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Expect major traffic during Amgen ride

Original post made on Feb 12, 2008

Hamilton Avenue from Bryant to Ramona streets: Saturday, Feb. 16, at 3 p.m. through Sunday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m.; Hamilton from High to Webster streets: Sunday, 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, February 15, 2008, 9:34 AM

Comments (28)

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 12, 2008 at 7:49 pm

These road closures could cause quite serious traffic problems. I feel sure that there will be many people in and around Palo Alto who are going to get stuck in traffic and know nothing about these road closures. This site and even PA Weekly are not read by everyone.

This sounds like the CANS system should be used once again to warn everyone to check the paper and the website for road closures over the weekend.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 14, 2008 at 10:50 am

These road closures are going to be a nightmare for traffic on Sunday. For those trying to get across town to Church and now to those who want to get to the Theatre for the memorial service, it is going to be difficult.

Please advertise this better. Do the Churches in the affected areas have parking and shuttle services? Does any type of public transport alternatives operate? Where are the fans going to park?

This is a nightmare waiting to happen and I think the powers that be should be doing something today to prevent mayhem for all those not going to Amgen.

Posted by sally
a resident of Midtown
on Feb 15, 2008 at 10:02 am

If you want to visit Palo Alto on Sunday, take Caltrain or ride your bike!

Posted by Danny
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 15, 2008 at 10:07 am

Well said Sally. Looks like a great weekend to be on the bike -- or stay home and watch a movie!

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2008 at 10:10 am

At last, someone is beginning to take note.

Posted by Drive don't bike
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 15, 2008 at 10:34 am

I see that our city is being flooded with bikers (considering what has happened in competitive racing, who knows what they are on).
yesterday evening I was heading home. I came to a complete stop at Palm Drive and Campus Drive and then proceeded to enter the intersection, 3 bikers--testing out the course no doubt) blew through the stop sign coming up Palm towards the oval. Fortunately Iw as able to stop in time and they gave me the typical "we are bikers so we can ignore stop signs look". I would like them to try that stunt with a semi-trailer.
if this is the kind of steroid-fueled athletes we invite into our town--I say no thanks.

Posted by Donald
a resident of South of Midtown
on Feb 15, 2008 at 11:04 am

This may cause a bit of trouble for some people, but it is well worth it. It shouldn't be any worse than a Stanford football game, or a World Cup soccer event or an Olympic soccer event or the Super Bowl, all of which have been held here. Leave the car at home and enjoy a world-class sporting event.

Posted by Drive don't bike
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 15, 2008 at 11:18 am

Will the bikers be tested for banned substances, since we know what happens at the world class Tour de France.

Posted by Bike don't drive
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 15, 2008 at 1:08 pm

I see that our city is being flooded with cars (considering what always happens in NASCAR, who knows how they'll behave).

Yesterday evening I was biking home. I was biking completely in the bike lane and came to an intersection. A car decided to take a right turn and, instead of merging in behind me, swerved in front of me and braked. Fortunately I was able to stop in time, and he gave me that "I'm driving a car so I can ignore everybody else's safety" look. I would love him to try that stunt with another car, he would have gotten rear-ended.

If this is the kind of attitude-fueled residents we welcome into our town, I say no thanks.

Posted by Drive don't bike
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 15, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Bike don't drive--is that the best you can do? My story actually happened, yours is a fantasy by an embittered biker.

Posted by Bike don't drive
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 15, 2008 at 1:33 pm

My story happens every day when I bike to work. It's insane the number of cars that will come one foot to sideswiping me on Foothill Expressway, that will try to merge into my lane by muscling me out of the way. I've had friends killed on their bikes by drunk drivers, other with broken collar bones and horror stories.

My point is that in every mode of transportation, there are always a few bad apples. I'm bitter at bikers that run stop signs because they give me a bad name. I'm bitter at cars that come close to killing me, but that doesn't mean I hate all drivers.

Peaceful coexistence is key to everything.

Posted by Forest Ave resident
a resident of University South
on Feb 15, 2008 at 1:35 pm

Please don't drive downtown on Sunday. The off-University street parking is usually filled with residents' vehicles.

Posted by Danny
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 15, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Drive don't bike: You're generalizing ALL bicyclists with your statement, which to me is a lot like prejudice or racism. Grouping people you don't know into one negative category is unfair and irresponsible. Maybe you should try riding a bike or walking every now and again rather than driving everywhere. You'll see that many drivers are inconsiderate or simply oblivious to the bicyclists on the road, which can very dangerous. Many cyclists have been killed by drivers such as yourself who feel that cars should rule the road. No bicyclist has ever killed a driver, so ease up.

Posted by Drive don't bike
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Danny--I work at Stanford. And I will admit I was very annoyed at what happened considering how close I came to hitting them. However, I see on a daily basis how bikers breeze through stop signs, even though it is against the law. Also try walking around Stanford during class changes, which I do on occasion, pedestrians are constantly in danger from bikers zooming around in streets and on sidewalks.
My comments were not racist, since, as far as I know, bikers do not constitute a specific race or specific gender, so lighten up on the attempts to make my comments into something they are not (though I know it is fashionable to play the "race" card these days).
Of course some drivers are inconsiderate,as are some bikers and of course a bicyclist will probably never kill a driver (that in itself is a ridiculous statement as well).
Nowhere did state that I feel that cars should rule the road. the rules of the road are for both drivers and bicyclists. I almost had a major accident because of incosiderate bikers, who as I stated, proceeded to look at me as if I was the on who had done something wrong. Since you were not there, you do not know the facts. I stand by my comments

Posted by enjoy the weekend
a resident of another community
on Feb 15, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Relax -- this isn't like NASCAR or the Superbowl coming to town! In fact, most out of town fans coming to this bike race will likely choose to watch near the finish line near the Oval on the Stanford campus (or the Lifestyle Festival near by).

Since these fans also know that University Avenue and Palm Drive will be closed for the race, those who are driving will likely head for El Camino via Page Mill or Embarcadero (if they don't come via 280). And quite a few will choose to come by Caltrain or by bike.

See the Palo Alto-Stanford Prologue web site's Race Day page for detailed info and event maps that can help you have a pleasant day on Sunday whether you want to come watch these amazing athletes or avoid the event:
Web Link
You'll also find that using alternatives to driving is emphasized, with links to train and bus schedules that allow spectators to avoid driving altogether.

And using Google on the city's website turned up more info about the special Crosstown Shuttle this Sunday:
Web Link
So Palo Altans who don't choose to bike still have an option other than driving to this great event.

Posted by Geoff
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Feb 15, 2008 at 2:58 pm

Stanford campus is one of the worst places to observe "cyclists", given that the majority of students there (many of whom ride bikes) certainly are not skilled nor law-abiding riders. I agree that it is dangerous - especially during class changes - to be on Stanford campus, whether as another cyclist or as a pedestrian.

However, to take the pseudonym of "Drive don't bike" is to take an anti-bicycle stance, which your comments certainly seem to back. I whole-heartedly agree that cyclists should obey traffic laws. As a daily rider, I also understand that many motorists do not respect my right to the road, and I need to bend the laws a bit at times, much as motorists do everyday (speeding, rolling through lights/right turns, etc.) I certainly do not condone running stop lights/signs, whether on bike or in a motor vehicle.

Since your bias apparently comes from watching Stanford students zip around on bikes, I can understand where you're coming from, but it certainly is quite ridiculous to class all cyclists based on your limited observations. You may have almost had an accident due to some unruly riders (and racers can be some of the worst offenders, though very skilled riders), but your stance seems quite exaggerated. Those riders, based on your description, certainly were in the wrong - however, I doubt they had any malicious intent. This cannot be said for many of the drivers I meet on the roads, whether on my bike or in my car. (and for you to rule out "Bike don't drive's" account as fantasy is ridiculous)

Calm down, take it easy - enjoy the world class field of cyclists that will be racing - and please don't judge all cyclists based on a few individual riders; Especially Stanford (or for that matter, any college) students who happen to be on bicycles. Perhaps even take a ride sometime - just not on campus.

Posted by Drive don't bike
a resident of Stanford
on Feb 15, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Geoff--points taken.

Posted by DealWithIt
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Feb 15, 2008 at 4:36 pm

"Drive don't bike" implies that we should abandon an activity because some of the people who do it are jerks. That certainly means we have to give up our driving, and skiing, and playing tennis, and every sport I can think of. And we better not walk anywhere, either. I guess we should just lock ourselves in the bedroom... no I guess we have to give that up, too. What's left? Just learn to deal with it (a sense of humor helps, too).

Posted by Taxpayer
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 15, 2008 at 5:41 pm

I'm wondering how much having the Amgen Tour is going to cost the city -- with all of the road closures, etc?

Posted by Driver
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2008 at 6:29 pm

It is actually good driving habits when driving where there is a bike lane which turns into a dotted right hand turn lane to go ahead (if safe, if not go behind) cyclists until the light changes and you can safely turn right (or the traffic clears and you are able to turn right on red). If a cyclist takes his turn, waits behind the driver, it is called sharing the road and taking your turn. Because of course, the cyclist has to stop at the red light and cannot turn or go straight on until the lights or traffic allow him to proceed.

Cycle lanes do not have designated traffic lights, so any cyclist has to obey the lights just like everyone else.

Posted by Taxpayer2
a resident of Downtown North
on Feb 15, 2008 at 6:55 pm

I wonder how much money this is going to bring into the City, with all the teams who have been here for a week or two and the press and visitors for the day. I know that the charity fundraiser has raised over $25,000 for the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation. We need more events like this that will help make Palo Alto a popular and friendly destination for all kinds of people.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2008 at 7:11 pm

I have no objection to the race happening. I actually like the idea of Palo Alto (rather than Stanford) being put on the map for this one. I think the fact that the racers are from all over the world and the sports press from all over also, as well as the local media, make a great cosmopolitan flavor for us without having to go to far away.

However, and it is a big however, I wish many local events were cancelled for this weekend.

Posted by you people find joy in nothing
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 15, 2008 at 9:56 pm

People... Its like a 2 mile stretch of road in an area of town that sucks anyway. Plus its only going to be closed for a few hours on a Sunday at that.

Geez, somehow they manage to have the macys thanksgiving day parade in new york every year.

Well guess what, next Sunday you can have your precious downtown back and you can all drive all over its greatness. Dont hit any of the homeless whackjobs and be sure to tip the reverend. then you can all go to the cheesecake factory but be sure to box the leftovers for the urine soaked bum on the sidewalk.

I dare all of you to enjoy something.....idiots

Posted by Tim
a resident of Crescent Park
on Feb 16, 2008 at 7:44 am

This is the biggest bike race in the US. It is right in our own backyard! Take the familes and enjoy.

We should be planing to host another portion of the race next year.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Feb 16, 2008 at 9:43 pm

I agree with the comments of "You people find joy in nothing". This is a huge, famous event and people should be happy that it is in our city instead of complaining about the cost, congestion, and bikers. If you don't enjoy such fun stuff, move a farm on 10 acres where there is nothing to do. You can be a millionaire by selling your Palo Alto house and then rest in peace...

Posted by news
a resident of Palo Verde
on Feb 16, 2008 at 10:20 pm


A large number of Palo Alto residents are stuck up snobs...

Posted by I agree
a resident of another community
on Feb 17, 2008 at 11:30 am

news and you people find joy in nothing, I agree completely. It is certainly not the same PA I grew up in 20-30 years ago.

Posted by Where's the outrage?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 17, 2008 at 1:28 pm

Yes, 20-30 years ago we would not have welcomed drug/substances abusers to our town and treated them as heroes:

Web Link

3 cyclists banned from event
By Elliott Almond
Mercury News
Article Launched: 02/17/2008 01:42:08 AM PST

The Amgen Tour of California has a drug scandal.

Rock Racing owner Michael Ball on Saturday demanded that his three banned riders be allowed to compete when the weeklong tour starts today in Palo Alto.

"I'm not going to leave my guys out to dry," Ball said of Tyler Hamilton, Oscar Sevilla and Santiago Botero, who are being excluded because they are connected to a Spanish investigation into performance-enhancing drugs.

None of the three world-class cyclists has been indicted or is currently sanctioned because of a drug violation.

But Andy Messick, president of tour organizer AEG, said the 17 teams have agreed to a drug program that officials are using to ban the athletes.

AEG and sponsor Amgen, maker of the blood-boosting drug EPO, instituted strict guidelines for the 2008 tour to try to give the event credibility at a time when cycling is suffering because of drug scandals. In an unprecedented move, race officials excluded any competitor who is facing a drug allegation.

Ball said the policy shouldn't include those who haven't been charged by an official agency. He said the three riders plan to arrive at the starting line in downtown Palo Alto to compete in the 2.1-mile individual time trial.

"It's unjust to the individual, vilifying them so they can't get a job," he said.

Messick said Saturday that the three won't be allowed to ride. He added that organizers are "fighting the good fight to repair the damage from the various
drug scandals."

But the sport could be reaching a tipping point. In another development, race favorite Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa said he has started an online campaign ( to lobby to race in the Tour de France.

Leipheimer's team, Astana, was banned from the Tour de France last week because of transgressions involving other athletes and coaches. Leipheimer didn't ride for Astana last year and has never been implicated in drug allegations.

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