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New Traffic Plan for USGP at Laguna Seca

According to the press release quoted below, SCRAMP (the nonprofit organization that manages Laguna Seca Raceway) has devised a new traffic plan which they hope will alleviate the horrific traffic congestion attendees of last year’s USGP encountered.

This year, all automobiles will park at an off-site location, from which shuttles will carry the race attendees to the track. One track entrance road will be dedicated to shuttle and automobile traffic – the only autos authorized to enter the track being those of essential personnel such as team members, track officials, and the media. Another entrance road will be designated for motorcycles only, and only spectators on motorcycles will be parking at the track.

The new traffic plan seems to be a well thought out response to the large number of complaints last year from attendees who were frustrated by spending long hours in traffic while traveling to and from the race. The big winners in this plan are those attendees who come to the race on motorcycles – the motorcycle-only entry road should move very quickly, and the large amount of parking available should mean that motorcyclists will have no problem finding a spot.

Those attendees who arrive in autos should benefit as well, as long as the shuttle service to and from the track runs quickly and efficiently. Here is the press release.

MONTEREY, Calif. (April 14, 2006) – The Sports Car Racing Association of the Monterey Peninsula (SCRAMP) announced today a traffic plan for improving the flow of vehicles and spectators in and out of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 21-23. Highlights of the plan include all general admission parking off-site, with spectators transported via shuttle bus; a motorcycle-only entrance; and increased staffing and directional signage.

The plan will immediately limit the number of automobiles permitted on-site at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca by providing free off-site parking at Cal State University – Monterey Bay (CSUMB) located near Monterey just off of Highway 1. From there, all spectators will be shuttled by bus onto Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca through the South Boundary Road entrance. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will continue to allow spectators to enter with personal belongings (cameras, backpacks, personal coolers, etc.), but these must be able to sit on the riders lap.

“Our first goal was to reach a solution that limited the number of automobiles on-site, and the shuttle bus system should allow us to do that efficiently. The parking is conveniently located just off of Highway 1, and will remain free of charge,” said Gill Campbell, CEO/General Manager of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “This is a system that works well for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament, and should help us eliminate some of the traffic strain both into the facility and throughout the community during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.”

All motorcyclists will be provided free parking at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Wolf Hill, traditionally the automobile parking area at spectator events. Motorcycles will enter and exit on Barloy Canyon Road, located off of Reservation Road in Marina. No automobiles will be allowed to enter or exit on this road.

“Part of the charm of a MotoGP World Championship event is that, by its nature, it becomes the largest motorcycle gathering many people will ever witness. We wanted to ensure that continued,” Campbell said of continuing motorcycle parking on-site at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “We hope this will encourage even more of our avid motorcycling base to ride to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.”

“We’ve pledged to improve our efficiency at the admission gates; if spectators, particularly those traveling by motorcycle, can assist us by having their tickets easily available we’ll make the entry process as painless and enjoyable as possible for everyone at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix.”

The only automobiles on-site will be those with parking passes, such as those purchased through Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in hospitality packages or teams, media and officials. These automobiles will be able to enter through one lane of South Boundary Road (shuttles will be entering in the same direction in the opposite lane) until 2:00 p.m. each day, at which point the traffic flow will be reversed and the same automobiles will exit on the same road. Teams, media and officials will enter and exit the main gate through Highway 68.

A limited number of general public on-site parking passes for Wolf Hill parking are available through Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, at a weekend price of $50. These passes are available for advance purchase only.

Additionally, as with all events at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, spectators will be able to ride for free on Monterey–Salinas Transit (MST). A shuttle schedule for MST on event weekends, including bus stops on the Monterey Peninsula and in Salinas, will be available at www.mst.org.

“One of our main goals for the 2006 Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix was to dramatically improve the traffic situation during the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix,” said Campbell. “We strongly believe we’ve accomplished that. Now we can continue to grow and improve the MotoGP experience for all involved.”

Tickets for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca’s 50th Season of Racing, including the U.S. Sports Car Invitational featuring the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series May 5-7, the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix July 21-23, the 33rd Rolex Monterey Historic Automobile Races August 18-20 and the Monterey Sports Car Championships featuring the American Le Mans Series October 20-22, are on-sale now.

More information on the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix is available at www.redbullusgrandprix.com.

Tickets and more information is available by calling (800) 327-SECA or on-line at www.laguna-seca.com.