Activities Planned, But Expect Street Closures and Limited Parking
MONTROSE – While the Montrose community is gearing up for one of the city's biggest events, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, informing the public about safety and traffic plans are on the top of the city’s to-do list.
"It's going to be a fun event, but there will be some traffic challenges for our community," said Lt. Blaine Hall of the Montrose Police Department.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge will bring 134 professional cyclists through Colorado in seven race stages. Montrose is the location for start of stage two, which takes riders from the Montrose Pavilion to Crested Butte on Tuesday, Aug. 21.
With the event will come 5,000 to 15,000 spectators, Montrose Police Chief Tom Chinn said.
The event itself is only one day, but with the expected crowds, the community has scheduled other activities to give visitors an opportunity to enjoy Montrose.
"We are expecting Main in Motion to be busier than normal," Hall said.
In conjunction with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Main in Motion will host a bicycle parade during its normal 6 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday event.
Extra police officers will be on duty that evening, and starting Saturday, Aug. 18, officers will be working 12-hour shifts, Hall said.
Saturday's events include the Montrose Recreation District's Youth Appreciation Day featuring a day full of free events for area youth, the Montrose Area Bicycle Alliance Poker Run starting at 3 p.m., and later, the organization's Bike-In Movie night at Rotary Park.
Montrose neighborhoods along the USA Pro Cycling Challenge route – areas around the Pavilion, along Niagara, 67.00 and Sunnyside roads, on South and North Townsend avenues, south Second and Fifth streets, Nevada Avenue, East Main Street and Colorado 50 – should not be affected by event activities until Sunday, Aug.19.
A 27-mile Club Ride takes off from the Montrose Pavilion on Sunday morning and will tour the "parade route" of the Pro Challenge before heading south to Racine Road, behind Cobble Creek Golf Community and finishing at the RnR Sports Bar. The event will include at least 75 riders, but could have more (it is open to the public for a $25 entry fee).
The Pro Challenge parade route starts at the Pavilion, heads westbound on East Niagara Road, turns north on Hillcrest Avenue to Sunnyside Road, then heads east on Sunnyside to 67.00 Road, where it turns west again on Niagara back to the Pavilion.
Activity will begin at the Pavilion Monday morning, Aug. 20, as people begin to set up the staging grounds for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
At 10 a.m. Monday, the Pavilion and traffic entrances into the Pavilion will be closed to the public, and event officials will be setting up that area into the night, according to event coordinators.
That evening, extra police officers will be at The Bridges to control crowds at The Wailers concert. The Bridge's Clubhouse will be closed to the general public at that time.
Parking will be available at The Bridge's during the concert, and during the race, the public can park at St. Mary's Catholic Church, behind Columbine Field and within the undeveloped subdivisions near the Pavilion, Hall said.
Spectators are encouraged to walk or ride their bicycles to the event to help alleviate traffic problems.
Starting at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 20, police officers will began to patrol the race route. Vehicles will not be permitted to park on any street that is included in that route starting from the time of those patrols, and vehicles in violation will be towed, according to the department.
The race route starts with the parade route, at which time bicyclists will be traveling at about 10 to 15 miles per hour, a much slower speed than when they begin the actual race, Hall said.
After the parade route, racers continue westbound on North Niagara Road to South Townsend Avenue.
"At Hillcrest and Niagara, the race goes hot," Hall said.
Racers will pick up speed as they head north on Townsend Avenue. They then take a right onto South Fifth Street, then north on Nevada Avenue to South Second Street, and back west to Townsend Avenue, at which time they go two blocks and take a right onto Main Street. Racers will continue onto Colorado 50 on their way to Crested Butte.
Police will be cued to close the race route to traffic and pedestrians about 11 a.m. on Aug. 21, but that route will reopen immediately following the last patrol vehicle trailing the racers, Hall said. Racers should be traveling out of Montrose by noon, however, times are subject to change.
People planning to travel to Gunnison will experience up to one-hour delays if they travel during the race, Hall said. People coming from the north or south into Montrose will be asked to take an alternative east route on Rio Grande Avenue around the city's downtown.
The USA Pro Cycling Challenge includes hundreds of volunteers who will help with street closures and other responsibilities.
People wanting to volunteer should register at www.usaprocyclingchallenge.com/volunteer. A training for volunteers takes place at 3 p.m. this Saturday, July 28, at Centennial Middle School.
Volunteers are expected to check in the day of the race between 8 and 10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1521 Hillcrest Drive.
The Montrose Fire Department and EMTs also will be stationed throughout the race route to address any medical emergencies within the general public.
Events at the Montrose Pavilion continue after the racers leave town, and a large screen will be set up to follow live television coverage of the race. The public will not be able to park at the Pavilion until the race activities conclude.
Montrose Memorial Hospital, the San Juan Cancer Center and other medical offices will close their parking lots to the public so that patients using their facilities will be able to park in those areas.
Street closures in Montrose, along with closures throughout the state for the race, are posted on www.cotrip.org and www.montrose.org/race.
Kati O'Hare at email@example.com