Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Olympic Lanes

with 4 comments

In today’s print edition of the Globe and Mail, John Furlong is quoted as saying that we will have to have Beijing style “Olympic lanes” to ensure that important people are not inconvenienced in 2010. I tried to find it on the Globe web page without success.

In totalitarian, one party states, this is not a new idea. Moscow used to have special lanes set aside for the apparatchiks in their Zils. Since very few could other afford a car, that really did not have a lot of impact on the broad streets of the Soviet capital. In Beijing, not so long ago, there were serious attempts to curb the enormous number of cyclists who were getting in the way of high officials and their friends. But even the junta now admits that the headlong rush to motorisation cannot be kept in pace with new road construction, and switched quickly and determinedly to rapid transit for the masses, which seems to be working quite well, from what little I have read.

John Furlong needs to be reminded that Canada does not – even now – and will not in 2010 – resemble a single party state where Important People (i.e. Mr Furlong and his friends) get priority treatment at all times and in all places. And absolutely not for a two week winter sports festival – which is no excuse for distorting priorities of any kind, least of all our ability to move around our own region.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 22, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Olympics

4 Responses

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  1. Well finally something we can agree on. Besides they will just have to waste taxpayers money on being flown around…

    Dejan K

    August 24, 2008 at 8:56 am

  2. yea….the Olympic Lanes will also be largely used for shuttling the media and especially the spectators, not just the Olympic Family.


    September 6, 2008 at 11:55 pm

  3. The media possibly – spectators no. They will have to use public transit. Translink informed the bid committee that if the timing of the events was outside peak work travel hours there would be spare capacity. Only “Olympic family” get to use cars – provided by sponsor GM of course.

    Stephen Rees

    September 8, 2008 at 12:13 pm

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