Expect a ‘Significant Impact’ on Parking and Access Monday, Aug. 20
by Gus Jarvis
Aug 16, 2012 | 2036 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print

TELLURIDE – It could be 10,000 or it could be upwards of 20,000; no-one knows the exact number of people that will flood into town on Monday, Aug. 20 for the finish of Stage 1 of the Pro Cycling Challenge.

But what does seem certain is that parking and access to Telluride’s dead-end box canyon will be interesting, to say the least.

The towns of Telluride and Mountain Village have been hard at work devising plans to deal with the influx of those involved in the Pro Cycle Challenge as well as visitors, residents and employees.

“This is going to have a significant impact on this community,” Telluride Town Manager Greg Clifton said at the Aug. 7 meeting of the Telluride Town Council. “The good news is it will be relatively short in duration. It will be a bit of an inconvenience for some, but a short inconvenience. We are asking the community to be patient and to help us.”

Clifton said all residents and businesses should anticipate a large parking impact, and traffic congestion, throughout Monday (and especially Monday afternoon, when the cyclists will arrive for the finish). When the racers arrive via the Hwy. 145 Spur, they will turn left at North Townsend St., upon entering Telluride, and turn left on West Columbia Ave. From there, racers will turn right on North Willow St., take another right back onto East Colorado Ave., and sprint to the finish in front of the San Miguel County Courthouse.

Leading up to the event on Saturday, Aug. 18, at 6 a.m., parking on the north side of Colorado Avenue, from Townsend to Aspen will be closed. On Sunday, Aug. 19 at 6 a.m., the town will close off parking on ,the south side of Townsend Ave., as well.

On Monday, Aug. 20 at 5 a.m., Colorado Ave. from Townsend to Willow will be closed to both vehicle traffic and parking. Parking on the remaining portions of the Pro Challenge will be eliminated as well, including:

• Colorado Ave. from the roundabout to Townsend;

• 100 block of N. Townsend on east and west sides;

• Entire Columbia Ave. from Townsend to Willow;

• 100 block of N. Willow on the east and west sides;

• 100 block of N. Oak on the east and west sides;

• 100 and 200 blocks of S. Aspen on the east and west sides.

Residents who regularly park in any of these areas are encouraged to move their vehicles early to East Colorado Ave., past Town Park or Black Bear Road, near the Shandoka daycare center. There will be shuttle services to these locations on Sunday, Aug. 19, 5-8 p.m., and on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 8-11 a.m.

No public parking will be available at Carhenge, the South Pearl lot, the north row of the Shandoka lot, Mahoney Street, South Aspen St., North Fir St. to alley, the Telluride High School parking lot, Town Park lot, N. Aspen St. to the alley and N. Oak St. to Columbia Ave.

Outside of town, designated parking zones will be established on the Hwy 145 Spur, Lawson Hill and in Mountain Village, with shuttle buses transporting people to and from these locations.

An early closure of the Spur to vehicle access is expected to take place sometime between 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Monday. Access to town will be restricted to only residents and businesses of Telluride. Hangtags for town residents and businesses are being issued at Town Hall based upon necessity. However, there is no guarantee of access or parking and residents and businesses are strongly encouraged not to drive into town Aug. 20.

A hard closure of access into town will occur around 3 p.m. and remain in effect until the race is finished around 4 p.m.

“There will be a point in the day when Telluride is inaccessible,” Clifton said. “That’s projected to occur sometime by 3:30 or 4. Forty-five minutes in advance of that, everything will be closed and the only thing that will be moving at that point is the peloton with the entourage. Things will be at a standstill, and after the finish, we’ll see just how fast things can be broken down. It will be a lot like the Fourth of July where there will be a lot of people and a lot of things not moving very fast.

“By Tuesday morning, with some residual traffic, we will be back to business as usual in Telluride,” Clifton said.

gjarvis@watchnewspapers.com or @gusgusj

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