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Rest of the World, Vancouver — By thevancouverguide on November 10, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Getting Around Vancouver During the 2010 Winter Olympics

You’d better start planning now if you are driving into Vancouver during the 2010 Winiter Olympic Games.¬† The collective of VANOC, Translink, BC Transit, Ministry of Transport, Vancouver, Whistler and the 2010 Integrated Security Unit has¬†released its transportation plan for the Games.¬† Vancouverites and visitors are urged to take transit, walk or cycle, carpool or rideshare in order to get around the city come February 1, 2010.¬†DSC09983

From Feb 4 to Mar 1, 2010¬†a network of Olympic lanes will mean the closure of some of the city’s busiest streets and viaducts. Curb lanes will be restricted to security vehicles, buses and cars with VANOC issued vehicle access and parking permits.¬† Some areas, such as First Avenue behind the Olympic Village are already closed, but most closures wil begin January 1 to March 1 including Renfrew from Hastings to McGill (Jan 24) and the Georgia and Dunsmuir St. viaducts (Feb 5).

Two¬† noon to midnight pedestrian only corridors will connect the Yaletown and downtown live sites.¬† Robson St. will close from BC Place to Bute and Granville from Smithe to Cordova.¬† A large area of the False Creek’s east end will be fenced off including BC Place Stadium and GM Place and the southern half of the Vancouver Olympic Village.DSC08497

Merchants and commuters are already concerned about the closures.  And for anyone planning to drive into Vancouver during the Games be forewarned of these restrictions.

In addition to the city closures, traffic is not allowed on the Sea to Sky Highway beyond Squamish unless with a residents permit or VANOC permit.  People attending the Winter Games events in Whistler will be bused to the venues.  But the buses are already fully booked.  In Whistler there is a lack of parking.  A checkpoint will be set up at Alice Lake, north of Squamish, and only vehicles with permits will be allowed to pass northbound between 6 am and 6 pm.

Street closures will begin mid January around venues like Queen Elizabeth Park (curling) and the Pacific Coliseum (figure skating).  A number of downtown streets will be closed for security reasons including the Georgia and Dunsmuir viaducts and Pacific and Expo Boulevards.  Robson and Granville Streets will become pedestrian malls from noon to midnight.  There will be 24 hour no stopping restrictions and parking restriction on most downtown streets as well as dedicated Olympic lanes between venues.DSC05013

People are asked to avoid all travel in peak  hours from Feb 12 РMar 1, 2010.  For downtown Vancouver that is 7 Р9 am and 2 Р7 pm.  For the Sea to Sky Hwy northbound, 6 am Р6 pm.  None of the bridges will have a designated Olympic lane.  Olympic vehicles will use the queue-jumper lane on the Lions Gate Bridge and a fast track entrance on the Ironworkers Second Narrows Memorial Bridge.  No special vehicle permits are needed to enter the downtown area.

Downtown will be swarming with visitors, street performers and there will be lots of free entertainment.  Bars and restaurants will be open for longer hours.  So find a place to park your car, take transit instead, and enjoy the celebrations!DSC09982

For Street Closures and Transit Information 

PHOTOS by W. Ruth Kozak


  • Renate says:

    Thanks for the info, Ruth. This will help when friends come to visit – our chance to take public transit……I do like the idea of Robson and Granville being pedestrian malls – let’s see how it works – might be a model for the future?

  • Thanks for your response, Renate. I do hope this info is useful for visitors to Vancouver.

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