Streets open to two-way traffic – doc.

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

Commuter routes hurt with better access to homes, businesses

Glenda Luymes


CREDIT: Jason Payne, The Province

Signs remind drivers that Beatty is one the streets that now has two-way traffic.


Expect minor traffic delays through Yaletown today as drivers get used to three streets that were changed from one-way to two-way traffic over the weekend.

Sections of Homer, Cambie and Beatty Streets became two-way on Saturday morning.

The changes are part of the city’s transportation plan to improve access to downtown homes and businesses.

“Two-way gives the area a more local feel, as opposed to one-ways that have a more commuter-route feel,” said city transportation engineer Doug Louie.

Three Gastown streets opened to two-way traffic last year. After some initial congestion, traffic stabilized.

“There’s always a risk of more accidents during the adjustment period, but it should even out,” said Louie. “Traffic will be redistributed. We’re not reducing the capacity of the streets.”

Despite directional signs that will remain until summer’s end, some drivers yesterday seemed confused.

“It’s crazy,” said Duane Bradley. “There are little signs everywhere. It takes a while to get used to it.”

Mary Liu agreed, saying she saw a car turn in to the wrong lane and almost caused an accident.

“I think the changes are good if you don’t know the city — if you’re from outside Vancouver or a tourist,” she said. “But if you know the city, it can be pretty confusing.”

Cab driver Kuldip Bhatti said the changes make his job easier.

“It’s good for me,” he said. “To pick up customers, I won’t have to go around the block so many times.”

Reaction among Yaletown business owners was mixed.

“There isn’t much parking around here,” said Naman Wiesel at Cafe O. “Most of our business is walk-by, so I’m not sure if it will change too much.”

Severio Gallo, owner of Yaletown Gelato, was more optimistic.

“I like the idea that there will be more traffic coming by, but I don’t know yet if we’ll see more customers,” he said.

© The Vancouver Province 2005

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