What are Slow Streets?

    To help residents physically distance and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 to our communities, we are re-shaping how we use our streets and public spaces. 

    Slow Streets are on existing greenways and local streets where light interventions are introduced to reduce and slow down traffic.

    Slow Streets provide opportunities for walking, cycling and rolling and make it easier for people to exercise and access businesses in their neighbourhoods.

    What are the traffic rules for slow streets?

    • Motor vehicle access is limited to local traffic only. These are not closed streets.
    • People walking may pass each other using the roadway 
    • Drive slowly, avoid passing and watch for people on the road 
    • Access for emergency vehicles, and waste/recycling collection is maintained 
    • On-street parking is also generally being maintained. On a few streets, we need to make parking changes near intersections, by installing new “No Stopping Anytime” signs to provide additional space for vehicles to turn safely around the barriers.

    Why are we proposing this?

    To combat the spread of COVID-19, the BC Public Health Officer has requested that all British Columbians maintain a safe physical distance of at least two metres from others whenever possible. But, 

    (a) people must still access essential services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and medical and financial institutions. 

    (b) essential workers need to access employment. 

    (c) people need time outside for exercise for good physical, emotional and mental health. 

    As part of COVID response, we have initiated a number of responses to mitigate the impacts on mobility and public spaces. This initiative will limit large gatherings and help people keep two metres away from others while providing opportunities for walking, cycling and rolling and making it easier for people to exercise and access businesses in their neighbourhoods.

    When is this happening?

    Stage 1: The first stage of installing slow streets started May 22 and will continue through to July using construction-style barriers and local-traffic only signs.

    Stage 2: From July to September, we will monitor outcomes and public feedback on the changes to date, along with the installation of tactical traffic calming at key locations. 

    Stage 3: Beyond September through to 2021 we will gather data and feedback on how walking, cycling, and rolling has changed on these altered streets. This work will inform a review on the possibility of fasttracking future new greenways, public spaces, and neighbourhood traffic calming projects.

    What are the benefits of slow streets?

    • Support physical distancing
    • Create more comfortable routes and spaces for walking, cycling and rolling 
    • Make it easier to exercise in your local neighbourhood 
    • Improve access to businesses in your local neighbourhood 
    • Facilitate heath and safety of residents

    How can I provide feedback?

    You can provide feedback by:

    • Taking our Online Survey on about your Slow Streets Experiences
    • E-mailing slowstreets@vancouver.ca 
    • Contacting via Online Services in VanConnect app
    • Calling 3-1-1.

    Will this impact access to my neighbourhood?

    During the first stage, the streets will maintain limited access to local traffic only. Additional interim traffic calming which may include changes to vehicle circulation will be further reviewed for key locations. On-street parking, access for emergency vehicles and waste/recycling collection will be maintained.