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2018 Council

Vote Bill Manners

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Waterfront Walkway

Without doubt, the jewel of Nanaimo is our waterfront walkway.  It offers sweeping vistas of the harbour, the Coastal Mountains, and various islands along the way.  The expansion of the walkway is something I would like to see completed during my term as councillor.  Being able to walk or cycle from Departure Bay to downtown and beyond on a wide, paved, tree-lined walk with benches and rest stops would be a huge benefit to the residents of Nanaimo.

But there is a problem with the walkway as it is currently configured.  As I mentioned before, the views as you're walking are amazing.  But what happens when you sit down on the benches along many parts of the walkway?  What do you see?

Standing up view you see the harbour and the Beacon  Sitting down view, you see railings at eye level

Railings.

You see railings.  Also crowds of people walking by, blocking your view.

Amanda Burden, who spent 12 years as director of urban planning for New York City, came up with a solution for that problem.  I believe it would work very well in Nanaimo.  What she did was turn the top railing into a long table top and installed bar seating in front of it.  Kind of similar to what they have at the food court in Woodgrove Centre.  Now people can sit at the rails, perhaps eat their lunch, or work on their laptops and still enjoy the view.

I think a similar plan here in Nanaimo would enhance the experience for all residents and tourists using the walkway.  Decreasing the barriers for food trucks along the way, so people could enjoy a quick meal in the fresh air on the waterfront would also be welcome.  Wi-fi nodes along the way could help people stay connected as well.

And what of those benches on the other side of the walkway?  Turn them into conversation areas.  Replace some of the benches with tables and chairs, where people could sit, maybe play board games with each other, enjoy a lunch, or read a book.

It's a small solution that I think could have a big impact on how residents and tourists alike could enjoy our beautiful waterfront.

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So if people are sitting along the railings on high bar stools ,eating their lunch, then my view as someone walking along the seawall, will be of the people sitting at the railings enjoying the view, I used to have. If you think that having a small bar destroys your view then people lined up along that railing makes for a complete wall.

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