Another in our series of how Carmageddon fails to cooperate when road space for vehicles is reduced.
For much of the summer and through the Fall, the City has removed two lanes from Georgia Street for the construction of a water line.
Georgia is one of only several hundred-foot rights-of-way in Vancouver – and the only arterial that serves traffic coming onto the downtown peninsula from the west. Every vehicle approaching from the northwest quadrant of the region – traffic from the ferries, the Sunshine Coast, Squamish, Whistler, and much of the North Shore – has to use this street. It’s been congested for years.
So it’s reasonable to assume that when you take out two of its six lanes, something very bad will happen: namely, Back-ups from Hell.
It turned out to be more like purgatory: an intermediary state awaiting those trying to reach heaven in the CBD, or having been blessed, returning to a more earthly existence in West and North Vancouver.
From the front of a bus, on November 9, during the early evening rush it looked like this:
Inbound, even with two lanes closed, the traffic kept moving. Outbound, the usual line-up.
By Thurlow, the east-bound traffic was flowing better than normal; west-bound was typical for the outbound rush – backing up on the red, edging forward on the green.
At Georgia and Granville, looking west, the traffic was no different than normal.
According to my reliable source – the bus driver – traffic has been slightly worse during construction, but manageable. They’re not notably more delayed.
Yes, anecdotal evidence only. I’d really like to get some data from the City on this. But look at it this way: if traffic was completely bolloxed, there would have been regular news stories. Certainly the eyes in the skies, the traffic reporters, would have informed us in excruciating detail, every 10 minutes on the 10, how much worse it was.
How many such reports have you heard?