Vancouver 2010 Street Closures and Transportation Concepts

Comments 19 by Rebecca Bollwitt

You can find Celebration of Light road closure info here.

One thing I love about not owning a car and living downtown is that I can get pretty much anywhere I need to go either by walking or on transit. Buses, SkyTrains, West Coast Express, and my own two legs can be relied upon whenever inter-urban travel is necessary. There is much room for improvement (although not when it comes to my legs, I don’t think) so bearing this in mind you can now view the transportation concepts for the 2010 Olympic Games online.

the City of Vancouver has released a map of temporary changes to the city’s road network leading up to and during the two week event.

The temporary changes will include pedestrian-only areas, security zones, on-street parking limitations, and priority lanes for Olympic traffic.

The city plans to make pedestrian malls out of parts of Granville, Robson, Mainland, and Hamilton streets in the downtown core, and create priority lanes for Olympic traffic on Broadway, Hastings, West Georgia, Seymour and Howe streets.

Over the next month, the city staff members intend to meet with business, transportation and community groups to discuss the effects of the changes. [CBC]

With the Canada Line nearing completion, a need for more (frequent) sustainable travel options in the Eastern cities and the call for More Buses Now, how do you think Vancouver’s transportation plan will fare when we host the world in February of 2010?

Update March 11, 2009: Official Road Plan for 2010

“Organizers of the 2010 Oympics unveiled on Wednesday an ambitious transportation plan that involves major road and bridge closures, expanded transit capacity and a plea to the public to ditch their cars and use alternative methods to get around.” [Source: CBC] You can view the entire plan here (pdf).

Update July 2009, 2009:

Update October 14th, 2009: The transportation and road plans for the 2010 Games were finalized today. Check out TravelSmart2010 for more information.

Update January 7th, 2010:
Olympic Lanes soon go into effect:

Designated Olympic Lanes for TransLink buses and Olympic accredited vehicles will be in place from February 4 to March 1, 2010 for 24 hours, 7 days a week. Olympic Lanes in Vancouver will be in the curb, or right-hand lane during this period at the following locations:

  • Burrard St, Burrard Bridge to Pender St
  • Seymour St, Granville Bridge to Hastings St
  • Howe St, Hastings St to Granville Bridge
  • Pender St, Cambie St to Howe St
  • Cambie St, Cambie Bridge to 59th Ave
  • Broadway, Arbutus St to Commercial Dr
  • Georgia St, Richards St to the Stanley Park Causeway
  • Hastings St, Seymour St to Boundary Rd
  • All cars stopped/parked in Olympic Lanes or parking restricted areas between February 4 to March 1, 2010 will be fined $100 plus an automatic tow.

    I have also published a guide to taking bus transportation from February to March, 2010.

    Update January 25th, 2010:
    Here are some maps outlining the Opening & Closing Ceremonies closures.

    Visit this website to download larger versions of each map.

    Current Contests on Miss604
    *All contests are open to residents of Canada only, unless otherwise stated. Contest timelines are published on each individual post along with entry methods. Some contests may only be open to those 19 years of age and older. Winners are announced on the contest blog posts. Contest policy »

    19 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

    1. DarrenTuesday, November 25th, 2008 — 4:17pm PST

      That map is a little disappointing. I downloaded the PDF, hoping for a more granular view, but it’s pretty much entirely devoid of street names.

      It’s academic these days, but I was curious as to whether our former office at Quebec and East 2nd fell inside the exclusion zone. I think it’s across the street, but it’s a little hard to tell.

    2. Stephen ReesTuesday, November 25th, 2008 — 4:50pm PST

      I think it is all a bit of an over reaction to a two week sporting festival. BUT Vancouver really needs pedestrian only streets. We do not have any, but most places in the world have – and they work very well indeed to make cities civilised places. Indeed I have started a flickr group called Places Without Cars to collect images of such places. If I were an optimist, I would say that good experience with street closures (like Car Free Days) would move us towards permanent closures. But of course the DVBIA and its allies would say that 2 weeks experience proves nothing.

    3. MartyTuesday, November 25th, 2008 — 6:59pm PST

      Vancouver does NOT need pedestrian only streets. We have some of the worst congestion anywhere in the world. Permanently closing lanes and streets to cars will only lead to more congestion on the streets that remain open, and in turn increase pollution.

      The longer you sit in congested traffic with your engine running, the more you are polluting. For example a trip over the causeway and onto the Lions gate bridge takes about 5 minutes if you are lucky enough to have 2 lanes in your direction. However if you try to make the same trip when there is only one lane available in your direction, it can take you upwards of 15 minutes. So when you only have one lane that part of your trip takes 3 times longer than usual. It could therefore be argued that when you cross that bridge when there is only one lane in your direction you are creating 3 times as much pollution as you would have if you had crossed the bridge when there was 2 lanes available. By closing certain lanes and streets to traffic throughout downtown we will only be creating more scenarios like the lions gate bridge, where there is a lot of traffic but only a small number of lanes available to deal with this traffic.

      Ideally everyone would be able to afford to live in an apartment or condo downtown that is close to their office or places of work. This way they could walk or take the bus to work, etc. However this is not reality. Most people can only afford to live in the suburbs and need a car to do things like drive their kids to school, buy groceries for an entire family, and of course drive to work, which when you live in the suburbs is a lot further away than a short bus ride down the street.

    4. UrbanWorkbenchTuesday, November 25th, 2008 — 7:39pm PST

      Some interesting comments on a city hailed for it’s livability! Vancouver deserves the reputation it has as a great place, but there are many streets that could be radically improved with judicious closures, perhaps at certain times of the day when pedestrians should dominate the streetscape.

      Transportation in Vancouver for suburbanites is bad no matter which way you look at it – and this proposal for the two Olympic weeks is going to make things crazy. I was in Sydney for the 2000 festivities, schools, universities and many businesses closed or scaled back operations, the public spaces used for the Sydney Olympics were designed to be relatively car free to start with, (not in the middle of downtown!), so they didn’t have the problems that the density of Vancouver’s downtown has.

      It will be interesting to see what the business community has to say!

    5. vancouver limousineTuesday, November 25th, 2008 — 8:58pm PST

      somewhat agree with Marty. our streets are already crowded and it’s gridlocked downtown most of the day.

      personally, not looking forward to the street closures.

    6. ChrisTuesday, November 25th, 2008 — 11:20pm PST

      I’m looking forward to the car-free aspect of the Olympics and hope they permanently close some streets to traffic after the Olympics.

    7. Tyler IngramWednesday, November 26th, 2008 — 6:16am PST

      Wish the West Coast Express went all day long but CP won’t allow them track time. So its East to West in the morning and then at like 330 West to East until about 7pm? Then they also have the Train bus. Lol i know people who fall asleep and end up in Mission missing their stop. Luckily for them the Train bus brings em back if need be.

    8. DaveOMonday, December 1st, 2008 — 2:00pm PST

      No doubt to me that Vancouver needs more buses, rails, light rails, trolleys, ferries, etc. *and* needs more streets closed to traffic starting with Water St., and safe, extensive, lit bike lanes everywhere.

      Commuters coming from the suburbs (i ride an hour each way from Upper Lynn Valley and grew up in Whalley pre-Skytrain) should park in dense garages or (preferably) use park and ride lots (a dream i know).

      Really the solution is working closer to living space, more transit options which are comfortable, efficient, and economical – right now riding transit during busy periods is none-of-the-above.

    9. Weekend Link Fest: The Big Leagues » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittSaturday, March 14th, 2009 — 4:11pm PDT

      […] the 2010 transportation plans announced for the region many fear there simply won’t be enough buses or reliable service (in other […]

    10. Surrey 2010 Celebration Site » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittMonday, December 14th, 2009 — 4:17pm PST

      […] it’s super easy to get to and you won’t have to worry about driving through “red zones” or finding a meter to park [Google […]

    11. Lynda BakerWednesday, January 6th, 2010 — 3:48pm PST

      I am handicapped and have MS and need my car to drive as I am unable to walk. I live on the North Shore and my Vet is on 4th Ave in Vancouver and I hope I am going to be able to get there if needed when the olympics are on. I also go to movies at Tinseltown because of the easy access for me the handicapped parking and we don’t have shows during the day on the North Shore. Are we going to be able to access the underground parking for Tinseltown when the games are on from Pender Street. And what about the bridge are we going to be able to come and go over the bridge because I am dependent on my car this has caused me alot of worry and stress wondering how I am going to be able to get around. I am a senior and have a homesupport worker who lives in the West End and drives over on a Sat for the day and thinks he won’t be able to make it when the games are on also. If there is someone that can give me some answers I would appreciate it.

      Thanks Lynda Baker

    12. Vancouver 2010 Bus Schedules and Transportation » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittThursday, January 7th, 2010 — 10:45am PST

      […] night John was looking over street closures during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and trying to figure out his new public transit route to work. I […]

    13. This sucksMonday, January 11th, 2010 — 4:37pm PST

      This map is too retardedly small, adn the street names are not listed
      why is there not a list of the street names and what they will be?!?
      all these closures are ridiculous, how am I supposed to get to work, especailly when the parking lot of my work wont be accessable, adn there is no bus

    14. Miss604Monday, January 11th, 2010 — 4:39pm PST

      Hi there, each map posted here is click-able and is either linked to a) a bigger image or b) the source website from VANOC or Translink where you can find more information.

    15. This sucksMonday, January 11th, 2010 — 4:57pm PST

      as Darren stated the larger PDF file is no help at all

    16. This sucksMonday, January 11th, 2010 — 5:07pm PST

      thanks anyways miss604, these road closures are extreamly frustrating for people who need to get around and can’t afford to live downtown. Buses are not convinient and it was already annouced that here will be 2-3 hour lines at all skytrains stations. >.<

    17. Vancouver 2010 Pavilions & Hospitality Houses » Vancouver Blog Miss 604 by Rebecca BollwittMonday, January 25th, 2010 — 10:28am PST

      […] the Cultural Olympiad My Bus and Transportation Options My post about the Olympic Line Streetcar My Street Closures and Transportion Concepts post My posts from Switzerland including the Olympic Museum My posts tagged “Pavilions” All […]

    18. JennyMonday, January 25th, 2010 — 6:05pm PST

      Oh well it’s only for a couple of weeks.

      @Marty most major cities have some great pedestrian only areas. Stuttgart is one that comes to mind. But they also have a great transportation system (which includes public bicycles at the train stations) to back it up.

    19. ShaunaThursday, January 28th, 2010 — 3:42pm PST

      I can appreciate the going green, leaving cars at home and all that jazz, but until they make transit viable for people who work outside the 9 to 5 hours its all hogwash. I start work at 5:30am in East Van. Do you think I can find any transit that can get me to from the North Shore to Vancouver. Not on your life!!! Not to mention what takes me 15mins to drive is over an hour on transit. Until that changes driving is the only option.

    Also on