With tens of thousands of people, if not more, possibly descending upon Santa Cruz Monday to catch a glimpse of the Amgen Tour of California, transportation-minded organizations around town are urging spectators to use alternative transportation.
“There will be 60 tons of carbon foot print spilling into the air that one day,” said Piet Canin, of Ecology Action.
Great measures are being taken to reduce that figure. Those measures include arranging carpools, taking the bus and riding bikes.
Several web sites are helping cycling fans arrange carpools. They are, Craigslist-Rideshare, http://sfbay.craigslist.org/; Zimride, http://zimride.com/home.php; AlterNetRides, http://www.alternetrides.com/welcome1.asp; and GoLoco, http://goloco.org/greetings/guest.
Once your carpool arrives into town, park in Harvey West for free or pay normal Boardwalk parking fees to use their lots, then catch a shuttle. Beginning at 9:30 a.m. free shuttle rides will stop on Encinal Street and Harvey West Boulevard between DuBois Street and Sylvania Avenue; at Pacific Avenue and Water Street; along Beach Street in front of the Boardwalk and on Front at Laurel streets.Do not park in the Triple Decker Garage at River and Front streets. It will close after 6 p.m. Sunday. Spectators can avoid the parking crunch altogether by taking public Transportation. They can check out http://www.tourofcalifornia-santacruz.com/PDF/Final%20amgen%20Transportation.pdf. This 30-page document explains in great detail the ins and outs of using public transportation to get to the race no matter what part of the San Francisco or Monterey bay areas they are coming from. Locals who plan to ride the bus should know that Metro is offering two park and ride lots. One is in Scotts Valley behind the Kings Village Shopping Center and King Village Drive and Blue Bonnet. The other is at Highway 1 and Soquel Drive near Dominican Hospital. The bus stop is in front of the hospital. Bus riders from Scotts Valley can hop on route “35 Santa Cruz” or the Highway 17 Express, while riders from Live Oak and South County should use bus route “71 Santa Cruz.” Riders without a Highway 17 bus pass should use bus 35 to save money. Return trips can be made from the Santa Cruz Metro Center at 920 Pacific Ave. People going back to Scotts Valley can use "35 Boulder Creek" and "35A Boulder Creek" from Lane 3. Those going to Soquel can use the route "71 Watsonville" from Lane 4. Folks who choose to ride their bicycles to town can use the People Power-run bike valet parking lot inside the River/Front Garage near Wells Fargo. Since capacity there is limited, another option would be to buy a parking card and pay $.03 an hour to park at any one of the downtown area’s bike lockers. Call 420-5184 for information. Canin’s organization Ecology Action is hosting a raffle in an attempt to encourage race spectators to think about how they’re going to get to the event. At least 20% of raffle proceeds will be donated to a community climate fund to help pay for a local greenhouse gas reducing project. Raffle tickets are $10 each, with price discounts at three for $25 and 15 for $100. Prizes include a $5,000 Carbon Giant Bike donated by Bicycle Trip and a four night beach house vacation rental in South County by Kendall & Potter Property Management & Vacation Rentals. Tickets are available at www.ecoact.org, as well as at the Ecology Action office at 223 River Street in Santa Cruz, Bicycle Trip, The Spokesman Bicycles, Family Cycling Center, Bike Station Aptos, Emily’s Bakery and Cal Giant Berry Farms in Watsonville. The drawing will be Sunday. Participants do not need to be present to enter.