Wednesday, August 28, 2002

I Want to be Front Row for Speed Skating, 2010

In the news this morning: Vancouver, BC has been short listed for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games along with Bern, Switzerland, Pyeonchang, South Korea, and Salzberg, Austria. Although the bid has a huge price tag ($13 million so far), it means the potential for many, many more millions if their bid is successful, along with benefits to the city including venues for the events, infrastructure to support the Games (including transportation links, in particular), and heaps of exposure for Canada as an international powerhouse.

And believe me, Vancouver needs the infrastructure. When I was there this past summer, I was shocked at how much of an urban planning nightmare it was. There is no major highway route into downtown, unlike any other major city I can think of. Their mass transportation is wholly inadequate, made up of only buses and the "SkyTrain", a throwback from Expo '86, an elevated railway that services only the southeast corner of the city and stops short of the commercial core. And traffic and parking are in what can only be described as an unholy state, a confusing swarm of no parking signs, tow-away zone signs, narrow cart-track streets and terrible drivers. Maybe the Olympics will make Vancouver a city that's fun to live in, because right now, it's a mess, in my humble opinion.

But YAY! If Vancouver wins, maybe I can be there, waving my little Canadian flag and cheering on our winter warriors. See you at the skating oval!


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