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Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games BC MoT Traffic Management


The BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (BCMoT) was a major partner to VANOC in the delivery of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.  Under its mandate, BCMoT was the lead agency responsible for traffic management, highway maintenance and incident management at the two major bridge crossings over Burrard inlet and the Sea‐to‐Sky Highway (Highway 99) from West Vancouver to Whistler, contingency planning for highway routes critical to the Games, and Taxi policies and legislation. Traffic volumes during Games‐time were modelled conservatively to exceed normal patterns by approximately 10% at the two Burrard crossings and 100% on the Sea‐to‐Sky Highway.   A key principle of games‐time operations was to make use of BCMoT’s existing infrastructure and operational practices and thereby avoid significant expenditure on Games‐specific works, while at the same time meet the projected traffic demand and the capacity commitments made by BC MoT in the Games bid book.  As a result, Games‐time interventions deployed on Highway 99 and the bridge approaches were mostly limited to operational measures for providing temporary additional traffic capacity and reliability.  These included:   • lane reconfiguration, counter‐flows and Olympic queue jump lanes; • temporary road lane on active rail tracks; • Traffic control persons to manage congestion at strategic locations;   • Site specific traffic management, e.g. temporary intersection reconfiguration to increase capacity;   • Implementation of a Vehicle Checkpoint on the Sea‐to‐Sky Highway approaching Whistler; • Traffic Information Systems (traffic monitoring cameras and variable messaging signage); and • Enhanced incident management and highway maintenance to maintain highway capacity. The traffic management strategies developed by BCMoT for the Games were innovative not in technology, but conversely in the simplicity of the measures undertaken in order to provide short‐ term capacity improvements while minimizing cost.   These games‐time transportation measures were concluded successfully with safe and reliable travel maintained throughout the games period.   As a testament to this success, the MoT Olympic Transportation team was selected as a finalist for the 2011 BC Premier’s Awards in the Partnership Category. This paper presents an overview of the measures undertaken, the challenges faced in organizing and implementing these measures, and the outcome and lessons learned.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Nasir Kurji
Ed Miska