People cycling on a protected bike lane
Photo by Paul Krueger

Streetscape design: Northeast False Creek

Refining the design of a new ground-level street network

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Participate in events, online surveys, and provide feedback to help us create an area plan for Northeast False Creek.

The Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts will be replaced with a new complete street network built on the ground. 

We began investigating the possible removal of the viaducts in 2010. In 2015, years of research was presented to Council outlining the benefits of a ground-level street network and its capacity to manage the volume of vehicle traffic. 

Key documents

What to expect with the new street network

The new street network will: 

  • Accommodate 100% of today’s traffic volumes on new street network, mainly at ground level, with a direct connection to downtown via Georgia Street
  • Be more resilient to earthquakes
  • Be less expensive to maintain
  • Enhance connections between downtown, the waterfront, and the historic neighbourhoods
  • Provide for a larger waterfront park and more open spaces
  • Create significant public realm improvements including larger sidewalks, separated bike facilities, and larger trees

Viaducts replacement street network

By City of Vancouver

 

  • Georgia St - a two-way street

    By City of Vancouver

    The Georgia Street Ramp will be a continuation of Georgia Street to connect Downtown with Pacific Boulevard for people walking, cycling, and driving in both directions. The completion of Georgia Street will improve traffic and connections in Northeast False Creek – like Abbott Street, Expo Boulevard, and Quebec Street – resulting in less "driving in circles".

  • Dunsmuir Connector - public space for walking and cycling

    By City of Vancouver

    We will replace the sidewalk and protected bike lanes on the Dunsmuir Viaduct to provide: (1) a safe, comfortable, convenient, and enjoyable transportation corridor for people walking and cycling; (2) a place to pause and enjoy elevated views; (3) new gathering space for major public event celebrations for the area by Rogers Arena.

  • New Pacific Blvd - two-way between Nelson and Quebec

    By City of Vancouver

    Pacific Boulevard will become a two-way street so that people driving on Main, Quebec, and Prior streets (and Prior's future alternative arterial) can continue to directly access Downtown (by turning right on the Georgia Street Ramp) and Yaletown and the West End (by continuing straight).

  • Expo Blvd - continued one-way access

    By City of Vancouver

    Expo Blvd will keep its one-way westbound traffic flow, exiting from Pacific Blvd before Abbott St, continuing on its same route with access to the stadiums, adjacent businesses, Smithe and Nelson streets, before rejoining with Pacific Blvd.

  • Carrall Street transformation to Greenway

    By City of Vancouver

    Carrall Street will be realigned and drawn down to the waterfront to create a walking and cycling connection from Chinatown to False Creek.

  • Quebec Street - improving connection

    By City of Vancouver

    Replacing the viaducts with a ground-level street network will let people easily access Quebec Street and nearby streets.

Northeast False Creek conceptual streetscape design

By City of Vancouver

 

  • Georgia Street - Today

    By City of Vancouver

  • Georgia Street - After

    By City of Vancouver

  • Main Street - Today

    By City of Vancouver

  • Main Street - After

    By City of Vancouver

  • Pacific Boulevard - Today

    By City of Vancouver

  • Pacific Boulevard - After

    By City of Vancouver

Our priorities

Accommodate vehicle traffic

Accommodate vehicle traffic

In October 2015, Council approved the decision to replace the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts with a new ground-level street network.

The existing viaducts offer no direct connection between Downtown and Northeast False Creek. They bypass the area entirely. The physical footprint of the viaducts, combined with the SkyTrain guideway, prevent Pacific and Expo Boulevard from having an efficient and direct connection to Main Street.

Georgia Street and new Pacific Boulevard will:

  • Handle future traffic volume and travel patterns more efficiently than the viaducts and existing road network
  • Provide better connections to the surrounding area giving people more options for travelling
  • Provide improved access for emergency service providers

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Accommodate the movement of goods

Accommodate the movement of goods

Pacific Boulevard, Expo Boulevard, the Georgia Viaduct, and the Dunsmuir Viaduct are designated truck routes. They provide connectivity for the movement of goods by vehicles ranging from small cube vans to large 75 foot semi-trailers both to and through the area.

The proposed new Georgia Ramp and the new Pacific Boulevard from Georgia Street to Main Street, will be designed to accommodate:

  • Full-size goods movement trucks
  • Transit buses and coaches

This network will preserve connections present today and provide additional connectivity and access options. 

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Provide access to stadium events

Provide access to stadium events

Access to the stadiums is needed by:

  • Private vehicles, coaches, taxis, transit, cyclists, and pedestrians 
  • Large semi-trailer trucks that support events (This is also relevant to local business such as Costco.)

We have worked closely with the operational managers of Rogers Arena, BC Place, and Costco to develop:

  • Conceptual designs that provide the necessary truck access and on-street staging that their operations require 
  • Construction methodologies and traffic management plans that will minimize the short-term impacts during construction

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Connect to new road in False Creek Flats

Connect to new road in False Creek Flats

Georgia Street and the Dunsmuir Connector will improve pedestrian and cyclist access to and from the two stadiums. 

As part of the False Creek Flats planning process, we are investigating an east-west arterial to replace Prior Street. This work is being done in conjunction with work to develop a new street network through Northeast False Creek. 

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Connect to future hospital site

Connect to future hospital site

Emergency vehicles are unable to use the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts, as they lack flexibility to re-route in case of an emergency. A new ground-level street network will provide better support to the new St. Paul’s Hospital.

Planning for the new St. Paul’s Hospital is integrated into the False Creek Flats planning process. 

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Support more cycling

Support more cycling

The current cycling network in Northeast False Creek sees upwards of 7,000 cyclists per day past Science World and 4,000 cyclists per day on the Union/Adanac bikeway. We expect this volume to reach 10,000 cyclists per day over the Dunsmuir Connector into the Downtown after construction.

Proposed improvements include:

  • Replacing painted bike lanes on Pacific, Expo, and Quebec with protected bike lanes
  • Installing protected bike lanes on new Pacific Boulevard that connect to Expo and the Dunsmuir Connector
  • Creating a new path for people commuting by bike between the seawall and Quebec so the seawall gets used more by people biking recreationally 
  • Improving bike route connections to the Quebec/Ontario bikeway, seawall, and Carrall Street

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Improve bus routes

Improve bus routes

The proposed replacement street network's increased connections and expanded two-way streets create opportunities for more direct, intuitive bus routes to serve the area and surrounding communities, and a potential future streetcar.

The network's wider sidewalks with space for larger trees will encourage people to walk more, including to bus stops and SkyTrain stations.

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Create great streets

Create great streets

A "complete streets" approach considers the needs for people of all ages and abilities to come together and for all modes of travel in its design. Safe and comfortable access for people gathering, walking, cycling, and using transit is an integral planning feature – not an afterthought – and accessible design features allow all people to meet their daily needs and participate in public life.

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How the new street network will be funded

The projected $180-200 million cost of the proposed removal and replacement of the viaducts can be fully funded by:

  • Contributions from new and existing developments that we know will be eventually occurring in this area
  • Sales or leases of City land no longer used by the viaducts

This revenue would pay not only for the replacement of the viaducts, but also for other works needed in the area related to its development, including:

  • Designing, planning, and deconstructing the viaducts
  • Building the replacement street network
  • Upgrading sewer and water utilities
  • Cleaning up the contaminated soil
  • Improving Andy Livingstone Park

Decision to remove the viaducts

The decision to replace the viaducts with a ground-level street network was based on several years of testing, analysis, and consultation.

 

Untitled

By City of Vancouver

 

  • Reduced maintenance costs

    By City of Vancouver

    Ground-level streets are 5 to 10 times cheaper to maintain over time compared to viaducts.

  • Resilient infrastructure

    By City of Vancouver

    Ground-level streets can withstand earthquakes and flooding better than viaducts.

  • Improved connections

    By City of Vancouver

    Pacific Boulevard will better connect Northeast False Creek and its surroundings compared to the viaducts.

  • Bigger, better park

    By City of Vancouver

    The ground-level street network will make more room for parks and housing.

Documents and studies

View the policies, strategies, studies, and public feedback that have shaped Northeast False Creek.