Vancouver’s new traffic plan hopes to reduce congestion

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WATCH: The City of Vancouver says it’s going to try a new approach to cut its traffic chaos. Jill Bennett reports – May 17, 2017

Vancouver has ranked among the worst in Canada for traffic congestion, but the City of Vancouver is hoping to change that with a new plan to speed up commutes.

The city recently became one of North America’s cities to adopt a plan to improve traffic flow, reduce gridlock, and keep people and goods moving efficiently across the region.

In a news release, Mayor Gregor Robertson says because Vancouver’s economy is flourishing, the demands on streets and sidewalks is also high.

“Whether you’re in your car, on the bus, biking downtown or waiting to cross the street, congestion and traffic delays are frustrating. We want to reduce that frustration and keep people moving by being on the cutting edge of smart technology to improve traffic flow no matter how you get around.”

An increasing number of people choosing to walk and cycle leads to slowed traffic.

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The five goals supporting this new Congestion Strategy Management are:

  1. Improve monitoring of traffic conditions and trends
  2. Improve road safety
  3. Ensure a smart and efficient transportation system
  4. Coordinate street use
  5. Prioritize people and goods movement.

READ MORE: Vancouver summer road closures will lead to traffic delays

A scene from Vancouver’s traffic congestion on a Friday morning in February 2017. The streets lined in red indicate heavy traffic. Google Map

Several other initiatives to improve transportation options and road conditions include:

  • Moving toward zero traffic fatalities
  • Supporting the Mayors’ Council’s 10-Year Plan for Transit and Transportation
  • A new, more efficient Parking Management System
  • Transportation 2040 Plan to reduce emissions, improve health, and have a positive effect on the environment
  • Launching Mobi, the City’s bike-share program last summer

Transportation 2040 is a long-term strategic vision for the city intended to help guide transportation and land-use decisions, and public investments for the years ahead.

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The Congestion Management Strategy says Transportation 2040 sets specific targets to increase sustainable transportation to 50 per cent of all trips by 2020, and two-thirds of all trips by 2040. Recent studies have shown that the 2020 target has been achieved. City of Vancouver

City council approved $3.3 million in new investment and in alignment with existing programs under the city’s Transportation 2040 Plan.

The focus of Transportation 2040 is sustainable methods of transport but the report says the total number of trips made by motor vehicles is not expected to decrease significantly.

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