The GranFondo Whistler is a-headin' this way and that means 4,000 Lycra-clad road cyclists rolling into town from Vancouver via Highway 99.
This also means significant road closures and traffic diversions on Saturday, Sept. 11. Highway 99 will be open all day in both directions, but motorists should plan ahead for delays and rolling closures during the first half of the day.
The expected hours of peak traffic impact are:
• Downtown Vancouver (Burrard Street and West Georgia Street): 3 a.m. to 9 a.m.
• Lions Gate Bridge: 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.
• Horseshoe Bay to Squamish: 6 a.m. to noon
• Squamish to Whistler: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Whistler Village: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It may be best to avoid driving in Whistler that day. Village Gate Boulevard will be closed eastbound from Northlands to Blackcomb Way from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you must drive, use Lorimer Road to access the village. Blackcomb Way West will also be closed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., so motorists will have to use Blackcomb Way East and Lorimer Road to get around.
As previously reported, all of Day Lot 4 will be closed on Sept. 10 and Sept. 11. Free parking will instead be provided at the Whistler Conference Centre underground lot. Parking will be free as always in Day Lots 5, 6, 7 and 8. The Excalibur gondola will be open to shuttle people to and from the village. Pay parking will remain in effect in Day Lots 1, 2 and 3.
Transit will also be free on Saturday, Sept. 11 with modified routes and a modified schedule. It's going to be a busy day and crowded along Highway 99, so transit users may want to plan ahead or find alternative ways to get around. Visit whistler.ca for an updated schedule.