The Amgen Tour of California is coming to town Monday.

 

The California Highway Patrol will serve as escorts for race participants. Officers also will work to keep local highways safe for motorists on their way to, away from and around the event.

 

Officer Hugh Holden, spokesman, says the local office is up for the challenge.

Street Smarts: How much traffic are you expecting, not only that day, but this holiday weekend? Holden: We expect a notable increase in traffic. Motorists should expect delays.

SS: How many officers will be on duty this weekend? Holden: The CHP will have approximately 40 officers on duty assigned to traffic closures, detours, and roving patrol. (On a normal day, the department would have about 10 officers on duty.)

 

SS: Is there a different action plan depending on the weather? Obviously, sunshine will bring out more people than rainy weather? Will the person-power be the same either way? Holden: Rain or shine, the personnel working the event will be the same. SS: Where will you deploy? Will there be special enforcement on Highways 1, 9 and 17 this weekend? Holden: The CHP will be deploying officers as needed on the affected highways before and after the event to facilitate the safe and efficient flow of traffic.

SS: How many agencies will be working together on this event? Holden: All law enforcement agencies within Santa Cruz County will be cooperating on this event. Holden: In the past, the CHP has had good results from these types of events.  It is important that motorists understand that the traffic closures are temporary.  It is normal for motorists to become frustrated with traffic congestion.  However, motorists who drive through a road closure or disobey a law officer could put the participating cyclists in a life threatening situation. SS: How have previous events that have big draws to the county gone? Any motorists ever get impatient and out of hand at the road blocks? SS: Any advice for locals trying to get around town that day? Holden: Local motorists are reminded to plan an alternate route of travel and should plan on avoiding the race area unless they are attending the event as a spectator. SS: Any advice for tourists trying to find their way from point A to point B in an area they may not be that familiar with? Holden: Visitors should expect delays of 30-minutes to two hours. Motorists should plan their route of travel ahead of time and allow sufficient time to safely reach their destination. SS: Will navigation devices, such as Tom Tom, have the detours on file to help those people find their way around the action? Holden: Navigation devices may not have the detours motorists need to plan their routes. Travelers should check with their "GPS" system provider (if connected via wireless service) to ascertain if the Amgen event is covered by their service.  Mission Street will be closed to traffic. King Street is the suggested alternate. Motorists should avoid travel on the West Side of Santa Cruz and along State Route 1 to Half Moon Bay.  Changeable Message Signs will be in place notifying motorists of detours along several of the major roadways. Approximately 450 volunteers will be assisting with traffic control along the event route.

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