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How Did Vancouver Decrease its Traffic While Growing its Population?

With its elegant skyline, walkable streets and stunning parks, Vancouver exemplifies great city-making. Add to the list of achievements the city's ability to reduce traffic by 20 to 30 percent since 2006 while growing its population by 4.5 percent.
August 6, 2013, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Paul Krueger

"The perennial contender for the title of world’s most livable city has accomplished what Houston or Atlanta never even dream of: It has reduced traffic on its major thoroughfares even as its population has swelled," writes Angie Schmitt. "How did the city pull off this feat? The answer is intentionally, with smart policies."

"In the 1970s, the people of Vancouver decided they wanted their city to be walkable and healthy," she explains. "To make that work, Vancouver worked hard to establish the kind of land use policies that would make living car-free a natural choice. The city prioritized walkable, mixed-use development and established a strong transit system with light rail, streetcars trolly buses, and rapid buses, as well as walking and biking connections."

"And guess what? That strategy has worked exactly as planned."

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Published on Monday, August 5, 2013 in DC.Streetsblog
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