British Columbia

Mobility strategy aims to address North Shore traffic congestion

The City of North Vancouver plan includes diversifying methods of transportation available to people, redesigning traffic flow and making streets more pedestrian friendly. 

Lower Lonsdale Business association says congestion is adversely affecting local businesses

The City of North Vancouver is working on a mobility plan to try to reduce traffic congestion. Residents have until Friday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m. to submit feedback on the draft plan. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Tony Sun owns a bike shop on the Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. As a Burnaby resident, he commutes to work via the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge every day. 

Sun said he often spends 30-45 minutes sitting in traffic near the bridge during both his morning and evening commute. 

"It's taking time away from family, work, it's no fun," said Sun. 

Sun is not alone in his daily commute. Traffic congestion on the North Shore was a key topic in the last mayoral election..

It's an issue that the city's proposed new mobility strategy is trying to address.

"For too long, we have designed cities for the movement of cars, not people," said City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan.

While the number of jobs in North Vancouver has increased along with the number of daily commuters, the amount of available housing has not.

North Vancouver is also a gateway to multiple regional destinations, including the Sea to Sky highway corridor and the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. And, as a port city, said Buchanan, goods are regularly moved within the municipality.

The city's plan includes diversifying methods of transportation available to people, redesigning traffic flow and making streets more pedestrian friendly. 

Buchanan said the mobility strategy is about designing streets to work for everyone "regardless of how you move about." 

Some of the measures the municipality has taken to try to address congestion include the all-electric bike share service Lime and launching an e-scooter pilot program

Business woes

Lower Lonsdale Business Association executive director Greg Holmes said the congestion problem combined with limited parking has adversely affected local businesses. 

"I was speaking to a business about something unrelated yesterday … and she said to me, 'I get people phoning in saying is there any parking? I'm not coming down unless I can park.'" 

A survey conducted by the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce in 2018 found that 40 per cent of its members were considering relocating outside of the city due to traffic-related woes. 

"We're doing everything we can to make it easy and possible for people to get there and enjoy themselves," said Holmes. 

Holmes said despite the business association's best efforts, the city must intervene. The mayor said she sympathizes.

"Everybody is frustrated by congestion and I totally get it … I think we can all agree people want to be moving efficiently and safely through their communities."

The deadline for public feedback on the draft mobility plan is Friday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m.


Michelle Gomez is a CBC writer in Vancouver. You can contact her at

With files from George Baker


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