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beach traffic on Hwy 17

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beach traffic on Hwy 17

I need to drive Hwy 17 to Santa Cruz next Sat, probably in the early-to-mid afternoon. I'm guessing the beach traffic will be pretty bad, especially if it's warm again. Anyone know when it's safe(r) to drive? (I did that commute for many years so I know there are always factors beyond our control, but I'm hoping to get some insights on the general trend). Thanks!

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1. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

As you know, beach traffic on Saturdays and Sundays on Hwy 17, especially in the summer, can be brutal.. By which I mean SLOW, not dangerous. "parking lots" are usually not dangerous <grin>.

If you can leave early you will have a better chance of missing the beach crowd. By early, I mean before 10:00 am. Actually, try for 9:00. Early-to mid-afternoon can be bad since it is not far from the Santa Clara Valley and a lot of people just decide "let's go to the beach".

Of course, it will be worse as summer comes on, but, as you mentioned, weather can be a factor as well.

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2. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

Yeah, come over early; get a meal, look at the surfers... Puter is right, it will probably be a parking lot (and might stretch ridiculously far back). If you're from SF you could always just take the coast - much better drive and so much less crowded (at least most of the way in my substantial experience). Maybe not as fast as 280/17 normally, but with the traffic it might be your best option.

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3. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

Thanks. Yuck, that's what I feared. I'm actually meeting someone for brunch in Los Gatos so there's no good alternate route (er, except Hwy 9. Ha). I guess I was wondering if pushing things up or out a couple hours might make any difference.

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4. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

The earlier the better.

San Francisco...
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5. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

Thanks Puter. Maybe brunch will get moved up to breakfast. I'm monitoring the traffic today via google maps. (Maybe I can invent a teletransporter by next weekend).

San Francisco
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6. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

Just a thought ... but if you make it a long (and late) brunch and leave Los Gatos around 3:30 -- wouldn't anyone going to the beach have gotten there by then?

Eons ago when we lived in Los Altos we left by 11AM.

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7. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

Sal, yeah, that's the $64,000 question. Do I push it up or out? Meet for lunch and then drive 17 in the late afternoon? I remember Fri night traffic was worse when there were bands at the Boardwalk, but probably there aren't events on Sat night. Who knows? Thanks for the 11 am tip.

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8. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

If you leave LG after 3pm or so the traffic shouldn't be horrible. I think most (not all) people head over the hill 11am-2pm.

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9. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

3 pm would probably work. 11 am would probably not.

On the other hand, it isn't necessarily a "given" that every weekend the traffic will be bad. It is just a "probability".

10. Re: beach traffic on Hwy 17

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