Olympic Parking a Breeze Thanks to Planning and Culture of Using Transit
It’s day three of the Olympic Games here in London, and for all the talk of logistical issues, parking has NOT been a problem. I’m here consulting with the Olympic Delivery Authority, the wing of the Olympic organization responsible for getting people around during the Games. I’m impressed with the large number of spectators taking public transit to the venues. This is a key component of the transport strategy that this be a “public transport” games, as first published in 2007.
Underpinning London 2012’s transport strategy is its ambition to host a ‘public transport’ Games. The aim is for 100 percent of ticketed spectators to travel to the Games by public transport, or by walking or cycling. There will be no private car parking for spectators at any venue except for some Blue Badge parking.
London prepared for the crush of transit users by launching the “Big Build,” which increased the system’s capacity with longer train platforms, longer trains, and the extension of key lines. London already had an exceptional transit system, with a combination of buses and trains, that can get you anywhere in London and the countryside.
I have already visited many venues and events, including Football (soccer) in Manchester and Coventry, Canoeing in Lee Valley, and Rowing in Eton Dorney. I have visited and worked all of these venues without getting into a car, except for a couple of taxis. It’s heartening to me that London, even before the Olympics arrived, already enjoys a culture in which everyone uses transit.