Public reminded to travel smart as thousands expected in downtown Vancouver
on February 28 as the 2010 Olympic Winter Games come to a close

VANCOUVER, Feb. 24 /CNW/ - With large crowds anticipated to join in Olympic-related festivities in Vancouver's downtown on Sunday, February 28 - the final day of the Games - measures have been taken to facilitate the flow of traffic and pedestrians and to provide numerous celebration locations.

    
    Road Restrictions
    -----------------

    -   Cambie Street Bridge being temporarily closed between 8:00 am and
        midnight for the Closing Ceremony of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic
        Winter Games.
    -   This major city thoroughfare will remain open to pedestrians and
        cyclists during the temporary bridge closure, which is four hours
        earlier than the noon closure implemented on February 10 and 12.
    -   Beatty Street (between Smithe and Dunsmuir) and Robson Street
        (between Cambie and Beatty) will also temporarily close to vehicles
        and have limited access for pedestrians during this time period, 8:00
        am to midnight.
    -   These earlier closures are required to support the Olympic Closing
        Ceremony and the movement of 600 to 700 motorcoaches, a dozen
        motorcades and tens of thousands of spectators, media, athletes,
        volunteers, and headline performers involved in the ceremony.
    -   Although record numbers of people are continuing to use public
        transit, several streets in the downtown area - in particular
        Hastings Street - are experiencing traffic congestion. Everyone is
        encouraged to continue to use sustainable modes of transportation and
        leave vehicles at home.

    Celebration Locations
    ---------------------

    -   For those not attending the ceremony or the gold medal match of the
        men's ice hockey tournament, which also takes place on February 28,
        other activities are available:
        -  Robson Square and LiveCity Yaletown will broadcast the ceremony on
           large outdoor screens
        -  Tens of thousands are expected along the Vancouver waterfront to
           watch the extinguishing of the Vancouver 2010 cauldron at Jack
           Poole Plaza, signifying the official end to the 2010 Olympic
           Winter Games.

    Safety reminder for pedestrians and drivers:
    --------------------------------------------
    -   The general public are asked to take extra care in their travels, no
        matter what mode of transport they choose.
    -   Vehicles and cyclists are reminded to slow down, be prepared for new
        traffic measures and drive with extra care given changes to the road
        network and the increase in foot traffic in the downtown core.
    -   Closed roadways may still be used by venue traffic, therefore
        pedestrians should stay off roadways and remain on safe, dedicated
        pedestrian routes such as sidewalks, seaside paths and specially
        designated pedestrian corridors.

    Important `Know Before You Go' Tips
    -----------------------------------

    Residents, drivers and visitors are encouraged to 'know before they go'
and prepare for increased volumes:
    -   Leave the car behind for the remainder of the Games and in particular
        on February 27 and 28: Parking and stopping restrictions will still
        be in effect on many streets downtown, and more people will be moving
        around the downtown core.
    -   Allow for more travel time: Wait times on public transit out of the
        downtown in the afternoon peak of 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm will be longer
        than usual.
    -   Be in your seat: Spectators with ceremony tickets are asked to be in
        their seats no later than 3:30 pm on February 28. The final hockey
        game will be broadcast inside BC Place beginning at 1:30 pm.
    -   Visit the official spectator guide at www.vancouver2010.com/guide/ to
        find out more about accessible drop-off locations and accessible
        routes from transit stations for people with mobility challenges.
    -   Use dedicated pedestrian routes: Pedestrian corridors on streets such
        as Granville and Robson will continue to operate on February 28. At
        noon, some or all of the road space will become pedestrian only areas
        until midnight.
    -   Watch out for bus traffic: Approximately 600 to 700 motorcoaches and
        hundreds of transit buses will travel and/or park on many downtown
        streets between 8:00 am and midnight on February 28.
    

"The final day of the Olympic Winter Games is expected to be one of the busiest we've experienced so far. We expect the crowds in the downtown core to be large, given the excitement we've witnessed so far in Vancouver during the Games," said Terry Wright, executive vice president of services and Games operations of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), on behalf of the Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT). "We greatly appreciate the support of the citizens of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland who have made these Games successful by leaving the car behind and choosing sustainable modes of transportation."

"Come downtown to celebrate this weekend but don't bring your car, in particular on Sunday, February 28 - take transit, walk or cycle and plan ahead for extra travel time," added Penny Ballem, city manager, City of Vancouver. "We all need to work together to make the Closing Ceremony and the festivities that night a success for all, from families to spectators to the athletes. With large crowds, we also ask that people continue to celebrate responsibly and in a safe manner by being mindful of others on our streets."

For the most up-to-date transportation information during the Games, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca. The website portal directs users to the appropriate OPTT member website for the information they are seeking, such as the City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, TransLink, BC Transit, or VANOC.

Travelling on Monday, March 1, 2010

The public is reminded that travelling into downtown Vancouver or to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on Monday, March 1 - the first day after the Games end - will not be business as usual.

The airport is preparing for record crowds as 39,000 Olympians, officials, media, visitors and other passengers catch flights home. Passengers are advised to arrive at the airport up to four hours in advance of their flight. Most of the Games-time road closures in the city will also remain in place so commuters should continue to travelsmart.

For the most up-to-date transportation information, including public transit options to the airport, visit www.travelsmart2010.ca and www.yvr.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.

SOURCE VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-1611, E-mail: mediarelations@vancouver2010.com; City of Vancouver, Corporate Communications, (604) 871-6336; Jessica Delaney, Resort Municipality of Whistler, (604) 935-8104, jdelaney@whistler.ca; Ken Hardie, TransLink, (604) 453-4606; Joanna Morton, BC Transit, (250) 995-5720, joanna_morton@bctransit.com; Dave Crebo, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, (250) 387-7787; V2010 ISU Public Affairs, (604) 247-8600; Transport Canada Communications, Pacific Region, (604) 666-1675; Brent Dozzi, District of West Vancouver, (604) 925-7157; Diana Waltmann, City of Richmond, (604) 204-8664, dwaltmann@richmond.ca

Organization Profile

VANCOUVER ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2010 OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC WINTER GAMES

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