October 23, 2017

Burrard Bridge: This is About Traffic Flow

A fascinating model (if you’re into this kind of thing) to demonstrate the impacts of intersection redesign at Pacific and Burrard.  (Thanks to Paul Storer, the Manager of Transportation Design at the City of Vancouver.)

The City aimed to maintain capacity of the bridge – but improve traffic flow to enhance safety while also accommodating other users, notably pedestrians and cyclists, with enhanced and separated rights-of-way.
When you focus your attention on particular movements at this particular time of day (for instance, the northbound traffic in the southeast lanes on the bridge), you can see right away how much less back-up there is.  On the other hand, there seems to be more in the southbound lanes on Burrard Street.
Another big difference is on Pacific, west of Burrard. Before the changes there was significant back-up for east-bound traffic wanting to get on to the bridge.  During construction, traffic often lined up for several blocks, sometimes to Jervis.  In the improved redesign, there’s very little congestion – again, at this time of day.
As real-wold results come in and drivers experience a much-improved traffic flow, it will be most interesting to hear from those who vociferously complained about the rebuild, especially because of that back-up on Pacific.  Negative comments were continuous, petitions were started.  ‘Take out the bike lanes!’
No doubt those with the loudest voices will acknowledge that perhaps they were mistaken.  No doubt.

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