The updated rush hour times on two of Vancouver’s arterial roads are here to stay.
Over the last month, the city changed its rush hour regulations along both Hastings Street and Broadway to ease congestion, especially in light of East 1st Ave’s closure. For the past few weeks, signage along the curbside lanes was updated to reflect the new reserved rush hour times of 7 to 10 a.m. (from 9:30 a.m.) in the morning and 3 to 7 p.m. (from 6 p.m.) in the afternoon.
The City of Vancouver confirmed in a call with Business in Vancouver that the changes are expected to be permanent as part of the congestion management strategy adopted in 2017 by city council. Depending on the results, other streets could have extended rush hour times as well, including Georgia Street and 12th Ave.
Vancouver was previously ranked as the worst city in Canada to drive in according to German company Kfzteile24 in 2017. While longer blocks of time for buses and rush hour traffic could ease congestion, they also remove valuable street parking spots.
BiV reached out to many stores and restaurants along both Hastings and Broadway about the effects of the rush hour updates. Most said they felt that the changes were negligible. Staff at DeSerres on Broadway Street, for example, stated that their customers weren’t reliant on street parking since there weren’t many available parking spots in the first place.
Others, such as Suika’s manager Dandoko Masayoshi, told BiV that the new parking regulations haven’t impacted them directly yet. The Japanese restaurant normally has its curbside parking spots fill up quickly at its Broadway location off Fir Street, but customers haven’t voiced any concerns.
“Already at 5:30 [p.m.], some customers are looking for parking spots,” said Masayoshi, “But we’ve had no complaints or anything.”
“First seating [5 to 6 p.m.] customers are inconvenienced, but there’s been no lack of customers. They can still park on Pine or Fir nearby.”
Some managers expressed concern that they weren’t contacted about the changes before they took place, but the City said that initial feedback received was relatively neutral and that it will continue to monitor the changes, though it’s still too early to say what kind of impacts they’ve seen.