Several concerned Nanaimo residents held a rally opposing a proposed bus loop along Terminal Avenue on Sunday afternoon.
The city has long mulled adding a transit exchange along Terminal Avenue for years, despite opposition.
With the city’s Terminal Avenue Upgrades project underway, that bus loop along Crescent Avenue is becoming closer to a reality.
Residents who oppose installing a new bus loop are concerned that the terminal will lead to more social disorder.
“We’ve got enough crime downtown the way it is,” said Kevan Shaw, a former president of the Victoria Crescent Association, on Sunday.
“Bus shelters on the other side of Port Place Mall have been taken out because of an axe attack,” he said. “So when you’ve got one here in a very condensed area of downtown Nanaimo, it’s definitely going to bring more crime, more loitering, more problems to our area and that’s not what we want.”
Protesters are also concerned that the bus terminal will replace parking in the area.
“We want businesses to thrive and we need parking for the businesses so people will come down here and shop,” said Shaw.
On Monday, the City of Nanaimo said in a statement that no official plans had been made yet as to where the future bus depot will be placed.
In February, when another rally took place, Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog told CHEK News he did not believe a bus exchange along Terminal Avenue would lead to an increase in crime.
“I don’t think that’s fair,” he said at the time. “Transit exchanges attract people who will come and shop and live and work in our downtown, if you will, and that’s a positive step.”
Krog said a modern functioning exchange is a good thing.
With files from CHEK News’ Kendall Hanson