‘Confidence’ the largest transportation legacy of Vancouver Olympics, specialists say

Lon LaClaire remembers his Olympic second.

“On the prepare coming into city,” LaClaire remembers. “The prepare breaking out … singing O Canada!”


Gord Value remembers the sensation within the metropolis: “We’re welcoming. We’re open. We’re coordinated,” he says.

Each LaClaire, Vancouver’s basic supervisor of engineering providers, who’s been engaged on metropolis transportation tasks since 1997, and Value, an city planner and former Vancouver metropolis councillor, say when it got here to getting round Metro Vancouver in February 2010, the video games had been successful.

“The largest success story was folks getting out of their vehicles and strolling, biking, taking transit to the venues,” says LaClaire.


Numbers from the Metropolis of Vancouver present journeys to downtown by strolling, biking and transit greater than doubled in the course of the Video games, and strolling and biking throughout the three False Creek bridges quadrupled.

“To me that was unimaginable, as a result of that’s precisely what the longer term would appear to be,” LaClaire says.

“We actually did an ideal job on transportation,” Value provides. “So good, that no person actually seen.”


The transit show-piece was the model new Canada Line, which hit its ridership goal on opening day, LaClaire says. It’s now extensively acknowledged to have been underbuilt.

“It wouldn’t have opened in 2009,” LaClaire suggests. “In reality, it might be opening excellent now if we hadn’t had the Olympics.”

And LaClaire additionally credit the video games because the launching pad that received resolution makers considering extra aggressively concerning the shift out of vehicles and towards what he known as sustainable transportation.


“I believe it gave everybody a variety of confidence that the targets we set for ourselves had been going to be achievable,” LaClaire says.

Value calls the Canada Line a part of a a lot larger image that didn’t “a lot change the town, however speed up the route we had been on.”

He provides that new bike lanes, nevertheless controversial, and cycle- and pedestrian-friendly adjustments to bridges, together with a new proposal for the Granville Bridge, have all, partly, been pushed by the legacy of 2010.


“We had the arrogance that got here from the Olympics,” Value echoes.

Leveraging the Olympic legacy

Ten years later, the Canada Line is getting new vehicles to spice up commuter capability by as much as 35 per cent.

However limitations on each platform size and station dimension imply that at some point, which LaClaire roughly estimates continues to be a pair a long time away, the road will max out.


And that’s why Value is urging planners and resolution makers to suppose larger, leveraging the legacy of the 2010 Video games, and the teachings from the Canada Line, for the $2.eight billion Broadway subway, which is able to prolong the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Road.

“Don’t lowball it,” Value advises. “In case you have the chance, constructed it proper, construct it properly, and don’t neglect the general public artwork,” he quips.

Although up to now there seems to be little to no concern concerning the scale of the mission and the proposed stations, and much better concern concerning the actuality that the road, as at present funded, gained’t prolong westward to the University of British Columbia.


After which there’s the problem of not having an Olympic-size deadline to make sure the subway, forecast to hold at the least 250,000 journeys on its first day, is accomplished and opened by 2025.

“[The Olympics] gave us no selection however to get it completed on time…and that actually does depend!” Value laughs.