Vancouver, British Columbia – Vehicle access permits that will permit residents to travel the Sea to Sky highway during the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games are now being distributed. Two permits per household have been mailed to Whistler residential property owners by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) and distribution has started to the accommodation sector in Whistler and Pemberton.

The permits are fully transferable between vehicles, tenants, and/or guests that have a parking space. VANOC also confirmed that permit distribution offices will open in December 14, with one location in Vancouver, and three in the Sea to Sky corridor.

The traffic checkpoint, north of Squamish near the Alice Lake turnoff, is designed to manage traffic volume into and through Whistler during the Games, with the ultimate goal of only allowing access to vehicles that have confirmed parking spaces at private residences, businesses or hotels. There will be no parking at venues or on public streets.

During the peak hours of 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., only vehicles with a checkpoint permit will proceed up the highway from February 11 to 28, 2010. Southbound vehicles, and northbound vehicles travelling outside the peak hours, will not require permits. Permits are also not required at any time for emergency or health care vehicles, road service vehicles such as tow trucks or snowplows, buses, Olympic-accredited vehicles, commercial limousines, taxis, and utility providers. Based on traffic conditions, peak hours may start slightly earlier in the day.

Residents who visit a permit office will need to show photo identification and proof of address, such as a utility bill. Businesses will need to show business licences and proof of operations in Whistler or points north, while hotel guests will be asked for a reservation confirmation.

For more information, visit Travel Smart.

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