March 7, 2018

It's rush hour. Where's the traffic?

Thursday, March 1 – 5:30 pm.  Robson at Homer looking west:
Looking east:
Robson may not be a through street on these blocks, but really, hardly a moving car to be seen.  Why?

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    1. Yes, yes and yes! Look at European cities like Vienna, where this was implemented on inner city shopping streets in the late 70s, if I am not mistaken. And the success was smashing, although lots of doomsday prognosis there too at the beginning.

      1. Indeed, if we closed Robson all the way from stadium to Stanley Park, and Alberni for 2 block west of Hotel Vancouver it would be a huge hit with pedestrians, shoppers, eaters/diners .. unclear why this is not done ?

    2. yah let’s do the experiment and see if it work better than Robson square which has been sold with promise of instant success too…
      The wanna be urbanists around should at least make the effort of the genese of succesful pedestrian street, they experiment on their European vacations or elsewhere:
      Let’s take the wonderful Bordeaux rue St Catherine:
      before it was like it:
      Succesfull pedestrian street in Europe like times square in NewYork, didn’t stem of “Oh see this street is void of car and people, let’s make it pedestrian”…
      that usually just makes an empty space even more empty and uninvitating.

      1. Note that Europe’s pedestrian streets usually come with a comprehensive metro network running under them. I say we thread a SkyTrain line through the West End, THEN close Robson.

  1. Years ago, it was proposed to the City that Robson should become a people street for walking and cycling allowing it to become a true retail street. Like many cities in Europe, cars and trucks would be allowed on the street until 10:00 or 11:00 am to do deliveries, etc. From a tourism perspective, think of a draw it would be if there was a contiguous people street network downtown along Robson, Denman, Davie, and back to Robson on Granville.
    The concern would be raised about the bus line on Robson, Denman, Davie. Well, for Robson they could be part of the people street or think if there were separated two-way bus lanes on Georgia St. Imaging how more efficient all the buses could move on Georgia. A sort of an LRT using buses.
    Maybe the future.

  2. This is not uncommon at all… and on streets you’d think otherwise. Both Burrard and Seymour north of Dunsmuir are nearly empty most of the day. It’s time the city started identifying these massive but unnecessary swaths of road and started returning them to better uses.
    For example, the short protected bike lane on Burrard from Hastings to Waterfront could have been extended to Dunsmuir without any impact on MV traffic but a much slicker connection for bikes.

  3. Robsonstraße has been written about since the ’70s … can we please just do it already!?! Pedestrians outnumber cars most of the day. We could even keep the buses running on it and pedestrianize the rest, there are plenty of public thoroughfares in Europe with trams running down them.

  4. I’ve noticed a lot more traffic using Pender and Hastings. I don’t know why. Fewer lights or it’s easier to get on and off Georgia? It’s unfortunate because cars are often aggressive at the pedestrian intersections, esp between Broughton and Thurlow.

  5. Robson and Water Street would be my first choices for the conversion to pedestrian streets. I could see several blocks of Robson having a glass canopy too for protection from the winter rain. Robson has commercial lanes for deliveries.

  6. No one drives on Robson St. because the traffic lights are not synchronized.
    It’s an exercise in frustration if you do drive on it, as you end up stopping at EVERY SINGLE traffic light.
    So traffic sticks to Smithe, which has synchronized traffic lights (although current construction has it backlogged), or heads to Georgia St. if it is through traffic (to the Lions Gate Bridge).
    And with the closure at Robson Square, it’s only useful for people heading as far west as Seymour St. (no turns at Granville St., and Howe St. runs south (so that’s a reversal of direction if you came from Smithe / Cambie Bridge).
    Bottom line: Traffic coming from Cambie Bridge can first access Robson St. at Beatty St. and can only travel as far as Seymour St. – and is dogged by red traffic lights across those 5 blocks. Why bother? when there are better, faster alternative routes.

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