Hmm a look at the authors pictures and maps does not bring across the impression he is trying to give. For instance the soldiers appear to be unarmed and wearing high vis vests so acting in effect to protect "public safety" in the prior 9/11 meaning. Likewise others appear to be in cerimonial dress which used to be worn in public as a mark of respect for official events.
A look at the maps gives the impression that certain major routes have been used to alow good emergancy vehicle access for the likes of medical emergancies etc. Which you would expect from sensible planning for the number of expected official and unofficial visitors of all ages and fitness. Baring in mind that at the time of the planning the weather would be an unknown variable --and let's face it DC has had a run of bad luck in that area in recent times-- so it might well have been snowy weather conditions with tempratures well below freezing.
I get the feeling the author has a yearning for the "good old days" that in reality were anything but when poor planning and croud control would lead to hospitalisation and even deaths for quite a few people.
I further guess the author did not come to the UK during the summer whilst the Olympics were on (they would have had an even worse vibe).
Royal Greenwich (as now is) is a beautiful place with lots of interesting nooks and crannies that can reward the curious with little jems of architecture etc, and is a popular venue during the summer for tourists and more recently Cruise liners. Also film makers, Pirates of the Carabian had some sceens shot around the Navel Museum and Johny Depp payed some surprise visits to some local schools.
However for the olympic visitor no joy  places of interest were shut up and baricaded from them and other visitors. And as some of the readers on this blog know some residents found anti-aircraft instalations being put on their roofs without consultation.
 On arrival Olympic venue ticket holders were coraled and "route marched" from public transport point to olympic security check in, in narrow file over a specialy constructed bridge by soldiers and other service personnel, and ticket holders were not "officialy" allowed to even use the shops or other amenities of Greenwich .
 Apparently the 'official sponsors' such as JunkieD's, a well known and loathed US fizzy drinks manufacture who has been banned from some countries and a fake scandinavian beer manufacture would not be happy .
 Local traders were absolutly out raged by this "you are not going to sell to visitors" attitude because they had been repeatedly assured by all the Lococ Olympic Officials right up untill the games started that the Olympic visitors would be allowed free run of Greenwich, and thus be there in effect to boast their sales etc. Most retailers actually lost significant trade in the period they would normaly make their main annual takings from summer visitors and tourists. Which has sadly resulted in some of them to "cease trading".
 The joke of the 'official sponsors would not be pleased' was JunkieD's and a well known UK retail outlet both have stores in Greenwhich which were also officialy 'out of bounds' and actually made significant losses during the Olympic period.
 The soldiers and other armed services personnel were not particularly happy with the "Official Sponsor" view for many reasons  and provided various "Lococ Olympic Officials" were not around did let visitors out of the coral if asked, provided it was not onto the emergancy vehicle access routes.
 The armed forces personnel were not supposed to be at the Olympics  except as some small specialist units in case of terrorist activity (which has happened a number of times in the passt long prior to 9/11).
 The Ministry of Defence had originaly offered to make personnel available but had been told by Lococ Olympic Officials and the current UK Gov that they would not be needed as their favourd (via payments to the political party etc) private sector security firm Group 4 Services (G4S) were going to do it all with the unemployed and volunteer groups .
 G4S are unfortunatly an organisation with a history of failing when taking over what were public sector services such as prisons and prisoner transport. So much so they are sometimes refered to as "Grope4Success" (partly due to accusasions of assult of various types carried out by their staff at amongst other places "family detention centers") and partly because they appear to have all the ability of a blind drunk crawling in the gutter groping for pennies to get the next drink. Unsupprisingly they compleatly and utterly messed up and rather than try to sort things out kept it hushed up untill the last minute.
 G4S's failure was so bad they had recruted less than a very small percentage of the people they required and many of those they had were shall we say "not tempramentaly suitable" for such work and appeared to think they were on some "power kick". The result was in an emergancy the UK Gov had to use armed forces personnel to do the job, most of whom were only in the UK from frontline activities in the Middle East to have a few precious days with their loved ones. And quite justifiably were upset that they had lost precious time, however as far as I'm aware they all did their best to make the games as good as they could for the visitors, perhaps in some cases contrary to the wishes of the "Officials & Sponsors" ;-)