TravelSmart 2010 Update: Start planning to leave vehicles behind for 2010
Winter Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies

VANCOUVER, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - The Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) released the third and final phase of its 2010 Winter Games integrated transportation plan today, outlining temporary street closures planned in the City of Vancouver on February 10, 12 and 28 and March 12. The closures are necessary to help ensure successful ceremonies.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games on February 12 and 28 and the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Winter Games on March 12 will create unique transportation challenges when an estimated 100,000 spectators, visitors, reporters and TV crews, volunteers, and performers fill the City of Vancouver's downtown core.

A dress rehearsal and transportation dry run of the Olympic Opening Ceremony logistics involving thousands of performers, stage and production crews, as well as volunteers, will be held on February 10.

Temporary street closures

To support the movement of athletes, performers, media, and spectators on these dates, the Cambie Street Bridge and Beatty Street (between Smithe and Georgia) will temporarily close between noon and midnight on February 10, 12 and 28 and March 12, but will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists. There will also be significant motorcoach activity on many downtown streets between noon and midnight. The public is asked to carefully consider their travel plans on these dates and to participate in the success of these signature events by not bringing their vehicles into the downtown.

"We need every resident, commuter and employer in the Games region to pull together and adjust their transportation routines to make these Games a success," Terry Wright, executive vice president of services and Games operations of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC), said on behalf of the OPTT.

"These temporary road closures in downtown Vancouver on some of the busiest days of the 2010 Winter Games will ensure all of our guests, spectators, international dignitaries, and the world's best winter athletes come away with a positive welcoming experience not only of the Games but also of Vancouver, British Columbia and Canada as a whole," he continued.

Dr. Penny Ballem, city manager for the City of Vancouver, added: "A reminder that the best way to get where you need to go and avoid delays is by planning ahead, avoiding peak travel times and knowing your transportation options now before you step out the door in February and March 2010."

More transportation information

The public can read up on transportation options at www.travelsmart2010.ca to learn how they can help reduce traffic congestion throughout the Games by removing one in three vehicles from streets in Vancouver's downtown core. This could mean taking public transit, walking or cycling to the office. It could also mean teleworking or changing work hours to avoid the Games-time peak travel times of 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm from February 12 to March 1.

The OPTT will also hold a transportation information open house on Wednesday, January 13 from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm at 800 Robson Street (Robson Square). The public is encouraged to attend and ask questions of the 2010 transportation team. For more information, visit www.vancouver2010.com/gameplan.

About the 2010 Winter Games integrated transportation plan

The 2010 Winter Games integrated transportation plan is based on the need to transport athletes, officials and all Games participants safely, reliably and efficiently throughout the Host Region, while also taking into consideration the transportation needs of local residents, businesses and visitors.

This final phase builds on information released in March and October 2009 and communicated in host communities on an ongoing basis. It includes information related to the 2010 Winter Games Ceremonies and the arrival of the Olympic Flame in Vancouver.

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.

About VANOC

VANOC is responsible for the planning, organizing, financing and staging of the XXI Olympic Winter Games and the Paralympic Winter Games in 2010. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games will be staged in Vancouver and Whistler from February 12 to 28, 2010. Vancouver and Whistler will host the Paralympic Winter Games from March 12 to 21, 2010. Visit www.vancouver2010.com.

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

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Jennifer Young, VANOC Communications, Tel: (604) 403-3589, E-mail: jennifer_young@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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