Bikes could ease hydroplane traffic - Coeur d'Alene Press: News

Bikes could ease hydroplane traffic

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Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 12:00 am

Busing people from fairgrounds to course could clog streets

By TOM HASSLINGER/Staff writer


COEUR d’ALENE — The road to the water has hydroplane race organizers a little bit worried.

Figuring out the perfect way to pull off a race on Lake Coeur d’Alene that could entertain 30,000 or 40,000 people for the first time isn’t the easiest thing to do, and that includes getting fans to and from the venue.

“Everything is something we’re working through, you bet,” said Herb Huseland, Diamond Cup Regatta spokesperson.

One speed bump they’ve hit along the way — and the race is now two weeks out — is the park and ride option for spectators. Busing around 16,000 people from the Kootenai County Fairgrounds to the race course at Silver Beach could clog traffic at the fairgrounds or on East Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive.

“It occurred to us as we were crunching the numbers,” Huseland said of the potential pitfall. “We can see a log jam at the fairgrounds with a huge crowd gathering and the buses being inadequate to deliver people to the race course in a timely manner.”

To help ease the possible congestion, organizers are asking spectators to ride their bicycles to the course if they can.

About 30 buses should be on hand to shuttle people from the fairgrounds, which has roughly 5,000 parking spots for hydro goers. But the logistics behind those numbers have organizers second guessing if busing everybody is the most effective shuttle method. Instead, locals might want to pedal on two wheels to the race course on Labor Day weekend Aug. 30 to Sept. 1 to “avoid the snake swallowing a pig” at the fairgrounds. While parking won’t be allowed down by the race course, bicycles will be allowed to ride all the way to the seating area.

“At what point do you chock the road full?” Huseland said, adding, “This is going to be an experience. This is not the ideal race course like the Tri Cities where you drive right to the race course.”

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, working with organizers on traffic planning, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.

Christie Wood, Cd’A police spokesperson, said officers will be patrolling neighborhoods near the Silver Beach area for parking violations.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • The Simple Truth posted at 10:57 am on Sun, Aug 18, 2013.

    The Simple Truth Posts: 563


    Like the obese masses will bike anywhere!

  • jmowreader posted at 11:14 pm on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    jmowreader Posts: 1480

    As promised downthread, I timed the drive between the Silver Beach parking lot and the Fairgrounds parking lot this evening. The route I took was: Silver Beach to the Sherman Avenue exit on I-90, from there to the US 95 exit, then to Kathleen Ave. where I turned right, went to Government Way and turned left. This seems to be the most logical way for the buses to go. With no traffic and no red lights it took ten double it for Labor Day weekend traffic and hitting lights. The only other feasible route would be I-90 to the 15th Street exit, and with all the 35mph roads it would take longer.

  • witness posted at 5:08 pm on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    witness Posts: 57

    A letter sent by Hagadone Marine to their customers this week states that all boat operators on the lake who have not paid $400 to $500 to tie up to the race course boom will be kept one mile from the boom by the Marine Deputies. The letter states this will be done in order to ensure safety. So, the fee-paid boats tied to the boom are safe, but anyone who hasn't paid the boom fee must stay one mile away. One mile is a large exclusion zone. Get a bowl of popcorn and watch the Marine Deputies work to keep all the boaters (who can find a place to launch) away.

  • Jullee posted at 3:17 pm on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    Jullee Posts: 566

    Will we be able to access Higgins Point ? No City launch, really great planning.
    This is the last weekend ( holiday ) of summer here.
    Another weekend the locals will have to endure chaos and not enjoy the town during our short summers. I sure miss CDA.

  • Joe D posted at 12:29 pm on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    Joe D Posts: 3287

    Think I'll be staying home.

  • jmowreader posted at 12:09 pm on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    jmowreader Posts: 1480

    I think the worries about drunks and riots are overblown...because I also think the crowd estimates are vastly overblown.

    Let's can go to Cd'A and watch ten minute racing periods interspersed with hour-long periods of nothing, and be stuck in the most desolate part of town while you're at it, or you can go to Paul Bunyan Days in St. Maries where there's a little bit of something to do between choker setting and crosscut sawing, or you can go to Pig Out and have all downtown Spokane available to you.

    Whoever said this looks like an attempt to revisit youth is probably right. And yes, hydro races were fun...but so were ducktail haircuts, cherry red lipstick, rumble seats and the Twist.

  • Lussier posted at 10:50 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    Lussier Posts: 132

    it is impossible to get a few bicyclists to be nice on that pathway. Add another 30,000 for a mash pit experience. Are extra helos on hand for the casualties? It would be better if everyone walked to the beach, but where at Silver Beach can 30,000 people stand? this is far from Rio and the popest.

    I suggest a Goodyear Blimp to memorialize both the race and the mayhem for posterity sake.

  • Spikey posted at 9:52 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    Spikey Posts: 387

    This really gave me my morning know a coffee spurting guffaw. These geniuses, 2 weeks prior to the race, just figured out that traffic could be a problem. 30 to 40,000 people! Hopefully that is a vast over estimate. Lets say, to be on the generous side, 30,000 people, 4 to a car, equals 7600 cars. If they all park at the fairgrounds, we are still 2600 cars over. To say nothing of these vehicles navigating to the fairgrounds. LA traffic comes to CDA. Are these people brain dead? Rhetorical question. Now our brilliant planners say that they would only be bussing 16,000 people. So fellas, where are the remaining 14000 (+) people and their 3000 or so, vehicles going to park. ? Laughter is indeed, the best medicine!

  • Maree posted at 8:18 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    Maree Posts: 1

    Will Higgins point boat launch still be accessible? It is Labor Day weekend! Will there be parking for motorcycles?

  • dasher posted at 7:20 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    dasher Posts: 205

    I can see the fun of people locking their bikes to anything they can find, drinking and then forgetting where their bikes are...

    Just skydive them It would be more organized.

    This entire thing is like grown ups trying to relive a childhood memory. We got rid of the races on Coeur d'alene for a reason. If I were a racer, I would be really concerned about the lack of planning this entire thing has. The tri cities isn't that far to drive and watch. This is such a waste of our resources and budgets for CDA police and fire and Kootenai county.

  • Randy Myers posted at 7:13 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    So Cd'A police will be on hand to hand out violation tickets. Great. I have a feeling based on what I think about people who wish to see hydroplane races that there will be very few bicyclists. Plus bicyclists can only peddle down to the seating area and not stop along the course . I suppose Cd'A police on bikes will be enforcing that. While i'm not against the hydroplane races I'm seeing more and more that the organizers aren't ready for this. Dire predictions aside it seems hydroplane races may not be feasible here .

  • jmowreader posted at 7:03 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    jmowreader Posts: 1480

    If the city was thinking (yeah, I know...) they would get a tin cup, a roll of tickets, and one police officer with a machine gun together to guard the proceeds, and sell parking spots on the shoulders of CdA Lake Drive for $250 per car. Rent those little shuttle rigs the Fairgrounds has to take folks from their cars down to the race site. That shoulder is REAL wide; they could angle them in and fit hundreds of cars on these otherwise un-useful strips of land. My Google Maps says it's 3/4 mile from the entrance to the golf course to the Beachouse. Give ten feet per car on both shoulders and you have nearly 800 parking spots...over three days, after deducting cop overtime and fairground-car rental, that comes to almost 300,000 sorely needed dollars that could be used for a worthwhile civic improvement project like enticing a corporation to build a factory offering a few hundred living-wage jobs in the Lake City.

  • LMYCDA posted at 6:57 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    LMYCDA Posts: 2288

    Did anyone not expect that they were not ready to handle the crowds etc. Bikes, ok, let's all ride our bikes to the HYDRO (BOONDOGLE) RACES. This is a total scam. Do they even have enough that is what they are counting on (over 300). So nice, they won't and don't have to pay for security, etc. Our Cd'A Police better not be down there. Just Kootenai Country Sheriff Officers, as this is their baby.

    I agree voxpop and Jmowreader....the Press will not cover any of the chaos, drunks, loud parties, downtown will all be buried under the rug. They didn't even cover when equipment at the McEuen (BOONDOGALE) was vandalized...Guess the Hagadone doesn't want any bad press...
    I do feel bad for the residents that will be effected by this dumb event. How much oil/gas pollutions will this put into the lake water?

    The Spokeman will cover it and hopefully so will all the news stations, KREM, KXLY & KHQ...and then nationally, if there are riots as before.

  • voxpop posted at 6:22 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    Jmowreader - you traitor you (just kidding). My plan is to sit back, smile, and read about the total chaos in the Spokesman the following day. The Press will, of course, gloss over any problems.

  • jmowreader posted at 2:23 am on Fri, Aug 16, 2013.

    jmowreader Posts: 1480

    They better come up with another idea. Right now.

    A bus holds 40 people. Transporting 16,000 people from the fairgrounds will take 400 loads. Divide by 30 buses and you get 14 trips per bus. It will probably take an hour for one load including loading, unloading and returning to the start I will drive the route to get an exact number.

    If you forget all about the reason you want to take all these people out there in the first place, it will take 28 hours to haul everyone to the lake and back and there's only 24 hours in a day. This plan is only feasible if someone can find 70 more buses.

    I think I'll do Pig Out In The Park instead.

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