Olympic transport plan brings more road closures



Forget about parking or driving anywhere near the venues during the 2010 Winter Olympics next month.

And don’t try to take your vehicle downtown.

That’s the advice from organizers who today unveiled the final version of the Olympic transportation plan, which closes more roads on select high-volume days.

The Cambie Street Bridge and two blocks of Beatty Street downtown will close from noon to midnight on Feb. 10, 12 and 28 and on the Paralympic opening ceremony night of Mar. 12.

That will open pedestrian space for the estimated 100,000 spectators, visitors, media and performers expected to flood the downtown core those nights.

Feb. 10 will be a dress rehearsal and transportation dry run for the Olympic opening ceremonies two days later.

“We need every resident, commuter and employer in the Games region to pull together and adjust their transportation routines to make these Games a success,” said Terry Wright, Vanoc’s executive vice-president of services and Games operations.

The temporary road closures on some of the busiest days of the Olympics are needed to ensure a positive experience for all, he said.

They come in addition to other previously announced road closures and parking restrictions in the City of Vancouver.

Olympic-only lanes for athletes, officials, media and buses, will also be designated in the curb lanes of some major corridors in Vancouver – including parts of Hastings, Cambie, Broadway and Georgia – and on approaches to the Lions Gate and Iron Workers Memorial bridges, as well as the Sea-to-Sky Highway.

A number of downtown Vancouver streets will close at noon each day starting Feb. 12 to become pedestrian corridors.

Also planned are rolling road closures as the Olympic torch relay crisscrosses the Lower Mainland from Feb. 7-11.

Motorists trying to drive to Whistler will be turned back at Alice Lake unless they have a permit proving they have somewhere to park.

Detailed maps and more information on getting around during the Olympics can be found at www.travelsmart2010.ca.

The bulk of travel to downtown is expected to be via public transit and TransLink says it will have 160 extra buses, 48 more SkyTrain cars and a third SeaBus in service to deal with an expected 30 per cent increase in demand.

Rapid transit will run at maximum frequency and for extended hours, and a network of night buses that extend service through the night after SkyTrain shuts down.

But the separate Olympic Bus Network, to carry ticket holders from Metro Vancouver to events at Cypress Mountain and Whistler, is so far undersubscribed.

Officials say about 40 per cent of the expected number of tickets have been sold.

Olympic ticket holders also have free use of regular public transit.

Between transit, walking, biking, shifting commutes to off-peak times or working from home, Vanoc and TransLink hope to achieve a 30 per cent drop in the number of normal car trips across the region.

“People have got the message and they’re making their plans,” said TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie.

“Alternatives like working from home – that can make a huge difference to traffic volumes in the downtown area or in those corridors where we’ll have the Olympic bus lanes.”



EXPANDED TRANSIT

Increased West Coast Express service runs Feb. 12-28

Night buses runs Feb. 1-28

Expo and Millennium SkyTrain lines add extra runs to 2:15 a.m. Feb. 12-28

Third SeaBus in service, providing sailings every 10 minutes Feb. 8-28

Just Posted

Three-year-old takes selfless steps to raise funds in honour of his brother

A Maple Ridge family holds strong together as a family unit through a tough year

UPDATE: One dead after house fire in rural Maple Ridge

Dewdney Trunk Road closed, traffic being re-routed

Salvation Army will help 500-plus students with school supplies

Ridge Meadows Ministries taking registrations and raising funds

Coles-Lyster hits podium during Superweek

Maple Ridge cyclist to compete at Pan American Games

Sands wins another grueling uphill race

Maple Ridge woman holds record for the Grouse Grind

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Most Read