OCEANSIDE — Oceanside is looking to redirect 5K events and bike races away from its beachfront downtown where construction of new hotels is booming.
A limit on beach events will begin in April 2018, around the same time construction starts on a two-block beach resort hotel. The building project will close Mission Avenue access to the beach, detour traffic to one-way travel on Myers Street and reduce beach parking.
“Walks and runs will be impacted the most,” Patrick Young, city special events supervisor, said.
Traffic detours set up for construction can’t be rerouted for 5K events on city streets. The city will redirect beach events it can’t accommodate to other areas in Oceanside.
Many of the 5K events will be held at Mance Buchanon Park. The park has ample parking, a mile and a quarter walking trail, grass fields, a playground and restrooms.
One annual event that has already been relocated from the beach to Mance Buchanon Park is the March of Dimes March for Babies Walk. Young said the park is a perfect fit for the 5K walk that has many participants who push strollers.
“The applicant is excited,” Young said. “Their team evaluated the site and says it looks great. It made a lot of sense for them to go there.”
Most 5K events will be scheduled during the park’s summer grass reseeding months, when soccer is not played there.
Some annual events will continue to be held at the beach, among them are the Race Across America bike ride, the Ironman 70.3 triathlon, the Beach Soccer Championships, the Armed Forces Day Operation Appreciation, the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K and 10K, the Samoan Cultural Celebration and Oceanside High School graduation.
Modifications will be made to most of the yearly events to ensure ample parking, an easy flow of traffic through construction detours and the ability to safely evacuate the area.
The annual Turkey Trot run through downtown streets will see a course modification in 2018.
The yearly high school graduation ceremony will have limited handicap and school staff beach parking. Other guests will use shuttle service from more distant parking areas. The time of the graduation will be changed to reduce traffic impacts.
“We can’t have an event happening during rush hour with Mission construction,” Young said.
Each request for an event permit will be evaluated and matched with the best location. City police, firefighters, traffic engineers and planning staff weigh in on all permits.
“Every event is unique,” Young said.
Young said the annual Race Across America bike race with individual start times is fairly easy to accommodate. Other events that begin with 100 or more walkers or cyclists at the same time require additional arrangements.
Young said the goal is to accommodate as many events as possible.
Oceanside held 288 permitted events in 2017. Forty-four of those took place beachside on The Strand.
This year the city plans to cut its permitted beach events to about 30.
The city will take another look at how many events will be permitted along The Strand in about three years when construction is completed.