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Old 11-06-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
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Report: Vancouver has the worst traffic congestion in North America

Vancouver has worst traffic congestion in North America: report - BC | Globalnews.ca

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For the first time, Vancouver has surpassed Los Angeles as the city with the worst traffic congestion in North America.

Metro Vancouver residents are spending more time than ever in their cars, according to an annual survey by GPS software company TomTom.

Vancouver is followed by L.A., San Francisco, Honolulu and Seattle in the top five cities in North America with the worst traffic congestion.

Other Canadian cities on the list are Toronto at #7 and Montreal at #10.


In the entire Americas, we are actually #3 – Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Brazil are in the top spots.

The average Metro Vancouver resident with a 30 minute commute is wasting 93 hours per year stuck in delays. That’s the equivalent of 11.6 working days.

For every hour, about 41 minutes are wasted in traffic delays in Metro Vancouver.

Monday is one of the best days for traffic, with the lowest traffic congestion.

Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings are the worst peak periods of the week, according to TomTom.

There could be some relief on the way, and commuters have already seen some with the opening of the new Port Mann Bridge.

Part two of the South Fraser Perimeter Road is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.

The Evergreen rapid transit line to the Tri Cities should also help relieve some congestion.

TomTom says their data goes beyond people’s perceptions of congestion, by using data from the thousands of sensors in their GPS units in vehicles.


The company says the data shows that the way traffic is managed “needs to change.”
Link to the report: TomTom Traffic Index


Although I have not driven in other major Canadian cities, I have driven in LA several times....there is NO WAY Vancouver is worse than LA! I have also heard from friends that driving in Toronto is a nightmare. Vancouver traffic can be fucking terrible some days, but overall, I don't think it is THAT bad. Maybe I'm wrong?
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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Maybe it's based off time spent per kilometer driven?
If that's the case, hell yeah I can see how we're the worst.

It used to take me upwards of 40-45 minutes in rush hour to drive 9 kilometers -- from my house to work in downtown.

That same drive I can make in around ten to fifteen minutes if it's 5 am
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #3
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Maybe trying to get over the Port Mann in rush hour traffic is brutal, but there is no way the "average" traffic conditions are worse than Toronto - I have spent so much time sitting in traffic in a cab in Toronto it's unreal.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #4
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Ive driven in Toronto, and Toronto is way worse than we got it.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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Toronto is WAY worse than Vancouver.
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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we change it by adding more bike lanes

actually that could be true if bikes don't have GPS it won't register with TomTom
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:58 AM   #7
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To save the search through the report:

van11.JPG

van1.JPG

van2.JPG

Seems the issue is "non-highways"....make a little more sense, I guess.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:01 PM   #8
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we change it by adding more bike lanes

actually that could be true if bikes don't have GPS it won't register with TomTom





Road space: bus vs bikes vs cars ? a famous photo recreated in Canberra : Diary of an Average Australian
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:12 PM   #9
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They do it as an index of rush hour vs non-rush hour. So if you normally drive to work in 45 minutes in rush hour - but it takes you 15 minutes in non-rush hour - then it's a factor of 3.

In Toronto - it's always friggin busy - it may take you 1 hour to drive to work - but 30 minutes to drive in non-rush hour - so it's a factor of 2. You may cover a shorter distance in a longer period of time in Toronto - but because the difference between non-rush hour and rush hour isn't that great - it's supposedly not "congested" in Toronto.

Same goes with a lot of US cities. LA Traffic - DC traffic - there are so many terrible rush hours there - but because the city is constantly busy - they won't score as high in Vancouver.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:20 PM   #10
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That's helpful analysis, thanks gars.

As to the study itself, I think it's a ridiculous way to measure traffic though. They should rank cities as the actual time it takes to get on average vs the expected time travelling at exactly the speed limit.

The concept that a city that has so much less capacity than necessary that you are never travelling at the speed limit is LESS congested than one where you are only sometimes, is absolutely absurd.

I commute 35kms per day from West Vancouver (virtually Horseshoe Bay) to right in the middle of downtown Vancouver. I travel over one of the most tightly congested corridors in the GVRD (the Lions Gate & Stanley Park Causeway) twice a day. And yet, my dead of rush hour commute at 8:00am ranges from 25 to 35 minutes depending on the day. For comparison, when I do this commute at 6:30am with no traffic, it takes me just under 20.

I consider that to be a pretty reasonable penalty in waiting time for an absolute peak time and a busy route.

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Old 11-06-2013, 12:23 PM   #11
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Great now they are going to build more bike lanes to ease the traffic congesion ><
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:40 PM   #12
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i think its skewed towards areas around the massey tunnel, alex fraser, patullo, port mann lol

oak st bridge and arthur lang aint too TERRIBLE, all things considered
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:44 PM   #13
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Our streets and freeways weren't designed to handle what the GVRD has become today. If you want to ease congestion, you're going to have to tear a bunch of shit out and start over from scratch, though nobody has the time or money for that.
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:54 PM   #14
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I have to say - Vancouver, when it's not Rush Hour - has done a pretty decent job of keeping traffic flowing through. I've been through other cities where the lights aren't timed properly - and it frustrates me so much.

I was visiting my buddy in Ann Arbor - which isn't even a big city. We were driving around at 11 - and we were constantly stuck at lights that have little to no traffic going through. Travelling a few miles took us 10-15 minutes - while the same journey would probably take me 5 minutes in Vancouver.
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:23 PM   #15
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Our streets and freeways weren't designed to handle what the GVRD has become today. If you want to ease congestion, you're going to have to tear a bunch of shit out and start over from scratch, though nobody has the time or money for that.
Or we could build more bike lanes as the Vancouver Mayor thinks bike lanes will solve all issues!
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Old 11-06-2013, 02:25 PM   #16
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Great now they are going to build more bike lanes to ease the traffic congesion ><
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Or we could build more bike lanes as the Vancouver Mayor thinks bike lanes will solve all issues!
Yes we get it... bike lanes. Thanks.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:17 PM   #17
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I hope this means they build more bike lanes, since I actually use them to commute.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:19 PM   #18
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I've noticed a few areas of the city have gotten a lot worse in recent years. Just last night, it took me 25 mins to get to the gym, when I live less than 5km away. It took me 5mins to get home after. There wasn't an accident or anything, there was just a TON of volume. As others have said, the city was not designed for this number of vehicles. If you compare to cities like Seattle and LA, you can see that there are major freeways connecting all areas of the city. Our "freeway" is a joke compared to the freeways in the states.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:21 PM   #19
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I hope this means they build more bike lanes, since I actually use them to commute.
Right ya, let's inconvenience the majority of the population in this city for the benefit of a few. Great idea.
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:52 PM   #20
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I believe it, it's been especially horrible these past few months if I leave from Ridge. When I leave at 6:30am for downtown it takes me 45mins-1hr if I leave a little later 7-7:30am it takes me 2hrs+!!! If I leave when there's light traffic it takes 30mins to get to vancouver
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Old 11-06-2013, 03:54 PM   #21
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I've noticed a few areas of the city have gotten a lot worse in recent years. Just last night, it took me 25 mins to get to the gym, when I live less than 5km away. It took me 5mins to get home after. There wasn't an accident or anything, there was just a TON of volume. As others have said, the city was not designed for this number of vehicles. If you compare to cities like Seattle and LA, you can see that there are major freeways connecting all areas of the city. Our "freeway" is a joke compared to the freeways in the states.
Blame the people living in Strathcona in the 1970s for shutting down the freeway project.

Bike lanes are really only visible in downtown Vancouver. Most major arterials outside of the core don't have seperated bike lanes. There are more people in Metro Vancouver these days and they all have to get around somehow. But politicians are stuck between a rock and a hard place:

- People don't want Skytrain expansions because they cost too much and they will change neighbourhoods.
- But, people don't want bike lanes either because they want to continue driving their cars and have an irrational hate for so-called bike culture.
- But, you can't build more roads in the cities in Metro Vancouver unless you spend billions to tear down houses and expropriate land.

That's why we have traffic congestion in Metro Vancouver and that's why we will continue to have it until someone comes along and tells everyone to shut up and expands the public transit system.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:00 PM   #22
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We don't have the road system for the huge population growth over the past decade or so. We should have had a freeway system in place 20 years+ back but no one planned ahead and now we're paying for it. In the US they started to build freeways back as early as the 40's because they knew people would be living outside of the cities and needed a viable road system to travel back into the cities.

And most of our so called "highways" have two lanes, our bridges are clogged up because there's two lanes of traffic. We have bikes lanes going up everywhere so that's take lanes away which are needed. It's a complete and utter mess which i personally don't see been addressed any time soon.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:07 PM   #23
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And most of our so called "highways" have two lanes, our bridges are clogged up because there's two lanes of traffic. We have bikes lanes going up everywhere so that's take lanes away which are needed. It's a complete and utter mess which i personally don't see been addressed any time soon.
The reality is that seperated bike lanes exist largely in the City of Vancouver and in a few select areas such as the downtown core. The number of cars going downtown has remained stagnant for a decade - traffic congestion has grown outside of the City of Vancouver. To put the blame of all of Metro Vancouver's traffic woes on bike lanes in the city of Vancouver is a bit much (how many here actually commute downtown or to other areas of the City of Vancouver anyway besides a few well-to-do people?)
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #24
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On a personal level, I work in DT, live 5-10 minutes outside of the core and I can tell you that my commute time has increased by at least 10-15 minutes since the bike lanes went in. The issue isn't the one lane that's been taken away but it's also the traffic patterns that have changed with these lanes going in. It does slow down traffic during commute times.
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:26 PM   #25
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^ I work in the core as well and until recently, I took Skytrain in. Now that I and my partner work in the core, it makes sense financially to carpool. If you're travelling on your own, it doesn't make a lot of sense, from my experience, to take a car into the core given the hassle of traffic and the cost of parking. Even if we removed the bike lanes tomorrow, would the traffic issues be resolved? Maybe in the short-term, but eventually people adjust, more people drive in and you end up where you started.

The bike lanes are there to act as a deterrent - to discourage people from driving if they can and to consider alternatives such as biking or taking the Skytrain. Now consider the city's perspective: if you can't build more roads into downtown, what do you do?
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