Earlier this week, the City of Vancouver announced a plan to study the possibility of turning Water Street in Gastown into a permanent car-free zone. The plan would see traffic diverted off Powell Street and onto Hastings, and builds on the city’s Transportation 2040 framework.

The goals of the plan include:

  • Celebrate and acknowledge the complex history of Gastown and work towards reconciliation
  • Explore Vancouver’s first car-light or pedestrian priority area
  • Address a major gap in the all ages and abilities cycling network
  • Enhance transit service for bus and future streetcar

Study Area

Removing vehicle traffic from Water Street would allow the city to design a complete street. A complete street is a concept that prioritizes access for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transit users – read more about the concept HERE.

In the future, the city also plans to explore similar options in other areas of the city, including Mainland & Hamilton in Yaletown, the Granville entertainment district, and sections of Robson Street in the West End.

Obviously, there are still obstacles to over come, such as figuring out how to maintain access for residents and delivery vehicles. The city has already seen the successful implementation of these measures on a temporary basis in the Granville entertainment district and at Robson Square so why not explore the option of a permanent solution?

If you’re interested in learning more, the city will be hosting public consultations on the plan starting later this month – find out more HERE.

Chris Lambert | 604.340.6457 |