Looks like Granville Street is officially closed to cars for the summer. The city is running a Rediscover Granville car-free street festival until the end of August. In addition to laying astroturf and providing colourful chairs, the city is planning lots of weekend events, including BrazilFest (August 21) and some skateboarding competitions (August 7 and 14).
When I stumbled upon the car-free festivities late on Saturday afternoon, there were a buskers working sizable crowds, a few people kicking around a soccer ball on the astroturf covered street, and the first of the city’s new food carts selling Chinese food, crepes, and pakoras.
I’m glad to see the city take the lead in developing a pedestrian corridor in Vancouver. I’ve always thought Granville Island, Yaletown, or Gastown would be more suitable for a car-free space, but Granville Street near Robson does make a lot of sense. It’s been closed to traffic for years (for Canada Line construction) and has proven popular with crowds during the Olympics. Now, hopefully people adopt the space and we can have a permanent pedestrian mall, or at the very least an annual summer hangout.