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Heads up: Olympic opening ceremonies, Fri Feb. 12

Well, you knew it was coming — the 2010 Olympic opening ceremonies are at B.C. Place tomorrow, Friday, February 12!

Just like the dress rehearsal on Wednesday, there will be downtown Vancouver traffic restrictions in effect. Look out for some road closures, crowds of spectators heading to B.C. Place, and lots of loading in and out on a few streets. This time, the Olympic celebration sites will also be open downtown, adding to the crowds. It is not recommended that you drive downtown!

Again, Vancouver2010.com has a whole page about getting around during the opening and closing ceremonies, and here’s the parts about Feb 12:

The Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies in downtown Vancouver on February 12 and 28, 2010 will be two of the busiest days of the 2010 Winter Games and will bring 100,000 participants into the downtown core including performers, athletes and officials, ticket holders, workforce, media and broadcasters.

The Olympic and Paralympic Transportation Team (OPTT) is responsible for transporting these groups to BC Place stadium from various locations in Metro Vancouver and the Sea to Sky regions. These groups are being transported over a period of 12 hours using roughly 1,500 cars and 500 motorcoaches.

The following streets will be closed from noon to midnight on February 10, 12, 28 and March 12:

* Cambie Street bridge (all lanes closed to vehicle traffic, however pedestrian and bike access will be maintained via the east and west sidewalks)
* Beatty Street (between Smithe and Georgia)
* North sidewalk of the 1100 block of West Hastings, in front of the Renaissance Vancouver Hotel (4 pm to 5:30 pm)

On February 10, 12, and 28 there will also be a significant amount of motorcoach activity including loading, unloading and staging on Coal Harbour Quay, Canada Place and West Cordova from noon to 11 pm.

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies in Vancouver (Feb 12, 28 and March 12), and associated dress rehearsal (February 10) are special days where vehicle travel downtown is strongly discouraged. Choose a sustainable mode, such as walking, cycling or transit. If driving is absolutely necessary, plan to leave downtown by noon, or wait until the ceremonies are underway after 5:30 pm.

But make sure to visit the Vancouver2010.com page on the opening ceremonies for full details — there’s more tips and info there.

Once more, if you’re attending the opening ceremonies, be aware that security screening will take a bit of time, so you should leave early and account for that. As well, after the opening ceremonies, be prepared to walk and wait a bit for transit service: many people will be leaving the event at the same time!

Extended Olympic transit service will be in full effect

As for transit, all of our extended Olympic service will be in effect tomorrow. That includes longer hours and extended rush-hour level service on Expo and Millennium Line, event-level service on Canada Line, 24-hour service on seven NightBus routes, and many spare buses and operators on hand to carry extra passengers where needed. (UBC and SFU will also begin their spring break at this time, relieving some pressure on the system.)

And again due to the closure of the Cambie Street Bridge from noon to midnight, the #15 bus will not operate in downtown Vancouver. It will short-turn at Broadway and Cambie; customers going to and from downtown will need to transfer to the Canada Line at Broadway-City Hall Station.


3 Comments

  • By ;-), February 11, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

    A little heads up, those exiting from Stadium station. Plan to be directed down the stairs to screening. One problem I noticed that people in wheelchairs were accidently directed away from the elevator.

    Leave your bags and purses at home to take advantage of express screening lanes.

    When leaving plan to go East or West BEFORE exiting the building. Walking around the stadium may not be an option (things may have changed from my visit). The congestion makes it worse. For those going to Expo/Millenium lines, it may be easier to walk to Science World instead of Stadium station.

    Good Luck

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Heads up: travel tips for the tail end of the Games this weekend (especially Sun Feb 28) — February 26, 2010 @ 9:01 am

  2. The Buzzer blog » Heads up: closing ceremonies and end of Games celebrations, Sunday February 28 — February 27, 2010 @ 9:01 am

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