City transportation engineer Steve Brown found a graph from a 1976 report that shows the number of vehicles entering and leaving downtown for 1960 and 1976.
When I plot our current volumes on this, it is slightly higher than 1960 and lower than 1976. So I approximated a date of 1965 that would be similar volumes for vehicles entering the downtown.
The background chart (black lines) is from the 1976 report on Transportation. The volumes I added (green and brown lines) are from our 2010 fall screenline count of the downtown, October 2010.
Conclusion: there is about the same amount of traffic in Downtown Vancouver (with more than double the population and twice the jobs) as there was in 1965.
Here’s what Vancouver looked like then (from bizzy63’s photostream).