Traffic calmed with single lanes and slower speed limits, starting today on Prior and Venables streets in Strathcona

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      An East Side neighbourhood will no longer be a thoroughfare for motorists leaving Downtown Vancouver over the Georgia Viaduct.

      That's because as of today, Prior Street in Strathcona will only have one lane of traffic going in either direction between Gore and Raymur avenues at all times.

      In the past, street-parking restrictions allowed for two lanes during peak periods.

      In addition, the posted speed limit is now 30 kilometres per hour near Strathcona Park along Prior and Venables streets.

      It's part of a one-year pilot project in response to concerns from area residents.

      Last October, council voted to direct staff to work with the neighbourhood to enhance walkability and reduce vehicle speeds on Prior and Venables streets

      In addition, council voted to downgrade this roadway to a "collector street", with a 30 kilometres per hour speed limit near the park.

      At the time, council also expressed support for separating the Burrard Inlet Rail Line from the Prior and Venables Street alignment, albeit at no cost to the city.  Along this route, passing trains halt anyone from crossing whether they're on foot or bike or in a motor vehicle.

      Last spring, Strathcona homeowner and first-term city councillor Pete Fry led the charge on council to allow for 30 kilometres per hour speed limits on Vancouver residential streets.

      In May, council approved his motion, which included an amendment by NPA councillor Melissa De Genova.

      It enables the city to also impose 30 kilometres per hour speed limits for bicycles, electric bikes, skateboards, and other forms of transportation on residential streets.