Visitors and businesses love Car Week. Many locals do not. That’s mainly because of the traffic, which is a problem made worse by unofficial events.
Between August 18th and 26th, Car Week will host about 25 organized events and auctions. There are also ones Monterey County permitting officials call "pop-ups".
“Pop-up events would be an event that we did not know about. It just popped up,” says Freda Escobar, Permit Coordinator for Monterey County.
She says pop-ups happen every Car Week. These unpermitted events can create extra traffic and bring safety concerns, like massive tents not installed properly. If you suspect a pop-up, she wants to know.
“Let's say somebody is driving down the road. There's a huge tent, an event. They call up, ‘hey, you know, Freda, there's this event going on over here in Pebble Beach. Is it permitted? Is it not? It's creating a lot of havoc’,” says Escobar.
Escobar spoke a at Car Week informational meeting Wednesday hosted by Monterey County Supervisor Mary Adams.
“The main thing that I hear from local people during Car Week is the same thing that I hear most of the time, which is traffic. It is just such a difficult time for people,” says Adams.
So to get ahead of the curve, the meeting offered some tools to help locals get through the week, including a new smartphone app called Monterey County Connect. It can be used to report things like suspected pop-ups during Car Week.
Another tool to get you through Car Week comes from the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. It will again release a guide and map to all events.
When it comes out on July 26th, it will include timing and road closures. In other words, tools you can use to avoid the gridlock.
“I don't think any of us want to be miserable and unhappy. And if avoiding traffic can be done by just being a little bit more proactive on your own, so that you can find out when the events are, make your own plans, I think that's really an important part of all of this,” says Adams.
According to the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau, 85,000 people attend Car Week events. Of those, 39,176 are from outside of Monterey County. Those people spend $53-million locally.