Residents want Clark Drive port entrance

Pilot project directs trucks off Nanaimo Street

East Side residents who fought to get container truck traffic off Nanaimo Street still want a guarantee from Port Metro Vancouver that it will re-open the Clark Drive entrance into the port.

The port closed that entrance to ease traffic backups along Clark, predominantly the intersections at Hastings, Venables and First Avenue several days a week. The traffic pattern changed to produce a one-way system where trucks entered at the McGill/Commissioner Street entrance and left on Clark Drive, but residents complained about safety problems after trucks used Nanaimo to shave time off trips.

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The port and the City of Vancouver launched a 90-day pilot project, which started Aug. 25, that directed trucks down Clark Drive and east along Hastings Street to Highway 1 as part of their route into the port.

The pilot project has since been extended to Jan. 25, partly due to the civic election.

Cynthia Farnsworth, a representative of the group Advocating for Container Trucks off Residential Streets (ACTORS), said a working group that was formed with city, port and resident representatives has also looked at traffic calming to use before the end of the pilot. She said ACTORS hopes to meet with port and city officials again at the beginning of January.

I would say we are [satisfied]. We feel the trucks are off [Nanaimo]most of them. Ive noticed a few creeping back on but most of them are off Nanaimo Street, she said.

Farnsworth said there was an initial adjustment period for the trucks that lasted a couple of months and shes not sure what will happen after Jan. 25.

A lot of it has to do with the ports infrastructure program. They have a huge project theyre planning to dothe south shore corridor project. Its a massive, multi-million dollar project where theyre going to be building an elevated road that will remove the congestion inside the port, which is really the main reason why the Clark Drive entrance was closed in the first place because there was a lot of congestion entering the port at Clark, and it prevented traffic from moving around with the port, Farnsworth explained.

She said the port is waiting for funding to be confirmed and

the close of public consultation Dec. 21.

Its coming up soon. We hope people will take a look at it and put input in because it does have implications for our local roads, she said. We are still looking for a guarantee from the port that they will re-open Clark Drive after this south shore project has been completed. Thats what we really want. They have said to us they want to give it, that they are close to being able to give it, but they are still not forthcoming with a guarantee about that.

ACTORS maintains Clark is the most logical route to keep container truck traffic on the road its supposed to take, but the group has also suggested other ways to manage the flow of goods from port-to-port such as short-sea shipping.

What they do is put [goods] on a barge and the tow it around to the other port. One of the issues with traffic is going from port-to-portfrom Delta Port to Port Metro, she said.

Port Metro Vancouver could not be reached by the Couriers deadline.

Twitter: @Naoibh

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