Citizens urged to keep travelling smart as changes to the road network remain for Paralympic Winter GamesVancouver, BC
– The Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) today thanked the people of Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky regions for making the 2010 integrated Olympic transportation plan a success, while urging people to keep traveling smart in view of changes to the transportation network for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games.
Transportation planners – charged with one of the most complex and critical elements of the Games – set the lofty goal of achieving at least a 30 per cent reduction in vehicle use during the Olympic Games, in order to ensure athletes, officials and others could get to their events on time and local residents could move efficiently.
Throughout the Games, Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor saw record numbers of people walking, cycling and taking transit, and an overall reduction in vehicle use.* In particular, vehicle use was reduced by an average of more than 35 per cent each day. In addition, TransLink, the public transit operator in Metro Vancouver, moved an average of 1.5 million people per day during the Games, an increase from 730,000 trips per day, while BC Transit, the public transportation provider in the Sea to Sky corridor, saw five times the ridership on the public transit system over normal winter levels.Paralympic transportation plansVenues
Building on this success, the OPTT is reminding the public to continue to ‘travel smart’ during the Paralympic Winter Games. While most road networks have been returned to normal, some closures and parking restrictions remain around Paralympic venues during the transition to and throughout the Paralympic Games. These areas include UBC Thunderbird Arena, the Vancouver Paralympic Centre, Paralympic Village Vancouver and BC Place (for March 12 Opening Ceremony). In Whistler, these areas include Whistler Creekside and Paralympic Village Whistler. The public is asked to continue to use sustainable modes of transportation throughout the month of March 2010 and beyond. Details of the 2010 integrated Paralympic transportation plan are outlined in the attached fact sheet.*
“We were very happy with the transportation choices that everyone made during the Olympic Winter Games,,” Penny Ballem, city manager of the City of Vancouver said on behalf of the OPTT. “With fewer changes to the road network during the Paralympic Winter Games, we encourage residents, commuters and visitors to continue to leave their vehicles behind and walk, cycle or take transit to get around during this period.”
“It’s important we ensure our Paralympic athletes and other guests have a smooth, positive experience here during the Games,” added Terry Wright, VANOC executive vice president, services and Games operations. “With road closures, parking restrictions and increased volumes around Paralympic Games venues, traveling smart is still the way to go and everyone should know before they go.”Paralympic Torch relay and Opening Ceremony March 11 and 12
The public is also reminded the Paralympic torch relay will be underway in downtown Vancouver from 2 pm on March 11 to 2 pm on March 12. The current proposed route is a loop that will involve areas along Robson, Granville and Smithe Streets. Traffic will continue to flow on most major streets, however, there will be road closures and restrictions to vehicle traffic along a few blocks of Robson, Smithe, Granville and Bute. Other cross streets will remain open with rolling intermittent road closures as the torch runs past. Commuters are advised to find alternate routes and modes of transportation around the Robson Square area for March 11 and 12.
In addition, temporary road closures and pedestrian corridors will be in place in downtown Vancouver on March 12 to support the Paralympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony at BC Place. Cambie Bridge, as well as portions of Beatty Street and Robson Street will be closed for most of the day on March 12, so driving will be challenging. Up to date information will be made available on the Host City website through travelsmart2010.ca,so that everyone can plan ahead.Other transportation highlights
- Public transportation service will reflect the anticipated number of transit riders during the Paralympic Games, with event level service planned to serve Paralympic venues in Vancouver, and the Games Express service continuing in Whistler.
- Paralympic Games event tickets include access to public transit for the day of the event.
- Olympic lanes removed in Vancouver as of March 2, though a temporary Paralympic lane will remain on Highway 99 in Whistler from Function Junction to the Village.
- Sea to Sky traffic checkpoint removed as of March 1; no permits required to travel north of Squamish.
- Lane demarcations on Highway 99 will be removed between March 1 and 5.
For the most up-to-date transportation information, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca
.About the OPTT
Members of the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) are VANOC, the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, TransLink, BC Transit, the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. Planning is also supported by other partners, including Transport Canada and the municipalities of Richmond and West Vancouver.More...