Road linking Vancouver and Burnaby could see calming measures to reduce and slow down traffic

Mar 21 2023, 7:47 pm

A stretch of Adanac Street in the northeast corner of Vancouver currently acts as a shortcut for regional commuters travelling between Vancouver and Burnaby, but the City of Vancouver is now looking to end this practice.

Over a 3 km length from Burrard Inlet to East Broadway, there are only four west-east road crossings across Highway 1, which physically divides the entire area in the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood.

One of those crossings is Adanac Street, which has an overpass over the freeway’s Cassiar Tunnel. This is a two-lane local road with a yellow dividing line through a residential neighbourhood, and it is also traversed by TransLink buses.

According to the municipal government, a significant portion of the vehicle traffic that flows through the Adanac Street Overpass and other neighbourhood roads comes from outside Vancouver.

The municipality’s data shows the traffic on the overpass is fed by both Boundary Road just three blocks to the east, and East Hastings Street three blocks to the north.

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Adanac Street overpass looking west. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

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Adanac Street looking west from Kootenay Street. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

The overpass sees up to over 300 vehicles per peak hour per peak direction or about five vehicles per minute. Generally, there are high traffic volumes over a four-city-block span of Adanac Street between Rupert Street and Boundary Road, the Vancouver-Burnaby border.

Much of the traffic through the overpass funnels north-south along Rupert Street, and not insignificant volumes also flow west-east along East Georgia Street and Venables Street.

Many of these vehicles are also travelling at high speeds of about 50 km/hr or greater through roads sized for local traffic.

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Traffic volumes in the morning peak direction on Adanac Street and other local roads in the surrounding area. (City of Vancouver)

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Traffic volumes in the afternoon peak direction on Adanac Street and other local roads in the surrounding area. (City of Vancouver)

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Traffic speeds on Adanac Street and on other local roads in the surrounding area. (City of Vancouver)

To address these issues, the municipal government is looking to implement installations that can be quickly built to reduce vehicle traffic volumes and slow down speeds.

The potential measures could entail a combination of speed humps, curb bulges to reduce the crossing distances for pedestrians, and barriers that restrict the type of vehicle turns at intersections or enable the full/partial closure of roadways. Such measures will be considered for both Adanac Street and the surrounding local roads that feed traffic onto the overpass.

Such measures would potentially keep vehicle traffic on the arterials of East Hastings Street and Boundary Road.

Other considerations for the road design changes include the proximity to two local schools, Adanac Street’s designation as a cycling route, public transit riders to and from the bus stops, and retaining emergency vehicle access.

Following separate rounds of public consultation this spring and summer, the traffic calming measures could be installed before the end of this year.

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Adanac Street looking west from Rupert Street. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

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Adanac Street overpass view of Highway 1 between Vancouver and Burnaby. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

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