There is no such thing as rush hour in North Vancouver.
North Vancouver’s rush “hour” now extends over four hours at a time. During this time, average speeds slow down to as low as 15km/h on several stretches of Highway 1. Add in a stall or a crash and Highway 1 is instantly turned into one of the region’s largest parking lots.
While North Vancouver shows a modest population growth of 0.5% annually, the economy is thriving and demand for access to the community is at an all-time high. Commuter traffic alone has increased by 14% over the last decade. This has added more than 3,000 cars daily at peak hours.
The frustration and inefficiency surrounding the movement of people and goods is now the greatest threat to local businesses working in North Vancouver and surrounding communities.
North Vancouver’s economy is diverse and surprisingly significant at a regional and provincial level. North Vancouver is proudly home to some of the region’s most significant businesses and landmarks that attract hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to the community, region and province. Included amongst these are:
- The 1st and 7th largest manufacturers in Metro Vancouver;
- The largest port (by tonnage) in Canada;
- 2 of the top 3 largest tourist attractions in Metro Vancouver (Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge), which draw over two million visitors annually;
- Capilano University, the third largest university in Metro Vancouver, which boasts 11,000 students a term and is home to the largest film program in Western Canada; and
- 3 of the largest businesses owned by women in BC.
Yet, investment in our transportation infrastructure continues to seriously lag. Bridge connections are nearing peak capacity and still there are no plans for any additional crossings or transit alternatives.
Even with some roadway upgrades underway to improve efficiency and safety, the problem will only persist or worsen as demand increases and capacity fails to keep pace.
The importance of transportation infrastructure as a key driver of growth, competitiveness and social well-being is well established. We need our governments to support bold, forward thinking investments in transportation for the future of North Vancouver and the regional economy it sustains.
By investing in infrastructure now—in the projects our region needs and in the people who can build these projects—we can strengthen and grow the economy, support the development of well-paying jobs, and make North Vancouver an even better place to call home. We need to remove the handcuffs and end the gridlock on our economy.
Therefore, Economic Partnership North Vancouver calls for:
- A new vision of transportation infrastructure as a bold investment in our economy, not a short term solution to gridlock. We need to invest in projects that will have a significant, positive impact on North Vancouver and on the surrounding communities.
- A provincial commitment to Phase 2 of the Translink 10-Year Vision.
About Economic Partnership North Vancouver (EPNV):
EPNV is a unique collaborative partnership between business, higher education, First Nations, and government in North Vancouver. EPNV prioritizes integrated planning, the sharing of resources, and the thoughtful, informed oversight of our community’s economic growth.
Established by the North Vancouver Chamber, EPNV strives to support existing businesses, attract new businesses, and promote healthy economic growth and diversification in order to enhance the overall quality of life in our community.
In the past year, EPNV has provided custom support to more than 100 local businesses, partnered with Capilano University to develop and deliver hands-on workshops and educational programs for local business, and supported various community planning and development projects.
EPNV is focused on addressing transportation, housing and land use, and employer retention, which it believes are major issues that are threatening to derail the sustainability and livability of North Vancouver.
The North Vancouver Chamber is a not-for-profit organization comprised of businesses, professionals, residents and other community groups working together to ensure a healthy economic and socio-economic base to benefit the entire community. The Chamber offers a variety of services to help the community grow, learn, innovate and develop strong community connections.
CDO, Economic Partnership North Vancouver
CEO, North Vancouver Chamber