Today’s Poll

City moves to permanently close Hall Street rear lane

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
November 13th, 2016

The rear lane off of Hall Street will remain closed despite some opposition to its decommissioning.

City council approved in their regular meeting Monday night that the rear lane present between 308 and 312 Hall Street would remain closed and that landscaping be completed to create an amenity area.

The closure of the lane and the construction of the landscaped amenity area are estimated to cost $7,000.

In September of 2015 an issue arose during the construction of the Hall Street project phase one with the transition of elevation difference between the surface of the rear lane and the surface of Hall Street.

A number of approaches were considered at the time but it was decided by city council to close the lane on a trial basis. Since that time, there has been feedback received from neighbouring properties and a request for a decision regarding the ongoing status of the lane closure.

A designer (MMM Group) was retained by the city in 2013 to examine improvement options for the Hall Street corridor, between IODE Park and Kootenay Lake, with the west side of the 300 block identified as having significant pedestrian and public space opportunities.

“MMM made several recommendations, one of which was that the lane be closed off to vehicles on its east end,” read a city staff report to council.

Currently, Hall Street where it meets the rear lane has a road grade of approximately 17 per cent, meaning the elevation of the south side of the lane is approximately three feet higher than the north side — similar to the situation that had existed prior to the construction of phase one.

According to a city staff report, when the approach to the lane was being discussed in September, 2015, the following options were discussed:

  • Permanently close the east end to vehicular traffic and landscape the area between Hall Street and the walkway/stairway;
  • Keep the east end of the lane open to vehicles but only in a ‘right-turn-in’ situation (southbound Hall Street vehicles could turn into the lane as the only allowable vehicle movement at the east end);
  • Improve the lane so that all traffic movements in and out of the lane can be accommodated. This would involve raising the lane from Hall Street, west to the entrance of the parkade at 312 Hall via two retaining wall structures.

Instead of the three options last fall, council decided to close the lane on a trial basis, converting the area for the interim as a landscaped amenity area.

Unfortunately, there does not appear to be consensus amongst the neighboring properties regarding the long-term disposition of the lane, a city staff report relayed to council. On Monday, three options were again given to council with a bi-directional access, right in only access and the lane remaining closed.

As a result of their decision to leave the lane closed, the city will now create permanent landscaping to provide for the establishment of an amenity space consistent with the pedestrian related objectives that had been identified in the Sustainable Waterfront and Downtown Master Plan.  


During the trial period the following feedback was received:

  • The access has resulted in commercial vehicles delivering to neighboring businesses on Hall street trucks having to back up the lane, resulting in delays for vehicles looking to enter/exit the parkade at 312 Hall.
  • Commercial garbage collection requires the large trucks to back out of the lane after picking up garbage from 312 Hall.
  • Reports of vagrants, drug use and sleeping in the lane.
  • Issues with vehicles illegally parking at the dead end of the lane.
  • The drop off of persons with mobility issues at 308 Hall is more difficult than when vehicles were able to access the lane from Hall Street.
  • A request has been received from the business located at 312 Hall to reestablish the access to the lane from Hall Street.
  • The owner of the property located at 623 Vernon Street has indicated that they would like to see the lane reopened to in accessing the building and because vacant lots located between 601 Vernon and 623 Vernon Street are being considered for development.
  • A representative of 308 Hall Street has indicated that having a landscaped amenity area located in proximity to their address was desirable and that it was hoped that the city would proceed to implementing permanent landscaping in this area.

Source: City of Nelson

Categories: General

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