Slow streets in Vancouver

Slow streets in Vancouver have arrived. The first 12km length of slow streets connects New Brighton Park to QE Park along existing cycling routes with traffic calming measures in place. This means only local traffic is permitted and there is no street parking or stopping near intersections. There is signage at the crossings of major arterials, a move that should discourage ‘rat-running’ by motorized vehicles. Pedestrians are allowed more space to pass each other by walking on the road. The bike routes are already 30km/hr zones. As of Saturday (May 23rd), the crossings at major arterials were not automated at traffic lights (hence ‘beg-buttons’ were still in use). The City’s website notes that “other routes across the city will be added in the coming weeks.”

Back in May of 2019, Vancouver City Council unanimously approved a pilot project for 30km/h speed limits on certain side streets. In Toronto the speed limit was reduced to 30km/h in 2015 for many inner-city streets The results of those changes have been looked at, for example in the study and summary: Lowering Speed Limit to 30 km/h in Toronto Drastically Improved Pedestrian Safety: Report. Perhaps there’s an opportunity for the City of Vancouver to consider deploying a wider 30km/h policy for side streets.

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Speed Limits of 30km/hr

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