Vancouver city councillors have passed an ambitious transportation plan that aims to increase the foot, bike or transit trips in the city to 66 per cent by 2040.
The passing of the controversial Transportation 2040 Plan was passed earlier on Halloween morning. This should not come as a surprise to anyone as the city can’t build more roadways and must transition into being even more pedestrian, cyclist and public transit oriented.
“This is a balanced plan that will help grow our economy and move us closer to our Greenest City targets,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The plan puts a major emphasis on expanded transit, will provide safety upgrades for pedestrians and cyclists, and enhances goods movement to support local businesses.”
The plan establishes the goal that at least two-thirds of trips in Vancouver will be made on foot, bike or transit by 2040. Currently, 44% of Vancouver trips use these modes.
Major transportation corridors such as Broadway, Hastings, 41st Avenue and 49th Avenue are identified as top priorities for significantly expanded transit service to support the needs of leading job centres. The plan underscores the urgent need for new rapid transit on the Broadway corridor, which is the 2nd biggest job centre in BC with the equivalent of five Metrotown Centres between Main and Arbutus Street.
The plan also sets the bold goal of aiming for zero traffic fatalities, believing that one is too many. Transportation 2040’s aggressive pedestrian safety plan includes more crossing timers and signals, better lighting, curb bulges, and wider sidewalks on major streets.
Significant upgrades to the safety and scope of Vancouver’s cycling network are also planned. Translink’s recent trip diary report showed a 35% increase in cycling in Vancouver in the last three years alone – compared to a 4% increase from 2004-2008.
Mayor Robertson and Council passed amendments to the plan that would accelerate work on pedestrian and cycling safety upgrades, and also passed an amendment to ensure transportation information is made fully available through open data.
The public consultation process for Transportation 2040 was one of the most extensive in Vancouver’s history, engaging over 18,000 residents, 944 online respondents, and more than 50 stakeholder groups over the past two years.
“Vancouver needs to be taking action now, and after one of the broadest and most-engaging consultation processes in our city’s history, the 2040 plan represents a major step toward a transportation future that supports bold safety goals, the needs of a growing economy and a greener Vancouver,” added the Mayor.