Nelson Transit Exchange
Transit Exchange Design Options for 300-Block Victoria Street
The City of Nelson and BC Transit would like to hear from you on the proposed new transit exchange on
the 300-block of Victoria Street (between Kootenay and Stanley Streets).
The City of Nelson and BC Transit are moving forward to develop plans to invest in the Nelson & West Kootenay transit systems based on the Transit Future Service Plan, a 25-year strategy to improve transit service and advance the City’s planning initiatives. A need has been identified for a new and expanded downtown transit exchange to support increased transit service levels and proposed revisions to the transit network:
- Waiting shelters and bench seating
- Lighting and bicycle parking
- Washroom access for transit passengers
- Universally accessible design
- Additional bus capacity to accommodate the increasing transit ridership in the West Kootenays
The 2017 Downtown Urban Design Strategy identified a preferred location: the 300 block of Victoria Street. It provides an opportunity to invest in public realm improvements, revitalize the streetscape, bring more people to this area of the downtown, and reinforce the relationship between transit, active pedestrian areas, and land use patterns, while still retaining some street parking.
The relocation of the transit exchange from Baker and Ward will also free up room for more street parking on Ward, creating at least 8 new parking stalls. This would primarily be achieved by converting parking on the west side of Ward Street, south of Baker Street, into angled parking.
While there would no longer be bus stops at Ward and Baker, new bus stops are proposed for Baker Street at Josephine, just one block over.
There are currently significant grant opportunities to help fund a significant portion of new transit infrastructure investments. Under some of these, the City could only be responsible for as little as 20% of the costs of a new exchange. City Council is looking to identify a preferred transit exchange design that can be further advanced to take advantage of federal and provincial funding for the construction of transit exchange on Victoria Street. Council wants to engage the public to help inform which design ideas should be further explored to pursue funding options from different levels of government or BC Transit funding streams.
With the help of third-party specialists in transit exchange design, three options for a new transit exchange have been developed to help determine an option that best meets the community’s needs.
Engagement with Block Stakeholders and the Public
In December 2020, a letter was sent to 38 businesses, tenants, and property owners on and around the 300-block of Victoria Street to discuss this project and seek feedback. In January 2021, six representatives attended an online meeting with the City and BC Transit. Key elements expressed at the meeting were the importance of choosing a design option the retains the most parking, while also concentrating transit buses and any new public washroom closer to Stanley Street than to Kootenay Street. While there was not enthusiasm for continuing the 200-block Victoria one-way street to the 300-block (Option A), it was preferred by one business owner on the block because, despite the inconvenience, it would preserve the most parking.
In February 2021, 145 people responded to the City's survey asking people to identify their preferred design option.
The results of the engagement will be presented to City Council at the March 23rd, 2021 Committee of the Whole meeting. A few days before the meeting, the agenda and full report will be available online via the Council meeting calendar.