Holman Highway roundabout

For any of those among us who are thinking, “Oh, big golf tournament in Pebble Beach, it’ll probably be like February with the AT&T,” think again.

Yes, the AT&T can draw up to 190,000 spectators over one long weekend, but the United States Golf Association and the Pebble Beach Company are anticipating 250,000 fans descending on the area for the 2019 U.S. Open. (Car Week, for another comparison, attracts around half the number of people who come to the AT&T.)

Add to those 250,000 spectators another 1,000 members of the media from around the globe, 4,500 volunteers and more than 750 temporary employees.

The Pebble Beach Company, U.S. Golf Association, California Highway Patrol, Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and Caltrans have been strategizing for 18 months about how to handle the influx, according to a joint media advisory released on June 5.

Traffic is already slowing into Pebble Beach this week thanks to last-minute preparations and early arrivers. Practice rounds for the top players in the world begin on Monday, June 10, so expect spectators to begin crowding into town all of next week until the final U.S. Open round scheduled for Sunday, June 16.

On May 21, the Pebble Beach Company sent Pebble Beach residents a letter letting them know traffic circulation plans would be significantly different for the U.S. Open than for other events. The company is shutting down a short segment of Stevenson Drive near the golf practice facility from 6am to 9pm daily, June 10-16. Some roads in Del Monte Forest will become one-way only from 5am-9pm daily. Officials also recommended that residents avoid using the Highway 1 and Carmel gates into Pebble Beach, suggesting the Country Club and Morse gates instead.

The biggest piece of advice coming from the Pebble Beach Company, the USGA and Caltrans to forest residents—as well as the rest of the Monterey Peninsula—might just be the hardest to follow, however.

Stay off the roads when fans and workers are arriving and leaving. That window is from 7am-11am and again from 3:30pm-7:30pm. (Gulp.)

Something else for commuters to be aware of is that Caltrans is shutting down the left-hand turn lane out of Castroville Boulevard onto eastbound Highway 156 starting at 10am, Wednesday, June 12, until 10am, Monday, June 17. The detour will be turning right from Castroville Boulevard onto westbound Highway 156, exiting at Merritt Street, then a left onto Merritt and another left onto eastbound 156.

Caltrans' advice to the rest of Monterey County drivers: follow its trailblazing signs to General Jim Moore Boulevard, avoiding Highway 1 and CSU Monterey Bay, where about 16,000 offsite parking spaces are located for shuttle service.

The agency is warning of long delays along a 15-mile stretch of Highway 1, from Pebble Beach all the way to the Nashua/Molera road exit.

And if you are trying to get in or out of Pacific Grove or Monterey, don’t even think about using the exit to Holman Highway at the roundabout during peak hours.

For real-time travel conditions, visit Caltrans' map at quickmap.dot.ca.gov throughout the week. See the end of the post for suggested alternate commuter routes.

As for offsite parking, it’s free, as is the shuttle that’s scheduled to run continuously from 5:30am until one hour after tournament play. Shuttle rides from CSUMB are expected to take 30-53 minutes, “depending on traffic,” according to the media advisory.

In addition, chambers of commerce on the Peninsula are running fee-based shuttles for locals and visitors from various spots in Pacific Grove, Monterey and unincorporated Carmel.

A handicapped placard will be of no help to anyone thinking they can slide on into Pebble Beach and park up close: Handicapped parking is located offsite only; those with special transportation needs are encouraged to call the USGA Admissions Office at 800-698-0661.

Here’s what Caltrans is advising as far as alternate commuter routes June 10-16 (besides carpooling or staying home): 

For inbound commuters from Salinas traffic using Blanco Road:

Proceed westbound on Blanco Road to Reservation Road.

Turn left onto Reservation Road for 1 mile.

Turn right onto Inter-Garrison Road for 0.5 miles.

Turn right to stay on Inter-Garrison Road for 2.2 miles.

At the traffic circle, take the second exit onto 8th Avenue for 0.8 miles.

Turn right onto Gigling Road for 1.1 miles.

Turn left onto General Moore Boulevard, proceeding southbound into Seaside, and toward Canyon Del Rey and Highway 68.

For inbound commuters from Salinas traffic using Reservation Road:

Proceed westbound on Reservation Road toward Inter-Garrison Road.

Turn left onto Inter-Garrison Road for 0.5 miles.

Turn right to stay on Inter-Garrison Road for 2.2 miles.

At the traffic circle, take the second exit onto 8th Avenue for 0.8 miles.

Turn right onto Gigling Road for 1.1 miles.

Turn left onto General Jim Moore Boulevard, proceeding southbound into Seaside and toward Canyon Del Rey and Highway 68.


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Pam Marino joined the Monterey County Weekly in November 2016. She covers the communities of Carmel, Pacific Grove, Del Rey Oaks, Pebble Beach and North County. She also covers tourism, health, housing and homelessness, business and agriculture.

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(1) comment

Charlotte Banks

To the locals: You'd better get in ALL of your dining reservations: Lunch, brunch and whatever you get at those "holes-in-the-wall". Hit up Red's at 6. (Those that are more dedicated, 4 a.m.!)

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