Beijing Special: 2022 Winter Games bid gets transportation boost
Updated: 2015-07-20 08:28
By Zheng Jinran(China Daily)
Beijing will provide efficient and secure public transport, including exclusive lanes and new highways and high-speed railways, if it wins the bid for the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, bid organizers said.
Beijing and co-host city Zhangjiakou, in neighboring Hebei province, have designated three venue clusters in downtown Beijing, Yanqing county and Zhangjiakou. The venues all have accommodation, catering and commercial services, according to Beijing's plan.
According to the bid, a purpose-built Nordic and Biathlon Center will be located in Zhangjiakou and an Alpine Ski Center will be in northwest Beijing's Yanqing county to host events including Nordic combined, cross-country skiing and Alpine skiing.
Events on ice will be hosted in downtown Beijing venues, including the Water Cube, the National Stadium and National Indoor Stadium, as well as the MasterCard Center, all of which have been in operation since 2008.
"To guarantee smooth transportation during the competition period, Beijing will set exclusive lanes like we did during the 2008 Summer Olympics, if awarded to China," said Shi Weiliang, head of facilities construction of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games Bid Committee.
The Spring Festival of 2022, Chinese Lunar New Year, will fall during the proposed 2022 Olympics period from Feb 4 to 20. Traffic in the capital usually declines during the festival period, so exclusive lanes will have less impact on residents and normal city life, he said. He added that a detailed transportation plan would be created based on traffic changes during the next seven years.
The governments of Beijing and Zhangjiakou decided to build three more highways and one high-speed railway to connect the three competition zones, "providing efficient and secure public transportation services", said Zhang Jiandong, deputy mayor of Beijing.
Construction of an intercity high-speed railway between Beijing and Zhangjiakou started at the end of 2014 and is scheduled to be finished by 2019. When complete, it will only take 20 minutes to get from the venue cluster in downtown Beijing to venues in Yanqing county, and 30 minutes from Yanqing to Zhangjiakou, Zhang said.
People with tickets for the Winter Olympic Games will be allowed to take public trains, commuter buses and urban buses for free during the competition period, Shi said.
According to Beijing's bid plan, buildings within the clusters will be close to each other, cutting travel times between catering and competition venues. Athletes will be able to reach the farthest venue, the MasterCard Center, within 15 minutes, if driven at 60 kilometers per hour with no traffic from the Olympic Village in Beijing.
Under the same driving conditions, athletes in the Yanqing Olympic Village could finish the journey in ten minutes and those in Zhangjiakou could complete it in five minutes, according to the bid plan.
(China Daily 07/20/2015 page22)