Skip to content

Outdoor patio space in Deep Cove is popular — unlike initial traffic change

At first the District of North Vancouver imposed a no-left-turn rule at Gallant and Panorama. When it changed its mind, it asked the RCMP to rescind traffic fines that had been issued
Deep Cove Gallant Ave traffic changes
After initially imposing a no-left policy at the intersection of Gallant Avenue and Panorama Drive in Deep Cove, the District of North Vancouver is now allowing left and right turns to accommodate the one-block closure of the eastbound lane of Gallant Avenue.

After doing its own U-turn on how to manage traffic at the bottom of Gallant Avenue in Deep Cove, the District of North Vancouver says reaction to its one-block pilot project to help local businesses has generally been very positive.

There’s even talk of continuing to close half the street from Panorama Drive to the turn-around near the water’s edge on a seasonal basis.

However, at least one driver is angry that he was ticketed when the district first decided to disallow left turns at the intersection of Gallant and Panorama.

Earlier in the summer, the district blocked off several Gallant Avenue parking spaces to allow eating establishments to set up outdoor tables. This was to compensate for coronavirus protocols restricting how many people can be inside the business at any given time.

However, businesses and residents felt there still wasn’t enough room to follow proper physical distancing protocols, says Courtenay Rannard, communications co-ordinator for the District of North Vancouver. Residents and businesses were worried about the viability of the downtown core. At least one business, Lala’s in the Cove, closed “due to the exhausting challenges of COVID-19.”
“I built LaLa’s on the foundation of casual socialization and amped-up fun at its core. COVID does not support this,” founder Kristina Egyed wrote in a letter to the gift shop’s patrons, while also noting that her sister store on Commercial Drive remains open.


Dear Deep Cove - I love you and I will miss you dearly.⁣ ⁣ Today is the last day that LaLa’s in the Cove is open. It has...

Posted by Lala's Canada on Monday, August 24, 2020

The district decided to close the eastbound lane of Gallant from Panorama Drive to the turnabout to allow for eight patio tables, starting in mid-August.

The original plan was to direct eastbound traffic to turn right onto Panorama Drive and then drive in a U-shape back to the westbound lane of Gallant. A sign went up at Gallant and Panorama saying that left turns were not allowed for anyone other than local residents.

Several drivers were ticketed before the district realized the new system wasn’t working. Not only was it confusing drivers but it made access to the public parking lot on Panorama Drive onerous. Signs were changed to allow both left and right turns at the intersection.

Rannard says the district has contacted the RCMP about the change and asked that tickets be rescinded. Drivers should receive a notice of cancellation.

One of the drivers who was ticketed was Mike Hirschfield. He was in Deep Cove on Sept. 2 as part of his regular route picking up lab samples from dentists’ offices. Not only was he pulled aside when he made a left-hand turn, but three or four other drivers behind him were also given a $121 ticket. “The cop just kept pulling us over, pulling us over,” he told the North Shore News after writing a letter to the editor to complain about the no-left-turn decision.

He is often in Deep Cove and did not notice the no-left-turn sign among the plethora of signs.

Hirschfield’s employer said it would pay the ticket. However, the Burnaby resident wanted to find out if there would also be any demerit points so he went to the ICBC drivers’ services office on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. After a 40-minute wait the first day, he left and returned the next day, both times during work hours. After an hour in line — he’s since learned he could have gone online to book an appointment — he paid the ticket and learned that, as a result of the infraction, he had two demerit points on his driver’s licence.

“It was a real inconvenience,” he says. “I don’t understand why they imposed the no-left-turn in the first place. It’s ludicrous.”

Hirschfield has yet to receive any notification that the ticket has been rescinded. Now he wonders what will be involved to get his company’s money back and ensure the demerit points are also rescinded.

Gallant Avenue outdoor patio Deep Cove
Response to the District of North Vancouver's decision to temporarily close the eastbound lane of Gallant Drive in Deep Cove has been positive. The closure allowed eating establishments that have been negatively affected by pandemic protocols to create a safe outdoor patio area. photo District of North Vancouver

In the meantime, the district continues to engage with Deep Cove residents and businesses about the pilot project.

“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback to date,” Rannard says. The district has yet to decide how long the pilot project will last. “A lot of the responses are indicating that they would like to see this on a seasonal basis.”

The district welcomes feedback about the project. You can share your opinion here.

Martha Perkins is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.