Viaduct closures loom – Metro US

Viaduct closures loom

If the city has one message for Vancouverites this Friday it’s this: Hang up your car keys and find alternate routes into downtown.

The most significant road closures being implemented for the Games take effect then, as the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts close to traffic and pedestrians.

Organizers need to reduce vehicle traffic downtown by at least 25 per cent, and say they’re cautiously optimistic that commuters will co-operate.

When the city closed Expo and Pacific Boulevards last week, there was only a four per cent reduction in vehicle trips, said Dale Bracewell, director Olympic transportation for the City of Vancouver.

“We are concerned when it comes to the vehicle numbers,” said Bracewell.

“We noticed … that some of the ways people responded to the closures on Expo and Pacific was to use the viaducts as an alternate route.”

With the viaducts no longer an option, Vancouverites need to re-think how much they need or want their cars downtown.

VANOC has more than 1,000 vehicles on the street and there are hundreds of coach buses moving athletes, dignitaries and other visitors around Metro Vancouver.

To assess traffic patterns and respond to issues as they arise, a team of city staff is using cameras to monitor intersections, and will control traffic signals and message boards when needed.