Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Olympics 2010 and Paralympics - getting ready

Vancouver BC is one of the most beautiful places on earth. That's why I live here. It's also a very big city, and in a unique growth pattern.
Vancouver is on the west coast, just above the US border, in a rather narrow pathway along the Fraser River. This means as the city grows, it can't go south because that's the US border. It also can't go too far north, because that's into the mountains. It can't go west, because that's the Pacific Ocean. So Vancouver can only grow one way - east. Which is why I live where I do, in the suburbs, but still part of the conglomeration of different cities that are back to back, each independant, but yet still are one big city. And it is big.

And this big city is on the verge of being hit with hundreds of thousands of visitors and tourists as we get ready to host the Winter Olympics in February. The skiing and stuff like that is up at Whistler, which is a few hours drive, with no traffic. Many of the games, like the skating related games, will be held in one of southern cities that is one that makes up the GVRD - Greater Vancouver Regional District.

With that comes... traffic congestion... road closures... limited access issues... parking problems... lack of accomodation... During the Olympics, they're even closing one of the main bridges in the city to be just for Olympics access. The mind boggles.

It's going to be very exciting, but as we're counting down the days, for those of us who live here and have to conduct business and jobs and our day-to-day lives, it's going to be a challenge. Then after the Winter Olympics is the Paralympics. Not as many visitors, but still lots.

Already residents are being asked to do what they can not to travel around the city during the Olympics, specifically, stay home from work or work from home if you can. I actually don't know many who can, and I know even less who can say to the bank, sorry I can't pay my mortgage this month because I'm staying home during the Olympics. The degree of congestion is still unknown, but the plan is for mayhem.

I'll keep you posted about what happens around town as the countdown continues.

One exciting thing - the Olympic Torch passed through town on Friday. Of course, it's exciting to me because I didn't get stuck in the traffic waiting for it to go by.


  1. I imagine employers will give leeway to those who trickle in late because of the traffic problems, but yeah I can imagine how hard it will be for those who live in the area and have to conduct their regular business. Good luck! There is a petition going around to have David Tennant light the Olympic torch during the London Olympics. That would be something to see.

  2. Good luck, Gail. I can't imagine how much FUN your going to have. As we sit home, in the comfort of our couches, potatoes that we are, we'll be thinking of you shushing around town.