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30 days to go – Transportation plan = party on the sidewalks!

January 13, 2010

Well, phase three of the Transportation plan for the Games was released today… and the main message really is “please don’t drive!”.  And I definitely understand that some people are concerned about this ’cause it is THE big message of the plan, but I think that it is also going to give Vancouver the opportunity to really experience what a low-vehicle downtown core could be like.  I’m not saying that we’ll ever have a vehicle-free downtown core, but I do like the idea of pedestrian corridors, where vehicles are only allowed in for short periods of time for deliveries and such.  There are quite a lot of these pedestrian only corridors in major cities around the world but it’s our first time to really experience them.

So what am I looking forward to in the pedestrian corridors along streets such as Robson, Hamilton and Beatty?  Well, I think there is going to be a festive feeling in the air.  People from around the world will be walking, rolling and strolling along these paths with no worries about vehicles.  There are going to be more pedestrians, many of whom are in town for the same reasons.  I think it is going to be an interesting way to share excitement and joy; just a simple walk down a street turns into a chance to share!

I’m going to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies with my Mom.  We will be walking to BC Place, along with nearly 100,000 other people.  We will all be heading to BC Place to celebrate the opening of a wonderful, exciting, international sporting and cultural event.  I get a bit misty-eyed just thinking about everyone walking in their team colours and their Vancouver 2010 clothes, walking with national flags and maybe even trading pins; certainly trading smiles!  Like I said… misty-eyed.  I’m going to need some sort of magical box of never-ending-tissues to make it through all of this if just the sidewalks make me cry.

Downtown from Cambie and 11th. I had to stop and take a photo because, even in the rain, Vancouver is spectacular!

If you do have to drive in the area during the Games, please take your time and smile at everyone, be part of the party.  If you will be coming downtown, or will be heading to any of the Olympic and Paralympic venues and would like more information on transit, please click here for the TravelSmart 2010 website.  I hope to see you on a sidewalk soon!

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I have (finally) posted up the Vancouver 2010 Spirit photo album!  Just click to see what has made it in so far!  I was hoping that anyone would be able to post photos on it, but so far I haven’t figured out how to do that.  Until then, keep sending in your photos, there are three ways to do it:

1 – Post a photo of you, your loved ones or perfect strangers of your own in their Team Canada or Vancouver 2010 gear by emailing it to me at

2 – Post a photo of you, your loved ones or perfect strangers of your own in their Team Canada or Vancouver 2010 gear on my Facebook group 2010vanfan.

3 – Post a photo of you, your loved ones or perfect strangers of your own in their Team Canada or Vancouver 2010 gear on Twitter and make sure to include @2010vanfan in your message so that I can see it too!

Get your photo in before the evening of Sunday, January 17 for your chance to win one of three Vancouver 2010 pins: an Opening Ceremonies Flag pin, and Opening Ceremonies Mascot pin or a Mascot pin that came with a plush Mascot set.  (Click here to see what the pins look like).

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I went for a bit of a walk today.  I had some chores to do, such as finding myself a new laptop as my current one is trying to die on me (I get my new one next week!).  This led me to the Broadway and Granville area, right where many of the flags are for the FlagWalk.  This is also where the office of one of the organisers of the FlagWalk, Sharon, works for the South Granville Business Improvement Association.  I had spoken with Sharon a couple of months ago and had been meaning to stop by and, luckily for me, she was in!

Did you know that it is still uncertain which countries are coming for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games?  Some countries are set, but there are a few that may or may not qualify and no one will know for sure until the beginning of February!  This makes Sharon’s job of trying to make sure all the National flags are represented rather difficult!  But she is doing a great job.  I love walking past all the flags on the sidewalks!  And they have buttons of the flags which is seriously cool!  I even traded her some pins while I was there; I got an Aboriginal snowboard team pin.  I’ll have to take a picture.

Sharon gave me an umbrella with all of the FlagWalk National flag buttons on it! So sweet! And really well timed as it was raining when I left her office and I hadn't brought an umbrella with me. Thanks Sharon!

From Broadway and Granville I headed off to Broadway and Cambie, as I’ve heard City Hall is getting ready for the Games as well.  When I arrived I realised I had never been inside the building, so I went and poked around a bit.  I think maybe I’ll ask and see if I can go on a tour.  I really love the exterior of Vancouver City Hall and I bet the interior is really cool as well!

The flags and the traffic didn't quite cooperate with me. Ah well, I really do love this building!

While inside I did learn that the streetcars that will be running between Granville Island and the Olympic Station at Cambie will travel on the “Olympic Line“.  I’m so happy that we have an Olympic Line!  And the streetcars look amazing.  I also learned that the Olympic Line will be opening at 9:30am on Thursday, January 21 at the Olympic Station (Cambie and West 2nd).  I will definitely be going to that!  I am really looking forward to riding on one of the streetcars!  Transportation on the Olympic Line will be free and will run from 6:30am to 12:30am from January 21 to March 21.  Click here for more information.

One of the Olympic Line streetcars being delivered to Vancouver.

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And just one last reminder – in case you’re free and interested… I’m going walkabout in downtown Vancouver tomorrow to see some of the changes to the city and you’re welcome to join me if you feel like coming along.  At least two people have already confirmed that they will be coming.  We will be meeting at noon, Wednesday, January 13th, at the Happiness Cafe in the Olympic Superstore.  Actually, this turns out to be perfect as I have just heard that there will be a few activities going on in the Olympic Superstore between noon and 6pm, including a dj, face-painting, snowcones and sample give-aways apparently.  From there we’ll head off to see what’s what.  I’m planning on us stopping by the Irish Olympic House (currently still called Doolins 🙂 ) for a snack and beverage around 4:30pm and being at the Coca-Cola Pin Trading Centre back at the Olympic Superstore just before 6pm for the 30 days to go pin reveal.  Email me at if you are interested and I’ll make sure to keep you up-to-date!  Hope to see you then.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. Tom permalink
    January 13, 2010 6:20 am

    Any plans for the Olympic Line to become permenant or is it merely a temporary thing for the games?

    The pedestrian streets sound great – much more like a European city!

  2. January 13, 2010 6:55 am

    Hey there Andrea,

    I so wish I was in Vancouver to see all of the preparations :o) I will be there with you in spirit for your walk tomorrow!


  3. Jo-Anne permalink
    January 13, 2010 8:42 am

    Shoot! Wish I could be in Vancouver for this fantastic walkabout of your’s. Sounds like fun.

  4. January 13, 2010 9:31 am

    i just need to take a minute to thank you for this blog. you’re really helping me with ideas of what to do while i’m in Vancouver, and generally they are inexpensive or free ideas! you get a gold medal in awesomeness 🙂

  5. sharon permalink
    January 13, 2010 2:46 pm

    it was great to meet you yesterday. Thanks for the pin trade… I think I got the better end of the deal. Please keep writing. Your enthusiasm keeps me going!

  6. sharon permalink
    January 13, 2010 3:12 pm

    forgot – you will like this one. Learned today that they are anticipating 9,000 pots of red and white tulips will adorn the front planters of City hall. that is a lot of tulips. Can you imagine trying to make sure all those tulips bloom on the right day? no stress there!!!!!!!!!

  7. January 13, 2010 4:22 pm

    Wish I could be there with you! Would love to walk around Vancouver and see all the changes going on. Have fun. Can’t wait to hear your update.

  8. Bob permalink
    January 13, 2010 8:47 pm

    The torch is now “next door” in Alberta!!! We are next!!!

    May be I will catch the Olympic Line street car on my way to my volunteer shift at the Pin Trading Centre on January 21st.

    Wouldn’t it be great if after the Olympics the majority of people continued to take public transit into downtown Vancouver rather than their automobiles!

  9. Bob permalink
    January 13, 2010 9:14 pm

    The modern street car is only on loan for the Olympics. However, the tracks are permanent. The old interurban cars run from Granville Island to Science World during the summer months. They began running several years ago and will continue to do so after the Olympics. The city hopes to extend the tracks into Chinatown and eventually all the way to Stanley Park.


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