Banner time for the Games

By BOB MACKIN, QMI AGENCY


Vancouver is going blue, green and white in the final weeks leading up to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. (QMI Agency/Carmine Marinelli)

Banners used to decorate Cambie Village after Canada Line construction crippled the neighbourhood were replaced Wednesday with ones bearing VANOC's look of the Games.

In September 2008, Vancouver city council approved spending $650,000 to buy and hang 6,000 of the psychedelic green and blue Olympic banners around the city.

Installation was supposed to begin Monday, but a shipment from Barrie, Ont. was delayed.

Locations of the banners generally correspond with the Feb. 4 to March 2 network of Olympic express lanes. During that period, parking will be banned and access to curb lanes will be restricted to VANOC-permitted vehicles and public transit only.

"The main arterials, Cambie, Granville and Hastings, throughout downtown Vancouver as well," said Host City Communications project manager Lesli Boldt. "There's a gateway to the Games aspect to the planning of the banner program, there's also a celebratory aspect."

Area resident Janice Tollefsen received no discount on her $33 residential parking permit and will have to compete with other residents for space on side streets.

"The banners are beautiful, don't get me wrong," Tollefsen said. "But we've been held up by construction here, basically unable to move west, unable to use King Edward for three to four years. We're sick of it."

Staff estimated $150,000 could be recovered after the Games if the banners are sold or repurposed into handbags.

"The banners are beautiful ... But we've been held up by construction ... unable to use King Edward for three to four years."

POLL