pat will be handing in the petitions to City Council and discussing the need for the traffic signal. People are welcome to attend in support of the measure.

AGM – the Annual General Meeting is coming up Weds. Dec. 5. Please bring appies and renew your membership!

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