Shepherding thousands of riders up a highway that sees over 10,000 cars a day is no easy feat, although after two years organizers of Saturday's RBC GranFondo have worked to minimize the disruption for residents. However, there will be road closures and delays in effect from Vancouver to Whistler Saturday.
In Sea to Sky, West Vancouver to Whistler, the closures start early. Eastbound Highway 1 at Taylor Way is closed to traffic from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., although there are alternate routes including Marine Drive.
Where Highway 99 begins at Horseshoe Bay both northbound lanes are closed to traffic from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. with drivers shifted onto alternative routes include Marine Drive and Horseshoe Bay Drive until it reconnects with Highway 99.
At this point northbound vehicle traffic is confined to one lane with a barrier of cones protecting riders.
In Squamish there are numerous delays and closures. There is limited access to Shannon Falls and Stawamus Chief and Clarke Drive, and no access to Scott Crescent and Loggers Lane from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. There is some access to Brennan Park via Discovery Way and Centennial Way. As well, there are closures on Mamquam Road and on Garibaldi Way from 8:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
On Depot Road at Alice Lake Provincial Park, there will be delays from approximately 8:45 a.m. to 9 a.m., a full closure from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., frequent delays from 11 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and intermittent delays until at least 12:15 p.m. There will be an aid station for cyclists at Alice Lake Provincial Park, which is closed to the public from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the same delays as Depot Road. From Alice Lake Provincial Park to Daisy Lake, drivers should expect bike traffic from 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
North of Daisy Lake, drivers can expect limited east-west access through the Brandywine area from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Brandywine Provincial Park is open, but drivers can expect long delays from 9:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
For residents of Whistler, there will be limited highway access from about 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on race day, and all traffic lights will be set to "flash" mode during that time. RCMP and traffic control will be at intersections to direct traffic.
As for closures, the race turns down Village Gate Boulevard and Blackcomb Way, both of which will be closed for the race from 9 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. As an alternative, drivers can use Lorimer Road to access the village and Day Lots. Lot 4 will be closed for the race finish area.
Whistler Transit is free on Saturday, Sept. 8 to encourage people to leave their vehicles at home.
For more, visit www.rbcgranfondowhistler.com.