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Infrastructure projects expected to have big traffic impacts
VANCOUVER -- A pair of major street projects promise to bring even more traffic congestion and chaos to downtown Vancouver than usual for the next several months.
Beginning Monday and stretching into April, West Georgia Street will be down to two westbound lanes – and just one eastbound lane at times – as the City of Vancouver replaces a nearly 100-year-old water main that has burst in multiple places in recent months.
The city says there will be two lanes in each direction during peak periods.
At the same time, a complete redesign of Richards Street from Gastown to Yaletown that begins construction this week will be done in two phases and won’t wrap up until the summer of 2021.
Phase one begins Monday and will stretch from Nelson Street north to Cordova Street.
The work includes replacing an existing one-way painted bike lane with a two-way route separated from traffic. It will require the permanent removal of about 50 on-street parking spaces.
Cycling advocates say the loss of parking is a reasonable trade-off for safer streets.
"It's not just the separated bike lane,” said Navdeep Chhina, spokesperson for HUB Cycling. “We'll also have newly designed intersections that will reduce the conflict between people walking, people cycling, and cars that are making a turn."
Parts of Richards Street will be reduced to a single lane during construction.