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Heads up: travel tips for the tail end of the Games this weekend (especially Sun Feb 28)

This weekend marks the end of the Olympic Games in Vancouver, and there’s a couple of things you might want to know to make sure your travels are smooth.

Saturday, February 27 will be a busy day in downtown Vancouver, but Sunday February 28 will be especially busy, owing to the closing ceremonies at B.C. Place that evening and the end of Games celebrations.

Just like the opening ceremonies two weeks ago, 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. It is not recommended that you drive downtown!

There are whole pages of tips about travelling on Feb 28 at travelsmart2010.ca and vancouver2010.com, but here are some key items:

Similar to the Opening Ceremonies, the Olympic Closing Ceremonies in downtown Vancouver on February 28, 2010 will be an extremely busy day with large crowds expected to join in Olympic-related festivities throughout the day in the downtown core.

The following streets will be closed from 8am to midnight on February 28:

  • Cambie Street bridge (all lanes closed to vehicle traffic, however pedestrian and bike access will be maintained)
  • Beatty Street (between Smithe and Dunsmuir) and Robson Street (between Cambie and Beatty) will temporarily close to vehicles and have limited access for pedestrians

End of Games `Know Before You Go’ Tips

  • Leave the car behind Feb 27 and 28: Parking and stopping restrictions will still be in effect on many streets downtown, and more people will be moving around the downtown core.
  • Allow for more travel time: Wait times on public transit out of the downtown in the afternoon peak of 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm will be longer than usual.
  • Be in your seat: Spectators with ceremony tickets should be in their seats no later than 3:30 pm on February 28. The final hockey game will be broadcast inside BC Place beginning at 1:30 pm.
  • Visit the Official Spectator Guide for more details and information on accessible drop-off locations and routes from transit for people with mobility challenges.
  • Use dedicated pedestrian routes: Pedestrian corridors on streets such as Granville and Robson will continue to operate on February 28. At noon, some or all of the road space will become pedestrian only areas until midnight.
  • Watch out for bus traffic: Approximately 600 to 700 motor coaches and hundreds of transit buses will travel and/or park on many downtown streets between 8:00 am and midnight on February 28.

Anyway, make sure to visit travelsmart2010.ca and vancouver2010.com for all the details!

Transit reroutes for Sunday February 28

Also, owing to the road closures and such, here are the related transit reroutes you can expect on Sunday.

  • Cambie Bridge will be closed from 08:00 to 24:00 – transit reroutes begin 07:00
    • #15 Downtown: Regular route to Cambie and Broadway, then re-route westbound on Broadway, right on Willow, right on 6th, then right on Cambie to a temporary terminus at Cambie and 7th. Passengers heading downtown should transfer to the Canada Line at the Broadway/City Hall station
  • Pacific Blvd will be closed from 08:00 to 24:00 – transit reroutes begin 07:00
    • C21 Yaletown reroute begins 07:00: Regular route to Pacific Blvd and Seymour, rerouting left on Seymour, then left on Davie and back on its regular route.
    • C23 Yaletown: Regular route to Davie and Richards, rerouting right on Richards then right on Pacific and back on its regular route
    • All West End Specials: Regular route to Davie and Richards, rerouting right on Richards then right on Pacific and back on their regular routes.
  • Howe Street will be closed from about 10:00 to 24:00 depending on the crowds.
    • The #4, #7, #10, #16 and the #50 will all run on Richards Street instead of Howe, from first bus to 0100 (1AM Monday)
    • Georgia Street will be closed Eastbound – Richards to Cambie 08:00 to 24:00 – transit reroutes begin 07:00
      • #240 Eastbound: Regular route to Georgia and Pender, rerouting right on Pender, right on Richards then right on Georgia to its temporary terminus.
    • Canada Line:
      • A reminder that Canada Line will continue running overnight on Monday morning between downtown Vancouver and YVR with service every six minutes. This overnight service will not run to Aberdeen, Lansdowne and Brighouse stations in Richmond, however Richmond bound passengers will be able to transfer to the N10 bus at Bridgeport YVR Station. The N10 NightBus service will run overnight as scheduled between downtown Vancouver, YVR and Richmond.

    Keep an eye out for travelling on Monday March 1 too: the airport is preparing for record crowds as over 35,000 Olympians, officials, media, visitors and other passengers catch flights home. You’re advised to arrive at the airport up to four hours in advance of your flight. Most Games-time road closures will remain in place so you should continue to travel smart!


6 Comments

  • By Robert, February 26, 2010 @ 11:39 am

    Every day Robson St. has been closed to vehicles east of Thurlow St. for the afternoon and evening. Will this be the case for Sunday the 28th as well? If so, would it make more sense to send the #50 bus along Smithe to Howe rather than along Robson to Howe?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 26, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

    Robert: I’ve sent your question along for an answer, but I’m not sure if we’ll get one since everyone is so busy at the moment.

  • By Derek Cheung CMBC, February 26, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    Detours for the 4/7/10/16 should read WESTBOUND on Pender/Hastings, then southbound on Richards etc.

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, February 26, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

    FIXED!

  • By Cliff, February 27, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

    The bridges into Sea Island will be a gong show on Sunday.

    Just a quick tip, there is free parking available on Sunday on Miller Road between Templeton and Russ Baker Way on Sea island. It’s less than a kilometre from Sea Island Station. (Remember, SkyTrain is free in both directions on stations within SeaIsland)

    Why is the N10 going to be running to Sea Island while there is SkyTrain available? During the mass exodus, the N10 will likely get caught in traffic going to Sea Island and Richmond bound passengers will be VERY inconvenienced. If service to Sea Island must be maintained with the N10, would it not be better for it to be routed to Sea Island AFTER going to Richmond-Brighouse?

  • By Cliff, February 27, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

    Or better yet, operate an N10 shuttle between Templeton Station and YVR and then have N10 coming from Downtown not go to Sea Island at all.

    Alas, the planning for this was likely confirmed weeks ago and a change like this would be too late to implement.

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