NEWS

Pan-Am officials want local traffic cut 20% during Games

03/14/2014 11:32 EDT | Updated 05/14/2014 05:59 EDT
Pan-Am Games officials are hoping to reduce local traffic by 20 per cent when Toronto hosts the Games in 2015 in an effort to keep the region — already struggling with gridlock — in a "normal" state during the Games.

Pam-Am officials held a technical briefing about the Games on Friday.

Among the details:

- Priority lanes will be made available to car poolers and transit buses. These lanes would move athletes, coaches, officials and members of the media. There will be about 770 kilometres of lanes in total.

- The government will encourage residents to use transit as much as possible in an effort to reduce gridlock while the Games are underway.

- There may also be restrictions on parking and road work during the Games, which take place July 10 to 26.

- There may be priority lanes on Lakeshore Boulevard and Jarvis Street downtown.

- Other dedicated lanes will be put in place on highways around the city, including the Don Valley Parkway and Highway 401.

- The transportation budget for the Games is $75 million to $90 million. By comparison, the Vancouver Winter Games cost $173.5 million.

- An $81 million private security contract has been awarded to Contemporary Security Canada. Guards will not have policing powers.

The news comes after it was revealed earlier this month that overall security costs for hosting Games have ballooned to $239 million from a 2009 estimate of $206 million. The $239-million figure includes the private security contract plus the cost of the Ontario Provincial Police and local police forces and their overtime.

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