Broken pavers in Gastown featuring a cyclist biking by

Traffic changes coming to Gastown starting March 2024

February 29 2024 –

The City is investing in Gastown. As part of the 2023-2026 Capital Plan, $10 million has been earmarked for rehabilitation and improvements to Gastown’s streets and public spaces.  

This March the City will begin interim repairs to Maple Tree Square, in advance of this summer’s Water Street Pedestrian Zone Pilot. The repair work includes removing damaged brick pavers and asphalt patches in the roadway and replacing them with new brick pavers.  

The interim repairs will make the street safer and easier to use while the City works towards a permanent design for the area as part of the Gastown Public Spaces Plan

“We are committed to revitalizing Gastown and taking bold steps to make this iconic neighbourhood a vibrant, people-friendly, safe and clean destination,” said Mayor Ken Sim. “As we begin to repair aging infrastructure and test improvements to public spaces, there will be a lot happening in Gastown over the coming months. We want to remind everyone that businesses are open during construction, and we appreciate the understanding and patience of residents and businesses as they adjust to the changes this spring and summer.” 

During construction (March to June) and then throughout the Water Street Pedestrian Zone Pilot (July and August), Maple Tree Square will be closed to vehicles; this will result in temporary changes to traffic flow in the area.  

Local vehicle access for residents and businesses will be maintained, including deliveries and access for visitors and customers. 

Traffic management  

Review a map of the traffic changes here.

The following traffic changes will be in effect to allow for construction: 

  • Vehicles cannot travel through Maple Tree Square, but pedestrian and cycling access will be retained.  
  • Traffic detours will be in place at Powell Street and Main Street.  
  • Westbound through-traffic on Powell Street will not be allowed to continue past Main Street  All traffic will need to turn right or left at Main Street. 
  • Powell Street between Columbia Street and Harbour Light Alley will be local access only.  
  • Alexander Street, east of Maple Tree Square, will be made two-way. Vehicle access will not be allowed through Maple Tree Square. 
  • Water Street, west of Maple Tree Square, will be local access only.   
  • Columbia Street will be converted to a two-way street between Powell Street and Hastings Street. City staff will monitor Columbia Street throughout the duration of construction and the Water Street pedestrian pilot to assess whether it remains a two-way street for a longer period. 
  • Westbound #50 buses will be detoured off Water Street and onto Hastings Street. Buses will have a new temporary stop at a nearby location at Waterfront Station. Please visit translink.ca/alerts for more information. 
  • Most street parking in the area will be retained including regular access to all public parkades. Please be sure to watch for No Parking signs as work progresses. 

The City will be monitoring the traffic changes and will make adjustments, if necessary. 

Traffic tips 

  • If you are travelling in and around the area, plan ahead and expect delays. 
  • Please follow all detours and obey “No Parking” signs in the area.  
  • To stay ahead of road closures throughout the city, visit our road closures page or download the Van311 app for information on the go.    
  • Follow #VanTraffic or use our traffic cameras to check traffic conditions along your commute. 
  • Visit translink.ca/alerts for changes or disruptions to your bus service. 

Background  

Many of the streets and public spaces in Gastown are in need of repair and rehabilitation. In spring 2023, Council directed staff to proceed with urgent, interim repairs to Gastown streets and sidewalks, develop a Public Spaces Plan to guide investments and planning for the future of public spaces in Gastown, and explore pedestrianizing Water Street to support vibrant public life.  

For more information on all Gastown related projects, or to sign-up for project updates, visit vancouver.ca/gastown.