The City of Nelson has chosen the 300 block Victoria Street as the site of its new transit exchange. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The City of Nelson has chosen the 300 block Victoria Street as the site of its new transit exchange. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Downtown Nelson transit exchange plan receives federal funding

The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program will pay for 80 per cent of the project

by Timothy Schafer

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Nelson Daily

The cash has been secured for the Nelson Downtown Exchange project.

In a West Kootenay Transit Committee meeting in May, BC Transit government relations manager Seth Wright confirmed that BC Transit received Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) approval for the Nelson Downtown Exchange project.

The ICIP will provide 80 per cent of the funding required for the project, said Wright.

“BC Transit will be moving forward with agreements and pursuing development of detailed design and addressing questions and concerns,” read the May 4 committee minutes.

In November the business case for the exchange at the 300 block of Victoria Street began to materialize — with the site location solidified — but the details and design of the plan were not.

The business case is now expected to come back to Nelson city council for final approval — prior to signing an agreement with BC Transit — with a detailed design moving forward this year.

The business case still has several key themes to resolve, with the loss of parking to create the bus stops at the top of the list.

Despite some work on reconfiguring parking prior to the workshops, business owners on the street and in adjacent areas still have reservations in losing parking to make way for spaces to park transit buses.

“There’s still some concern over parking in terms of parking impacts, and the exchange, and what those changes would mean to their business,” Tania Wegwitz of Watt Consulting told city council last November.

Work had been done to explore different options in terms of what parking could be located on the 200 block of Victoria through reconfiguration, as well as other streets such as Kootenay, and try to maximize options there, Wegwitz said.

In a revised plan all parking on the southeast corner of Kootenay Street at Victoria Street was restored and made standard size.

Multiple different options for parking reconfiguration were explored on other parts of Kootenay as well, with a proposed option adding five spaces over previous plans.

The public washroom for the exchange was moved to the other end of the block — on corner of Stanley at Victoria by library and police station — after much concern was expressed regarding the first washroom location.

READ MORE: Nelson sticks with Victoria Street for transit hub, promises further discussion on design