Final details of 2010 Olympic transportation plan unveiled

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Damian Inwood

Getting around Vancouver and Whistler will be very different during the 2010 Olympic Games. Organizers unveiled their transportation plans on Wednesday. Photograph by: Andy Clark file, Reuters

Vancouver 2010 officials unveiled its “life as unusual” transportation plan Wednesday, including details of road closures, parking restrictions and expanded transit.

It also includes a vehicle checkpoint being placed on the Sea-to-Sky Highway from Feb. 11 to 28.

“We expect 150,000 spectator movements on a daily basis in the area around False Creek,” said Terry Wright, 2010’s head of Olympic services.

The area includes B.C. Place, GM Place, the 2010 Athletes’ Village and the two city live sites.

City manager Penny Ballem said that a “know before you go” TravelSmart program will be launched from Oct. 19.

“The goal is to reduce vehicle traffic by 30 per cent, which is about 26,000 vehicles,” she said. “We will have new cycling networks and bike parking in and around the venues.”

She said the two most challenging days were the opening and closing ceremonies on Feb. 12 and Feb. 28.

Wright said in answer to repeated questions, Olympic organizers wanted to stress that:

• No passes are required for downtown Vancouver.

• North Shore crossings and other bridges will be open.

• Olympic lanes will be for accredited vehicles, transit buses and emergency vehicles only from Feb. 4 to Mar. 1.

• Pedestrian corridors will run from noon to midnight, from Feb. 12 to 28. Cross streets will be open and bicycles and pedicabs permitted.

• Highways 1 and 99 will be open during the Games. No permits will be needed on Sea-to-Sky north of Squamish during off-peak hours.

• Phased road closures will start Jan. 1 and run to Mar. 1.

• Parking/stopping restrictions are from Feb. 4 to Mar. 1.

• Temporary truck routes will run Feb. 1 to Mar. 21 and 24-hour deliveries will be allowed Feb. 1 to 28.

Road closures:

Nov. 1, seawall and 1st Avenue at False Creek closes around Olympic Village.

Jan. 4, Abbott Street closure near GM Place.

Jan. 15, Quebec Street closure at Olympic Village.

Jan. 24, Renfrew Street closure a Pacific Coliseum.

Jan. 27, Road closures around Canada Place.

Jan. 29, Expo and Pacific Boulevard closures.

Feb. 1, Midlothian St. closes at Vancouver Olympic Centre at Hillcrest.

Feb. 4, Olympic lanes and stopping/ parking restrictions come into effect.

Feb. 5, Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts close.

Feb. 12, Pedestrian corridors run from noon to midnight.

SkyTrain will have 48 extra cars and a capacity of 14,300 people per hour, running from 5:15 a.m. to 1:15 a.m.

Canada Line will handle 5,400 passengers an hour from 4:50 a.m. to 2:15 a.m.

The new Olympic line streetcar can carry 1,500 people per hour in each direction, running from 6 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.

Transit wil have 180 extra buses. NightBus service will run for 24 hours on select routes and on other routes, the last bus leaves downtown at 3 a.m.

There will be 30 extra HandyDart buses running from 6 a.m. to midnight. People can book up to seven days in advance.

SeaBus will run a third SeaBus from Feb. 8 to 28, handling 2,400 people per hour from 6 a.m. to 2:15 a.m.

West Coast Express will run extra services from 5:30 a.m. to 12:15 a.m. from Feb 12 to 28. There will be three extra trips each weekday, five inbound and four outbound trips on Saturdays, and four inbound and three outbound trips on Sundays.

Waterfront Station will be open and no security checks are required to take transit.

Parts of 900 and 1000 block on Cordova will be temporary loading zones for public.

Provincial transportation officials say that in the event of a major mudslide or rockslide blocks the Sea-to-Sky Highway, there’s a plan for B.C. Ferries to carry Olympic vehicles and passengers docking at Darrell Bay, just outside Squamish.

The Sea-to-Sky Highway road check will be in a highway pull-out where non-permitted vehicles will be stopped and there will be a turnaround area where traffic can be routed back to the highway.

The city is also strengthening Granville Bridge and council will decide later in the year whether it will be included in the truck routes.


Olympic Family Hotel at the Westin Bayshore: There will be no parking on Bayshore Drive, Coal Harbour Quay and parts of Cardero and Nicola Streets.

Canada Hockey Place: Access to Costco off Beatty is being maintained. A pedestrian corridor will be in effect on Beatty between Smithe and Dunsmuir from noon to midnight Feb 12 to 28.

GM Place and B.C. Place: Expo and Pacific Boulevard will be closed for the whole Olympics.

Vancouver Olympic (curling) Centre at Hillcrest: From Feb 12 to 28, Midlothian Avenue, Ontario Street between 28th and 33rd Avenues, Peveril Avenue between Ontario and Dinmont Avenue, and Dinmont Avenue between Midlothian Avenue and Peveril Avenue will all be closed.

Pacific Coliseum: During the Games Renfrew Street between Hastings and McGill will be closed to public vehicles. Pedestrian access to Renfrew Street will be limited to the west sidewalk. Olympic lanes will be on curb lanes on Hastings Street from Boundary to Richards Street.

University of B.C.: There will be graduated road closures around Thunderbird Arena.

Lot B1 and Osborne Centre parking lots will be closed and parking will be restricted on East Mall between 16th Avenue and Agronomy Road and at Wesbrook Mall at the bus stop.

Richmond Oval: River Road between Hollybridge Way will be closed Feb. 2 to Mar. 1.

River Road from Hollybridge Way to Cambie Street will be open to local traffic only.

Richmond Dyke Trail will be closed from No. 2 Road to Hollybridge Way from Feb. 4 to 27.

Cypress Mountain: From Feb. 1 to Mar. 8, Vancouver 2010 will have exclusive use of Cypress Provincial Park. There will be no spectator or public parking. Deer Ridge and StoneCliff residents will have full access to their homes.

Trucks: Deliveries will be permitted downtown round the clock but are recommended from midnight to 6 a.m., alternately frome 6 a.m. to noon.

Temporary truck routes will be in place from Feb.1 to Mar. 21. They will run on Hastings Street from Main to Burrard Streets, Nelson Street from Burrard Street to Cambie Bridge and Smithe Street from Cambie Bridge to Burrard Street.

Dangerous goods will be allowed midnight to 6 a.m. from Jan. 26 to Mar. 4.

Olympic Departure Hubs: Spectators going to Cypress Mountain will get buses from SFU Burnaby, Capilano University and Lonsdale Quay.

Those going to Whistler Olympic Park and Whistler Sliding Centre will get buses from BCIT in Burnaby and Lonsdale Quay and those going to Whistler Creekside wil go from Langara College.

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