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City approves motion to make Commercial Drive 'pedestrian-first'

The motion calls for a "stop and shop model" with the speed limit reduced to 30 km/hr.
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Vancouver city council approved a motion on Thursday (May 27) to slow traffic on Commercial Drive and make it more pedestrian-friendly.

One of Vancouver's most popular shopping, dining and nightlife districts could be getting a makeover following a city council decision.

The City approved a motion in a council meeting on Thursday (May 27) to slow traffic on Commercial Drive and make it more pedestrian-friendly.

The motion, submitted by Councillor Pete Fry, calls for a slow street that will be "shared by all users" and favours a "stop and shop model" with the speed limit reduced to 30 km/hr. It would prioritize Commercial Drive as a "Pedestrian-First High Street."

Other ideas include widened sidewalks and enhanced crosswalks, which will allow for "physical distancing while walking, cycling and shopping that also supports outside dining and vending."

The vision also includes support for community-led public art as well as enhanced bike locking infrastructure and enhanced east-west bike route connections, with bike-share docking stations on side streets. 

To create a consistent road geometry, the number of travel lanes south of 1st Avenue would be reduced while the city continues to maintain and improve on-street parking spaces to support local businesses.

The motion also states that City staff will consult The Italian Day Festival Society and the Italian Cultural Centre regarding any significant proposed changes that could affect "the ‘Italian Day on the Drive’ event or change the historical context and heritage of the 8 blocks designated ‘Little Italy‘" on the street.