Advertisement

Vancouver looks at ‘slow streets’ to make space for pedestrians amid COVID-19 pandemic

City of Vancouver making changes to roads due to COVID-19
The City of Vancouver has announced that it's re-purposing some roads to support physical distancing with the introduction of 'slow streets'. Nadia Stewart reports.

Vancouver is considering plans to repurpose 50 kilometres of roadway in an effort to create more space for restaurant patios, lines outside of businesses, walking and cycling.

Calls to repurpose Robson Street public space for expanded retail and patios
Calls to repurpose Robson Street public space for expanded retail and patios

The city says the so-called “slow streets” will have signs and barriers telling people to drive slowly and use the streets for local access only.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

It says the plans include expediting the permitting process for outdoor patios to give room to serve people as they maintain physical distancing requirements.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: B.C. government moves to fast-track patio expansions amid COVID-19

A news release from the city says 12 kilometres of slow streets have already been installed and council will consider a motion asking staff to rush the repurposing of road space in other neighbourhoods across the city.

Vancouver eases restrictions on restaurants to help with COVID-19 recovery
Vancouver eases restrictions on restaurants to help with COVID-19 recovery

Lon LaClaire, the general manager of city engineering services, says physical distancing will be in place for some time and more space will be needed for people to safely do things such as exercise or travel to work.

He says the city will be working with businesses and community partners to assess the needs for space while making sure streets and public spaces are safe and accessible.