Vancouver’s annual 4/20 protest invites people across the city to slow down for the day – including commuters.
After a controversial negotiation process, the site of Sunset Beach was decided on for the protest, which means drivers commuting past the park will likely be stuck in gridlock traffic.
A general annoyance for most drivers, but a life-threatening challenge for emergency vehicles.
City of Vancouver Engineering Manager Jerry Dobrovolny says they’re already trying to address that challenge.
“There’s no way to fully mitigate the impact of thirty-thousand people in the park, but certainly safety is one of our key concerns. So we’re doing active planning to minimize impact and ensure the public are safe.”
Dobrovolny laid out the issue as part of a series of challenges facing Vancouver traffic, including ongoing construction on sites like the Knight Street Corridor and SW Marine Drive.
He says the city is coordinating to make the day go smoothly.
“We’re working very closely with police and transportation to minimize impacts that might spill over as a result.”
Other issues facing Vancouver traffic include the granting of additional filming and event permits – a sore subject for 4/20 organizers.
The annual event ran into trouble back in March, when the Vancouver Park Board voted to deny the protest an official permit.
The Park Board’s report cited that while the event would likely take place without a permit, granting one would have reduced liability and provided greater control over the event.
As a result of the vote, the event is proceeding un-permitted, with no oversight from the City of Vancouver.
With files from Tristan Martin-Woodhouse