Vancouver adopts first-ever traffic congestion management plan

Gregor Robertson
Photo by Chandra Bodalia

VANCOUVER on Tuesday became one of the first North American cities to adopt a traffic congestion plan to improve traffic flow, reduce gridlock, and keep people and goods moving efficiently across the city and region.

Using new technologies such as GPS, smart street lighting, mobile phone technology and apps, the Congestion Management Strategy – on top of improving traffic flow – prioritizes safety and accessibility for all road users, including tackling ‘rat running’ by keeping traffic on arterials and not neighbourhood side streets.

“Vancouver’s economy is booming and with it, so are the demands on our streets and sidewalks,” said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “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.”

The five goals supporting the 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; and 5) Prioritize people and goods movement.

To support the Congestion Management Strategy, Council has approved $3.3 million in both new investment and in alignment with existing programs under the City’s Transportation 2040 Plan. City staff will report on the Plan – and track progress – to Council annually.

The Congestion Management Strategy is the latest of several initiatives Mayor Robertson and Council have adopted to improve transportation options and road conditions for all users, including:

* 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