Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, I am thrilled that the world got to discover our close-to-perfect corner of the world during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.
I grinned with pride, as if I had made the clouds disappear myself, when the sun soaked our visitors and warmed them as they walked our streets.
I cheered inside when I traveled effortlessly through the Vancouver airport three times immediately before and during the Games. In fact, my experiences in the Vancouver International Airport in February, 2010, were the smoothest I have experienced to date!
And I applauded with gratitude the tens of thousands of volunteers who lined the streets of Vancouver giving directions and assistance to visitors and even residents like me. They were the oil.
But perhaps what stood out the most for me during of the Olympic Games here in Vancouver, BC was the quiet on the roads. The city and its visitors were indulging in the transit system put in place for the Games. I tasted it first hand and it was good – so very good.
When my son and I hit the downtown scene for a hockey game, I marvelled at the empty streets and the packed sidewalks. We moved with the crowds to board the skytrain and walked the final blocks to the venue.
Once we arrived at Canada Place for the game, even the security lines moved quickly and effectively. The whole experience was a lesson in efficiency.
Now that the Games are over, I hope those good lessons will not fade. I hope our government, and other governments, will recognize what can be achieved and will work to implement such strategies long term.
When transit is readily available, cost-effective, and reliable, people will use it. It worked for the world’s party. It can work every day too.
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