PAN AM GAMES: Transportation questions remain in Toronto

Community Jul 31, 2014 by Rahul Gupta City Centre Mirror

Though planning and infrastructure builds are well underway for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, the city’s transportation officials have outstanding questions as to how traffic will be managed during the event.

The largest-ever multi-sport undertaking for the Toronto region, the Games are projected to cost $2.5 billion, of which the province has budgeted between $75 million to $90 million for transportation management, to ensure 7,700 athletes and coaches, plus some 1.4 million spectators get to their venues on time.

Eight new Games venues are located in Toronto, including an athletes village, aquatics centre and an athletic stadium to be located at York University. The Pan Am coverage zone extends from north of Toronto south to St. Catharines.

With a year to go, finalizing traffic concerns now would seem a welcome cushion for the province which has had to deal with more pressing issues such as venue construction delays and the removal of Ian Troop as Games CEO in 2013, replaced by Saad Rafi.

In February, the province released a preliminary plan for managing Games traffic following almost two years of consultations between provincial and municipal agencies including the Ministry of Transportation (MOT), Metrolinx, Toronto, the TTC as well as the Games’ Integrated Security Unit.

By establishing reserved lanes and encouraging use of non-automobile travel options, the province believes it can reduce existing traffic levels by 20 per cent.

But how much of a traffic impact the Games will have on local traffic patterns remains to be seen.

“That’s sort of the unknown when you do big events that are say, anomalies,” said Stephen Buckley, the city’s director of transportation planning.

“We don’t know where people are staying, we don’t know what venues they’re attending. We don’t know where they’re coming from,” he said.

“They may come by train, they may come in carpools, they may walk.”

Buckley, who – last week – introduced the city’s upgraded traffic control centre intended to modernize citywide monitoring of traffic incidents, said the city is in constant dialogue with Pan Am officials in regards to the plan.

“It’s coming along quickly and we’re going to have to start doing things now,” he said.

GAMES ROUTE NETWORK

Perhaps the plan’s chief feature is the establishment of a Games Route Network (GRN) along dedicated HOV lanes found on 400-series highways, Lake Shore Boulevard and other major arterials that span 150 kilometres in the GTA alone.

Dedicated route networks are now a must for international sporting events and the GRN will be restricted to athletes and personnel and attendees during the Pan American Games, running from July 10 to 26, and the Parapan American Games that go from Aug. 7 to 15, 2015.

They will also be open for use by carpoolers, buses, emergency vehicles and accredited media.

Enforcement will be largely on a volunteer basis.

The Games will also see the debut of transportation infrastructure such as the Union-Pearson Express air rail link. Infrastructure improvements at Union Station and on Queens Quay are also continuing.

“For almost every venue we have road access, transit access, there’s a GO station or connection nearby,” said Teresa Marando, director of transportation planning for the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.

Marando, an MOT official, said the province had already consulted with municipalities about deferring maintenance work and halting the granting of construction permits during the Games to reduce congestion.

“We want to be cognizant that it’s going to be busy and we need to co-ordinate our efforts to make sure we’re not doing something to make it more difficult for each other,” she said.

When it comes to co-ordinating transit, the TTC and the city have to work together to deal with traffic issues such delivery trucks and illegally parked cars blocking busy streetcar routes, said TTC CEO Andy Byford.

“It’s got to be a joint team effort with the city to once and for all create clear ways for our vehicles to get through, and that can only to be to the benefit of Toronto ultimately,” said Byford following last week’s TTC board meeting.

new appointment

The TTC is about to appoint a Pan Am Games co-ordinator who will “obsess about the detail” of its transportation planning, said Byford.

“We still have a year to go,” he said. “The key for us is to get into the micro-detail of making sure that the plan works.”

PAN AM GAMES: Transportation questions remain in Toronto

TTC to appoint coordinator dedicated to event’s traffic management

Community Jul 31, 2014 by Rahul Gupta City Centre Mirror

Though planning and infrastructure builds are well underway for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, the city’s transportation officials have outstanding questions as to how traffic will be managed during the event.

The largest-ever multi-sport undertaking for the Toronto region, the Games are projected to cost $2.5 billion, of which the province has budgeted between $75 million to $90 million for transportation management, to ensure 7,700 athletes and coaches, plus some 1.4 million spectators get to their venues on time.

Eight new Games venues are located in Toronto, including an athletes village, aquatics centre and an athletic stadium to be located at York University. The Pan Am coverage zone extends from north of Toronto south to St. Catharines.

With a year to go, finalizing traffic concerns now would seem a welcome cushion for the province which has had to deal with more pressing issues such as venue construction delays and the removal of Ian Troop as Games CEO in 2013, replaced by Saad Rafi.

In February, the province released a preliminary plan for managing Games traffic following almost two years of consultations between provincial and municipal agencies including the Ministry of Transportation (MOT), Metrolinx, Toronto, the TTC as well as the Games’ Integrated Security Unit.

By establishing reserved lanes and encouraging use of non-automobile travel options, the province believes it can reduce existing traffic levels by 20 per cent.

But how much of a traffic impact the Games will have on local traffic patterns remains to be seen.

“That’s sort of the unknown when you do big events that are say, anomalies,” said Stephen Buckley, the city’s director of transportation planning.

“We don’t know where people are staying, we don’t know what venues they’re attending. We don’t know where they’re coming from,” he said.

“They may come by train, they may come in carpools, they may walk.”

Buckley, who – last week – introduced the city’s upgraded traffic control centre intended to modernize citywide monitoring of traffic incidents, said the city is in constant dialogue with Pan Am officials in regards to the plan.

“It’s coming along quickly and we’re going to have to start doing things now,” he said.

GAMES ROUTE NETWORK

Perhaps the plan’s chief feature is the establishment of a Games Route Network (GRN) along dedicated HOV lanes found on 400-series highways, Lake Shore Boulevard and other major arterials that span 150 kilometres in the GTA alone.

Dedicated route networks are now a must for international sporting events and the GRN will be restricted to athletes and personnel and attendees during the Pan American Games, running from July 10 to 26, and the Parapan American Games that go from Aug. 7 to 15, 2015.

They will also be open for use by carpoolers, buses, emergency vehicles and accredited media.

Enforcement will be largely on a volunteer basis.

The Games will also see the debut of transportation infrastructure such as the Union-Pearson Express air rail link. Infrastructure improvements at Union Station and on Queens Quay are also continuing.

“For almost every venue we have road access, transit access, there’s a GO station or connection nearby,” said Teresa Marando, director of transportation planning for the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.

Marando, an MOT official, said the province had already consulted with municipalities about deferring maintenance work and halting the granting of construction permits during the Games to reduce congestion.

“We want to be cognizant that it’s going to be busy and we need to co-ordinate our efforts to make sure we’re not doing something to make it more difficult for each other,” she said.

When it comes to co-ordinating transit, the TTC and the city have to work together to deal with traffic issues such delivery trucks and illegally parked cars blocking busy streetcar routes, said TTC CEO Andy Byford.

“It’s got to be a joint team effort with the city to once and for all create clear ways for our vehicles to get through, and that can only to be to the benefit of Toronto ultimately,” said Byford following last week’s TTC board meeting.

new appointment

The TTC is about to appoint a Pan Am Games co-ordinator who will “obsess about the detail” of its transportation planning, said Byford.

“We still have a year to go,” he said. “The key for us is to get into the micro-detail of making sure that the plan works.”

PAN AM GAMES: Transportation questions remain in Toronto

TTC to appoint coordinator dedicated to event’s traffic management

Community Jul 31, 2014 by Rahul Gupta City Centre Mirror

Though planning and infrastructure builds are well underway for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, the city’s transportation officials have outstanding questions as to how traffic will be managed during the event.

The largest-ever multi-sport undertaking for the Toronto region, the Games are projected to cost $2.5 billion, of which the province has budgeted between $75 million to $90 million for transportation management, to ensure 7,700 athletes and coaches, plus some 1.4 million spectators get to their venues on time.

Eight new Games venues are located in Toronto, including an athletes village, aquatics centre and an athletic stadium to be located at York University. The Pan Am coverage zone extends from north of Toronto south to St. Catharines.

With a year to go, finalizing traffic concerns now would seem a welcome cushion for the province which has had to deal with more pressing issues such as venue construction delays and the removal of Ian Troop as Games CEO in 2013, replaced by Saad Rafi.

In February, the province released a preliminary plan for managing Games traffic following almost two years of consultations between provincial and municipal agencies including the Ministry of Transportation (MOT), Metrolinx, Toronto, the TTC as well as the Games’ Integrated Security Unit.

By establishing reserved lanes and encouraging use of non-automobile travel options, the province believes it can reduce existing traffic levels by 20 per cent.

But how much of a traffic impact the Games will have on local traffic patterns remains to be seen.

“That’s sort of the unknown when you do big events that are say, anomalies,” said Stephen Buckley, the city’s director of transportation planning.

“We don’t know where people are staying, we don’t know what venues they’re attending. We don’t know where they’re coming from,” he said.

“They may come by train, they may come in carpools, they may walk.”

Buckley, who – last week – introduced the city’s upgraded traffic control centre intended to modernize citywide monitoring of traffic incidents, said the city is in constant dialogue with Pan Am officials in regards to the plan.

“It’s coming along quickly and we’re going to have to start doing things now,” he said.

GAMES ROUTE NETWORK

Perhaps the plan’s chief feature is the establishment of a Games Route Network (GRN) along dedicated HOV lanes found on 400-series highways, Lake Shore Boulevard and other major arterials that span 150 kilometres in the GTA alone.

Dedicated route networks are now a must for international sporting events and the GRN will be restricted to athletes and personnel and attendees during the Pan American Games, running from July 10 to 26, and the Parapan American Games that go from Aug. 7 to 15, 2015.

They will also be open for use by carpoolers, buses, emergency vehicles and accredited media.

Enforcement will be largely on a volunteer basis.

The Games will also see the debut of transportation infrastructure such as the Union-Pearson Express air rail link. Infrastructure improvements at Union Station and on Queens Quay are also continuing.

“For almost every venue we have road access, transit access, there’s a GO station or connection nearby,” said Teresa Marando, director of transportation planning for the Pan Am / Parapan Am Games.

Marando, an MOT official, said the province had already consulted with municipalities about deferring maintenance work and halting the granting of construction permits during the Games to reduce congestion.

“We want to be cognizant that it’s going to be busy and we need to co-ordinate our efforts to make sure we’re not doing something to make it more difficult for each other,” she said.

When it comes to co-ordinating transit, the TTC and the city have to work together to deal with traffic issues such delivery trucks and illegally parked cars blocking busy streetcar routes, said TTC CEO Andy Byford.

“It’s got to be a joint team effort with the city to once and for all create clear ways for our vehicles to get through, and that can only to be to the benefit of Toronto ultimately,” said Byford following last week’s TTC board meeting.

new appointment

The TTC is about to appoint a Pan Am Games co-ordinator who will “obsess about the detail” of its transportation planning, said Byford.

“We still have a year to go,” he said. “The key for us is to get into the micro-detail of making sure that the plan works.”