Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Olympic Cycling Network

This is the first in a series that will look at how well the 2010 Olympics is living up to its hype of being the "greenest games ever."

In the Bid Book for the 2010 Olympic games the organizers promised "...  multi-modal public transportation system in which the use of private automobiles will be actively discouraged"  and that ".. Vancouver OCOG will encourage spectators to walk or bicycle."

The city of Vancouver stated that "Some of our existing bicycle routes will be temporarily altered during the 2010 Winter Games..."  But they promised, ".... alternate routes will be provided that are comfortable, well-marked and as direct as possible."

With less than 100 days before the games is seems that the organizers are already failing to meet some of their promises for sustainable transportation.

Two blocks of the heavily used Ontario Bike Route have been closed for several weeks now.  According to maps published on October 14th there was supposed have been a marked detour in place using 3rd Ave and parts of Quebec street.  It is now four weeks later and this route is still not marked.

Instead the cyclists are directed onto a narrow shared sidewalk around the Olympic village zone.  Part of the route is gravel that has been recently laid down over railroad tracks.  Yesterday I witnessed a near collision between a cyclist and pedestrian that could have resulted in serious injuries.  Neither was doing anything wrong - it is just that this Olympic cycling route is not designed to safely accommodate the cyclists that are being directed on it. 

Perhaps in the greater scheme of things this is a small matter.  But I think it reflects how little consideration VANOC is giving to creating a truly sustainable event.

  • [Bike Lane for the Olympics?]

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