When you’re a fresh driver it can be a challenge to find appropriate driving practice areas without worrying too much about other traffic…
…somewhere you can simply work on controlling your vehicle and getting used to things in a gradual way with potentially low stress levels.
Over the years I have found some spots that I like.
For a new driver who has never driven before (once you’ve graduated from the parking lot if applicable) and wants to practice basic car control, stop signs, hidden stop signs, basic right of way rules for driving.
Burnaby Heights residential area
One of the problems with this area is some of the streets are very narrow with parked vehicles.
However, it’s pretty quiet. I surmise that the only people driving here are people who live here, or are going to church here.
So avoid at first or drive very very slowly, they require a lot more steering than you may originally think! (1 km/hr).
I really like this small square because it is very quiet
You don’t really have a large area to work with and may end up driving in circles (squares)… but it’s good for fresh drivers wanting to just get a feel for things without worrying about pesky other humans.
It is surrounded by high intensity roads like Granville, so make sure you know where your edges are. Doesn’t seem like much forgiveness on them roads.
more non-stressful driving practice areas
Can’t forget North Van driving practice areas near the Sutherland high school
This area can be somewhat busier than the others but is generally good; busy around school hours, it’s much quieter on weekends.
There are also very glorious driving practice areas around 25th and Arbutus in beautiful Vancouver
This is perfect for a brand-new driver as it is super quiet, generally
Once those areas are too easy, then you can graduate to similar driving practice areas that have more traffic, like this area of Burnaby:
Burnaby: Gilmore/Hastings area
Much busier, but similar to the other areas in terms of types of intersections.
It gets busy in rush hour but can be quite nice on the weekends and evenings.
Once this is too easy, then you can graduate to any other area that has similar types of intersections
And once you’re bored of that, maybe you’re ready for a busier street?
If it is your first time ever trying a main road (busy street with multiple lanes) one of my favorites is King Edward Ave in Vancouver.
It is long, it is generally wide, and generally divided so oncoming traffic is a lot further away from you. This is simply more relaxing for both driver and passenger.
And you can keep going in both directions to the very end and find yourself with easy access to residential areas where you can turn around or stop.
It’s good for practicing traffic light anticipation, lane changing, and all of that exciting stuff that goes along with it. Of course, there are a thousand other roads that would work well also. This is a bit random, but do you need to brush up on your Blind Spots in a Car?
Read more: Turning Corners Not Awesome? How To Stop Cutting Corners and Turning Wide. This can be useful for people trying to teach someone else how to drive.