Olympic Roads - A Photographic Journey

In September 2000, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia played host to the largest sports carnival on earth, the Games of the 27th Olympiad. Love the Games or hate them (and many did), the Games were a complete success from an infrastructural point of view - especially transportation.

While the 2000 Games were greatly centred on public transit, which clearly demonstrated that the best way to move large numbers of people to a single desintation in a limited amount of time was by communal transport, roads were a very important factor in the transport task. After all, buses and pedestrians use roads too. Sydney's roads and its famous bridges were very prominent in the marathons. While trains and ferries were very important, without roads the Games would have been impossible, given the rather dispersed nature of the locations of venues.

These pages chronicle, using photographs and my written explanations, the transport arrangements for the Olympic Games, and road infrastructure associated therewith, including signs and pavement markings. I hope that this becomes an invaluable part of the historical record regarding Sydney's two weeks of fame and glory and overpriced meat pies.

-- B.T.

Many major arterial roads and relatively minor streets throughout metropolitan Sydney became Special Event Clearways throughout the Olympics period. Special Event Clearways are nothing new to Sydney; they have been used many times in localised situations during major events, such as rugby league finals, international cricket matches and the Royal Easter Show. A feature of this sign located on South Terrace, Bankstown is the removable plate in the centre, so the dates and times of the Clearway can be changed at short notice. A Clearway in New South Wales is simply an extended no-stopping zone which usually applies during peak hours on major arterials in urban areas.

These photographs are examples of the special system of signage featuring easily recognisable pictographs that was in place in the city centre of Sydney during the Olympic and Paralympic Games periods. They were primarily for the use of pedestrians, as vehicular traffic was banned from much of the downtown area during the games. These signs were at Circular Quay, George Street opposite the Regent Hotel, and at the entrance to Museum underground railway station respectively.

Parking around sporting venues and other Olympic-related sites was very strictly controlled during the Games, and a system of accreditations for authorised vehicles was used during the Games. An example of a sign prohibiting parking except for accredited vehicles is shown above. This sign was on Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, adjacent to the controversial beach volleyball arena.

Another example of the very stringent parking controls during the Olympics. This sign is on one of the streets leading south from Bondi Road (possibly Imperial Avenue?). Residents in the area were given parking permits. The area code 'BB-S' means 'Bondi Beach - South'; streets to the north of Bondi Road were given the code 'BB-N'.

This blue line denotes the marathon route, which wended its way from North Sydney to Stadium Australia in the Homebush Bay complex by the most indirect route possible. This is on Liverpool Street adjacent to Hyde Park in central Sydney. In the background can be seen many Sydney 2000 banners, which lent Sydney a very Nuremburg-like feel during the Games.

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© Bradley Torr. Last updated 16-May-2001.

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