Vancouver to go car-free by 2030: city official

Why bike lanes are just the beginning for Vancouver's future

April 1, 2016

By Max Fawcett

The City of Vancouver intends to become the world’s first car-free city by 2030—and it’s prepared to put your money where its mouth is. According to sources inside City Hall, there are plans afoot to strongly discourage people from driving their vehicles—and to hit those who do with major financial penalties. “It’s the next logical step in this city’s evolution,” the source, who does not want to be identified, told Vancouver Magazine. “If we really want to be the greenest city in the world, then we have to find a way to get people out of their cars. And that means applying some pressure.”

The idea is still being debated by city officials, the source said, with particular attention being paid to how those who refuse to get rid of their cars will be penalized. “Look, we can’t make driving illegal—not yet, anyway. But can we make parking $100 per hour? Yeah, we can. So that’s something we’re going to have to consider.” What isn’t being considered, she says, is the idea of letting cars continue to dominate the roads indefinitely. “Are people going to be upset? Probably. But people were upset when cars replaced horses a century ago. And do you see any horses walking around the street these days?”

Get the Newsletter

Own your city with Vancouver’s thrice-weekly scoop on the latest restaurant news, must-shop hotspots and can’t miss events. Rest assured your email is safe with us.