May 14, 2013 7:22 PM by Keli Moore, KSBY News
Thousands of people are expected to head to Avila Beach Thursday as the Tour of California racers cross the ocean-front finish line of Stage 5.
With the influx of visitors, parking and access to and from Avila is an issue.
Already on Tuesday, no parking signs were posted all over town.
Race officials suggest finding an alternative spot to watch the race because Avila will be extremely crowded.
Mary Foppiano of the Avila Beach Civic Association said the small town has never had as many as 5,000 to 7,500 people in the area at one time.
"You may not be able to get in or out," said Foppiano. "You can get in if you have one of the passes that they are giving out to residents and people who work here."
If you don't have a pass, plan to get into Avila by noon. Don't use Ontario Road unless you are on foot or on a bike.
"Avila Beach is no parking, San Luis Bay Drive is no parking, and parts of Ontario are no parking," said California Highway Patrol Officer John Townsen.
Public parking is limited but there are a few lots you can park in. The Bob Jones trail head has free parking. Avila Valley Barn has parking, but for a fee. You can buy a space at the fruit stand on the corner of See Canyon Road and San Luis Bay Drive. Avila Beach Golf Course will have 1,500 free spots on the 10th and 18th fairways. Port San Luis can also park about 300 cars at no charge.
There will be a free shuttle taking people to and from the finish line; however, consider a back-up plan because these lots are expected to fill quickly, and expect other possible closures during the day.
"We will close San Luis Bay first, north and south," Officer Townsen said. "Avila Beach Drive will be the second to close, if need be."
Once the off-ramps are closed, the only way in is on foot or by bike.
There will be a bike valet available at First Street near the golf course.
Be aware that other roads will have temporary rolling closures when the racers pass through. CHP said those closures should last five to ten minutes.
Authorities stress planning ahead to avoid a parking ticket or getting towed. Parking fines start at $53. Getting towed could cost you hundreds of dollars.
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