North Van and Squamish Nation halt Lower Capilano Road shortcut to Lions Gate

Drivers who use the Squamish Nation’s Xwemelch'stn (Capilano 5 Reserve) as a shortcut to sneak around afternoon Lions Gate Bridge-bound traffic have lost their rat run.

The District of North Vancouver, at the request of the Squamish Nation council, has banned left turns from Lower Capilano Road onto Marine Drive from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. (Left turns were already prohibited during the morning rush hour.)

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The restrictions are intended to discourage non-resident through-traffic from using Welch Street and Lower Capilano Road to bypass traffic when Marine Drive backs up, according to a release from the band. The nation conducted a traffic study before coming up with the recommendation.

“Over the years, the Squamish Nation has seen a steady increase in commuter traffic trespassing through the Capilano reserve, which is putting our community’s safety at risk. By introducing these new restrictions on left turns from the reserve onto Marine Drive, the Squamish Nation is taking steps to address safety concerns and help to ensure the protection of our members and their families,” the release stated.

Getting caught violating the new no-left-turn restrictions will result in a $121 fine plus two points on a driver’s record for disobeying a traffic control sign.

According to North Vancouver RCMP, 14 drivers have been ticketed with 20 traffic charges at the intersection in 2019, most of them since targeted enforcement began in July.

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