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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fixing the Pismo Classic Car Show

How can one complain much about the annual Pismo Beach Classic? It's a Classic Car show in Pismo Beach, CA that attracts over 1,000 classic cars and ~120,000 visitors each year. This past weekend, the Pismo Beach Classic celebrated its 22nd annual installment and be sure that a 23rd annual will come upon us next year. In all honesty, we had an great time at the car show -- the cars, people, and vendors were all great. However, there was one huge problem.

The traffic.

The Pismo Beach Classic Car Show creates a seriously unwieldy traffic situation in Pismo Beach, especially in the pier area. The bottom line is that it could EASILY be avoided should the organizers decide to. Take our case this year as an example.

After driving around the Pismo Beach downtown area early on Saturday morning, the only parking we could find was the $20/spot lot near the Kon Tiki Inn, Pismo Steamers, and Bank of America. Being from Los Angeles, $20 for parking did not seem astronomical, but people were parking much farther away.

The next issue is that traffic down the main strip, Dolliver is abysmal. Try to get through there anytime after 10:00 and you will see that its an execise in futility. You sit and sit, getting absolutely nowhere. Heck, even the 101 freeway gets backed up with all the traffic of people trying to get off the freeway.

The craziest party about it is that there is a pretty simple solution that the organizers could pursure. Rather than shutting down Price Street, and Pomeroy Streets -- shut down Dolliver. Route all traffic through Price Steet, then right on Ocean View Avenue, and then back onto Dolliver and the Pacific Coast Highway. Post police officers at the major intersections, and make sure traffic flows consistently, bypassing the stop signs where necessary. With that, not only does traffic get through magically, but it is routed around the main festivities. Then, block off whatever section of Dolliver, Pomeroy Avenue and the other streets to place the appropriate number of vehicles for the show. Spectators can wander free without needing to worry about traffic and people trying to drive through Pusmo do not get frustrated.

Lastly, pick a remote location 2-3 miles away (think local school or high school) and offer free parking with shuttle and direct people there. That will not only reduce the traffic flow downtown for people looking for spots, it will also make it easy and better organized for the show staff.

Just my two cents. Were you there or do you have any other suggestions?


Mike Davidson said...

Hi, I am the owner of Just Cruzin' Productions, the show producer for the Classic at Pismo Beach Car Show. I've enjoyed reading your blog and your suggestions... Defenitely glad to hear you guys enjoy the show. I wanted to address the traffic issue, I know this is a very old blog but nonetheless, I still wanted to comment on it.

I appreciate your advice on the streets to block off and to open Price St and Pomeroy., however Price St. and Pomeroy is a key element to this show. It's our widest street in the area allowing for 3 rows of cars, the city prefers and mandates us to use only the streets we currently hold the show on. It is a VERY large undertaking doing this show and while we are doing our best to make sure all areas run smooth we know that it's never perfect. The businesses located on Price rely on that street being used as a main attraction during the show to help out and support their yearly revenue. It sounds like you're very familiar with the area and I'm sure you realize how many businesses there are on Price that rely on that crowd during the weekend. Another issue opening Pomeroy and Price up brings is this show is reserved spaces for cars, many of the guys that have spaces on Pomeroy re-sign up for their exact same space each year at the previous years show. Taking cars off of Price and Pomeroy would displace approximately 300 - 400 cars and you can imagine how many upset car participants we would have. We all rely on the classic cars to come each year because without them there would be no show. The spaces that some of the car guys and gals have, they have owned and kept in there family for 27 years and trying to explain to them why they will no longer be allowed that spot would never fly.

I understand about the traffic and I hope you're not getting me wrong here, we care greatly for every spectator that comes through this event each year along with all of our participants and are doing our best. I will look into other options to help this traffic issue, but it appears to be something that is unfortunately a necessary evil at this event.

Thanks again, and hope to see a response. Feel free to email me at with any questions or comments you may have. Thanks again!

Mike Davidson
Just Cruzin' Productions, LLC.
Owner / President of Operations