Amgen Tour of California prompts 'rolling' road closures Monday in Santa Cruz County
SOQUEL, May 12, 2012 (Menafn - Santa Cruz Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --As acclaimed cyclists in the Amgen Tour of California speed through the county Monday afternoon, commuters will be brought to a standstill on the route.
The cyclists will head south from San Francisco on Highway 1, wind their way up Bonny Doon Road and through the San Lorenzo Valley to Summit Road. Then they will descend Soquel-San Jose Road and finish at Cabrillo College.
"I would advise people -- even people who are not interested in the race -- to familiarize themselves with the route," California Highway Patrol officer Sarah Jackson said. "Traffic will be affected."
Drivers and residents should expect "rolling" road closures of all lanes along the route from about 20 minutes before the racers arrive. After all the cyclists pass, the roads will reopen.
Until the riders approach, traffic going the same direction of the riders may be allowed. Vehicles also will be allowed to cross the route.
As the racers pass, residents will not be allowed to exit driveways on to the course.
Jackson and race organizers asked drivers to be patient.
Although all times may vary with race conditions, racers are expected to ride by Highway 1 and Bonny Doon Road about 1 p.m. The peloton, or main pack of racers, should hit Highway 9 about 1:45 p.m.
Cyclists will climb to Summit Road by 2:15 p.m. and cross Highway 17 toward Soquel-San Jose Road. Soquel Drive likely
will be closed from about 2:30 or 3 p.m., organizers said.
Racers will turn right from Soquel Drive on to Cabrillo College Drive and finish in the parking lot of Cabrillo's football field about 3:50 p.m.
Soquel Drive will reopen after the last racer passes, said Maura Noel, event coordinator for the tour's Santa Cruz County stage finish.
At the finish, there will be a roughly 10-minute awards ceremony. Cabrillo College Road will be closed until about 4:30 p.m.
The cyclists and their teams will want to wrap up quickly to rest for the next day's ride, Noel said.
Jackson, of the CHP, also reminded people traveling with children, the elderly or disabled to prepare for delays. They also might consider alternate routes.
"Maybe reschedule your day around it," Jackson said of the race. "These are areas that are not used to these volumes of traffic. People need to be especially aware and share the road."
There will be about 128 cyclists participating on Monday in likely balmy weather.
Race organizers expect a few thousand fans at prime spectating spots along the route -- such as the climb on Bonny Doon Road and on Bear Creek Road.
"We do ask that (fans) keep their dogs on a leash, and keep kids close so they don't dart out on to the course," Noel said.
Also, organizers advised spectators with cameras not to lean close to the passing cyclists.
Some of the racers clock 30 to 40 mph. Getting in their way can be dangerous, Noel said.
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Roads on the route of the Amgen Tour of California will be closed to vehicles on a "rolling" basis about 20 minutes before racers arrive at each part of the course. Roads will be reopened after racers pass.
The California Highway Patrol said all residents who live or drive near the course should prepare for delays. Racers are expected to be in the following areas at these times.
Times are subject to change based on race conditions.
1 p.m.: Northbound and southbound Highway 1 at Bonny Doon Road
1:30 p.m.: Empire Grade Road from Bonny Doon Road to Jamison Creek Road
1:45 p.m.: Highway 236 from Jamison Creek Road to Highway 9
1:45 p.m.: Highway 9 from Highway 236 to Bear Creek Road
1:45 p.m.: Bear Creek Road between Highway 9 and Highway 35
2:15 p.m.: Highway 35 between Bear Creek Road and Summit Road
2:15 p.m.: Summit Road between Highway 35 and Soquel-San Jose Road
2:15 p.m.: Soquel-San Jose Road between Summit and Soquel Roads
2:30 p.m.: Soquel Drive between Soquel-San Jose Road and Cabrillo College
SOURCE: Amgen Tour of California
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