No, Vancouver did not apply stickers that read '15-minute City Ready' on slow streets gateways

By: Annet Preethi Furtado
May 9 2023

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No, Vancouver did not apply stickers that read '15-minute City Ready' on slow streets gateways


The Verdict False

While Vancouver is planning accessible communities, it did not place '15-minute City Ready' labels on street gates or traffic-calming tools.

Claim ID e5a4d1fa


Photos of "15-minute City Ready" stickers affixed to yellow concrete traffic-calming tools on roads in Vancouver, Canada, are being extensively shared on social media. This has been cited in numerous posts as evidence that Vancouver's yellow speed-reduction gateways are an element of the 15-minute city proposals. The pictures of these yellow concrete blocks with stickers have also prompted conspiracy theories, with some suggesting the stickers contain a subliminal message. Commenters on such Facebook posts questioned the rationale behind people constructing their prisons and blindly following orders from superiors, alleging this was the case in the past. These commenters have pointed to the goal of city councils to create 15-minute cities in which all necessary amenities are within reach, and travel is minimized, similar to the restrictions on movement during lockdowns. 

In Fact

Logically Facts contacted the City of Vancouver to comment on the "15-minute City Ready" stickers allegedly found on yellow concrete traffic-calming tools. Fiona Hughes, a Senior Communications Specialist at Transportation Engineering Services for the City of Vancouver, spoke with Logically Facts and stated that the city did not apply these unauthorized stickers to their slow streets gateways. Hughes also said, "The City will be removing all unsanctioned stickers on our Slow Streets gateways, including the 15-minute City ones."

In addition, Hughes provided further clarification about the slow streets initiative. She explained that this program was launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to exercise and provide easier access to local businesses in Vancouver's neighborhoods. The yellow gateways, seen in the images of the "15-minute City Ready" stickers, are a part of the slow streets initiative and reduce vehicle speeds. Hughes further explained, "The gateways create a pinch point where Slow Streets meet major streets, allowing only one direction of vehicle traffic at a time. Drivers will be required to slow down as they enter the neighborhood but are not prohibited from using these streets. The Slow Streets initiative also supports Vancouver's goals of increasing active travel and making it safer and more convenient to get around by walking, cycling, or rolling."

While the city is implementing completely walkable neighborhoods close to daily needs, similar to 15-minute cities, Hughes stressed that the administration did not apply these stickers. These gateways are not connected to the 15-minute city plans.

The stickers' origins remain unknown but have led to concerns and conspiracy theories. Nonetheless, there is no evidence that cities that adopt this initiative aim to impose lockdowns, detain citizens, or prevent them from leaving their local areas. Logically Facts has already addressed and refuted allegations that the 15-minute city plan will hinder individuals' mobility.

The Verdict

The purpose of the yellow gateways in Vancouver is to decrease speed and are not related to the city's 15-minute city plan or any other conspiracy theories. The spokesperson clarified that the city did not approve the placement of "15-minute City Ready" stickers on the gateways and will remove them. Therefore, we have marked the claim as false.

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