Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Streetsblog

Vancouver’s Olympic Transit Demonstration

The Vancouver Olympics may be over, but Jarrett Walker at Human Transit writes that the legacy for public transportation in that city could be a lasting one. During the games, the city moved nearly 1.7 million people per day on its transit system. Walker sees it as a sort of Olympic exhibition of what the future could hold:

4243413755_68203df7a2.jpgThe skyline of Vancouver. (Photo: janusz l via Flickr)

Why should a growing city with high ambitions for sustainability
host a big blockbuster like the Olympics, with all the risk and
nuisance that it entails? 

So that everyone can see exceptional
transit ridership, and exceptional volumes of pedestrians, and exceptional limitations on private car traffic, and can ask:
"What if that were normal?"  Here's how Gordon Price put it yesterday:

"You now have a public that sees the possibility," said (SFU City Program director Gordon Price). "We just conducted the greatest controlled traffic experiment in North America."

In a growing city, a big event like the
Olympics is an imperfect but vivid glimpse of what "normal" might
be like 10, 20, 30 years in the future, when there will be that many
people moving every day. 

As Walker points out, this kind of real-world demonstration is worth a thousand policy statements or pronouncements from politicians. 

More from around the network: Car Free With Kids has some useful tips on how to raise a kid who likes to walk. The Bus Bench writes about the United States' gender divide in cycling and transit -- and why there's a link to our nation's lack of affordable child care. And we're now following Ditching the Car for Forty Days, the blog of a guy who has chosen to give up his car commute for Lent.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SUV Driver Kills Girl, 3, in Harlem, Wounds Mom And Young Brothers

The girl's death marks another grim entry into a crisis of pedestrian traffic deaths this year.

July 12, 2024

Moped and E-Bike Safety Legislation Becomes State Law

Retailers must register mopeds at the point of sale, in addition to giving new owners safety information, under new legislation signed by Gov. Hochul on Thursday.

July 12, 2024

Roadway Dining May See Dramatic Decline Under Eric Adams As Deadline Looms

Fewer than two dozen restaurants are in the pipeline for roadside seating, according to public records.

July 12, 2024

Opinion: Congestion Pricing Is A Compromise

Alternatives paths to cut congestion and pollution and fund the MTA make congestion tolls look like a cheap parlor trick.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Department of Victim Blaming Edition

Traffic deaths in the city are on pace to reach their highest number since at least 2013 — and DOT is reportedly blaming "jaywalking." Plus more news.

July 12, 2024
See all posts