Test-driving new ways to travel for Games - Metro US

Test-driving new ways to travel for Games

Organizers of Vancouver’s Olympics want Lower Mainland residents to leave their cars at home tomorrow and practise alternative ways of getting to and from work.

The TravelSmart 2010 Challenge runs for five Fridays as a way of incrementally reducing traffic in the city’s Downtown core ahead of the Winter Olympics.

“We all need to do our part to make the transportation plan one of the great success stories and one of their great memories of these Games,” VANOC CEO John Furlong said in a release yesterday.

During the Games, Downtown Vancouver will have a number of street closures for security reasons and for the pedestrian corridors that link the LiveCity sites.

In addition to the thousands of additional people in the city, street parking will be almost non-existent within the Downtown peninsula and along arterial routes like Hastings, Cambie and Broadway, which will be used to shuffle athletes and media between venues.

VANOC has said it needs to reduce traffic by 30 per cent by Feb. 12, the start of the Games.

During the Olympics they will urge people to avoid travelling between 7 and 9 a.m. and 2 and 7 p.m.

Tomorrow’s goal is a five per cent reduction in traffic. The City of Vancouver will monitor traffic and report the results the following week.

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