Congestion, gridlock, and crowded TTC streetcars - this is what commuters can expect during the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. But, not if the city can help it. The temporary high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes became active today, meaning that between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m., only cars with three or more people inside can use them.
These lanes, recognizable by the diamond shaped paint strips on the road, have been added to highways 401, 404, and 427 as well as the Don Valley Parkway, Gardiner Expressway, Queen Elizabeth Way, Lake Shore Blvd., and portions of Jane St. They will be active until July 27.
A trip planner has been developed to help guide commuters through this mess and get them to, and from, their Pan Am destinations.
It indicates whether or not there is parking at the location and whether or not public transit is the best way to reach the venue. It will also provide real-time traffic information.
But honestly, it may just be easier to avoid the roads all together. There will be limited parking around Pan Am venues and temporary traffic changes will be put in place to minimize congestion near these areas. On the bright side, Pan Am spectators get free public transit with their tickets.
If you aren't going to the Pan Am Games and would rather not have to deal with the excess people, here are the places to avoid: U of T or Ryerson campuses, Exhibition Place, the Athletes Village near Cherry St. and King St., Nathan Phillips Square, and the Rogers Centre.
Essentially, just avoid downtown Toronto.
How will you be getting to the Pan Am Games in Toronto? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by Mitul Shah in the blogTO Flickr pool.
by Katherine DeClerq via blogTO
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