I found the inspiration for my first Olympic update in my mail. Apparently, even though I live outside of the City of Vancouver and a good distance from any Olympic venues, I will be affected by traffic and parking restrictions throughout my neighborhood. I live in a designated
hub for shuttle traffic to both Whistler and the North Shore Mountains in Vancouver, meaning my residential street and lane-ways will be hosting buses and eager spectators on their way to many of the alpine events. Not a big deal really...thank goodness for my designated parking spot :)
The notice caused me to go online to find out what plans VANOC and Translink (our regional transit network) have to ease the traffic burden for the event. I was intrigued by what I found.
To prepare for the Games organizers have partnered with local transit providers to create a special TravelSmart2010 website to give Games attendees all they need to know about making their experience as traffic hassle-free as possible. Not only does it actively incentivize transit travel during the Games, but challenges residents and businesses to achieve specific traffic reductions on a weekly basis, with a Games-time goal of 30% traffic reductions Downtown during the event. Every Friday between now and the Games' opening the commuting public is being tested by standard mock closures to get them used to traffic changes. In the first week we've had a 3% success rate. Here's hoping we make some progress for next week, and if we're successful, that it sticks!