How to Survive Pasadena's Jamzilla Weekend

Prepare for at-times heavy traffic, road closures as multiple large events are staged in Pasadena both Saturday and Sunday

Published : Friday, May 19, 2017 | 5:12 AM

The streets of Pasadena will be abnormally busy this weekend as multiple large events occur either at the same time or in close sequence throughout both Saturday and Sunday, primarily from the Playhouse District west to the Arroyo.

Here are some pointers to get around town without being enveloped in traffic or stopped by street closures.

The Amgen Bicycle Tour will zoom through Pasadena and cross the finish line on Green Street between approximately 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday.

One event, in fact, will cause rolling street closures on Saturday morning: the Amgen Bicycle Tour, which finishes at the Pasadena Convention Center on Green Street shortly after noon on Saturday.

The City’s Department of Transportation has released advisories asking people to plan their routes, and to consider using public transportation as they go to cheer the race participants at the Amgen Tour, or to the other events on the weekend – a two-day open house at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which happens between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., a two-day U2 concert at the Rose Bowl where parking lots open at 2:30 p.m., a two-day literary arts festival – LitFest Pasadena – throughout the Pasadena Playhouse District — and at least three other one-day events that could also mean additional demands for mobility and parking spaces within the City at a time when these are limited.

On Saturday, the City’s Spring 2017 Boxing Exhibition will feature matches by male and female amateur boxers at the Villa Parke Community Center from 1 to 6 p.m.

On the same day, the Pasadena Motorcycle Club will celebrate its 110th anniversary and members will assemble in front of Pasadena City Hall between 2 and 6 p.m.

And on Sunday, museum patrons will be travelling around the Arroyo Seco between Pasadena and Los Angeles, for Museums of the Arroyo (MOTA) Day which will have six museums open for free admission from noon until 5 p.m.

Closures related to the Amgen Tour will affect Woodbury Road, Los Robles Avenue, Colorado Blvd., Madison and Green Streets. To prepare residents for the street closures, the City has sent out brochures that show the tour’s route and areas that will be impacted by parking restrictions or intermittent traffic delays.

At the JPL Open House, Kim Lievense, Manager of JPL’s Public Service Office says they have been coordinating with local law enforcement and other agencies for the past several months and have agreed on staggered visiting times to ease traffic flow around the area.

“Last year, we started using a system of distributing free tickets in advance,” Lievense said. “The ticketing system worked well last year, so we’re doing it again this year. The plan includes staggered arrival times, which helps enormously with traffic flow and parking. We will stay in contact with local traffic and safety agencies this weekend to make any adjustments that might be needed, to make sure our guests and the community around us have a positive experience.”

Around the Rose Bowl, traffic might get lighter a little after noon Saturday when the Amgen race is expected to be over, but then parking lots at the stadium will open at 2:30 p.m. for the U2 concert, and traffic could start to get heavy. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the concert is over by 11 p.m. so drivers should expect some residual traffic around the Rose Bowl for about two hours more.

People will also enter the Rose Bowl from one of two directions, and traffic could be heaviest on the 210 and 134 freeways. Once they get off the freeways, traffic is expected to be congested on Linda Vista Avenue, Orange Grove Blvd., Lincoln Avenue, Seco Street and Mountain Avenue.

There are no road closures related to the concert.

The 210 offramp at Arroyo Blvd. in Pasadena is now open and the Berkshire Avenue onramp at La Canada Flintridge is expected to open before Saturdays events, says Karina Vargas, Public Affairs at Caltrans District 7. She adds the Arroyo Blvd. offramps east and westbound will be closed temporarily as Amgen cyclists pass through the area at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“I recommend the public to plan ahead and check Caltrans quickmaps before their commute to check real time traffic information.” Caltrans quickmaps can be accessed through, she says.

Most of the events occur in West Pasadena or the Playhouse District. South Lake Avenue, Green Street Village and Hastings Ranch, by contrast, should be less congested.

One Green Street business, HighLow Vintage, is offering a special promotion to enjoy the sunny weekend away from the crowd.

Carolyn Grey, the owner, is throwing #PasadenaJamzilla – a mini-getaway from the crazy Pasadena weekend, she says.

“I just wanted to offer something new to my local customers that would be fun and that would be just a little bit of a break from this crazy weekend that Pasadena will be having,” Grey said. “In addition to some wonderful wines, we’ll be having scones from Madeline Garden which is just across from me, and I’ll be offering 60 percent off existing sale items and giveaways”

High Low Vintage is at 1031 E. Green Street, and right across that is Madeline Garden, where Grey will sponsor a High Tea for Two for the winner in the random draw.

The Pasadena Police Department suggests eventgoers to all the weekend’s happenings allow themselves plenty of extra travel and parking time.

“Arrive early and know that there’s a clear bag policy at the Rose Bowl and items will not be allowed in unless they’re in a clear bag,” says Police Lt. Art Chute. “And arrive early enough to make sure they’re there for the concert when it starts.”

“Arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to get here, park and enjoy your event,” urged Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez.  “All motorists are advised to use extra care; follow the directions of on-scene public safety officials and electronic message signs and take heed of all temporary and permanent No Parking zones because illegally parked vehicles are subject to ticketing and towing.”


Links to event information, maps, road conditions and other details are provided below per event.  Pasadena Fire Department and Public Health officials remind attendees to wear hats and layered clothing; use sunscreen; drink plenty of water or nourishing fluids; seek shade as necessary and smoke only in designated smoking areas.  Always celebrate responsibly; designate a driver and/or consider using public transit—cheaper than a DUI; better for the environment and less stress.

Amgen Event Info & Links   (local route and street closure maps)  (event & Lifestyle Festival info)  (overall event info and all social media links) ( @AmgenTOC ) #AmgenTOC

NBC Sports to air live coverage of the race.  Viewing info at

Towed Vehicles & Parking Enforcement Update for Amgen Tour of California

Traffic and parking enforcement begins on the route at 11 a.m., May 20.  Vehicles in violation will be cited and a tow request made.  Tow trucks will take vehicles to 450 N. Lake Avenue.  Vehicles claimed before 5 p.m., May 20 will be released to the owner without tow fees.  Vehicles not picked up by 5 p.m. will be stored in the normal manner.  For inquiries about towed vehicles prior to 2 p.m. on event day, call (626) 795-9311.  For inquiries about towed vehicles after 2 p.m., call (626) 744-4241.

U2 at the Rose Bowl Stadium, May 20 & 21

Expect full houses both nights.  Parking lots open at 2:30 p.m.; pre-concert fun at 3 p.m.; “Parson’s Lot” shuttle starts 3:30 p.m.; stadium doors open at 5 p.m. and opening act The Lumineers take the stage at 6:30 p.m.  Allow plenty of time for security clearance.  Parking, directions, event information, clear bag policy and other rules of conduct,

www.U2.com  ( @RoseBowlStadium ) #U2TheJoshuaTree2017

JPL Open House

JPL annual Open House, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 20-21.  All tickets are booked.  Get there early, wear comfortable walking shoes and have plenty of patience for parking!  Tips: bring cash for food and souvenir purchases.  Maps and other info at  ( @NASAJPL ) #NASAJPL

Other Weekend Events

For the sixth year, “LitFest” celebrates the written word and all things literature with a weekend of free events, authors’ panels and discussions on both days, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., for wide variety of topics and genres.  The stores, restaurants, unique corridors and cool gathering spots within the lovely Pasadena Playhouse District serves as the focal point for LitFest 2017.  ( @LitFestPasadena )  #LitFestPasadena  or

Museums of the Arroyo (MOTA) open their doors for free, one-day admission Sunday, May 21, noon to 5 p.m. (last admission is at 4 p.m.), including the Gamble House and the Pasadena Museum of History  or  ( @MuseumsofArroyo )  #MOTADay2017

Potential Olympic hopefuls compete in fast-paced pugilistic matches by male and female amateur boxers, all weights and classes, at the City’s Spring 2017 Boxing Exhibition, 1-6 p.m., May 20, Villa-Parke Community Center, 363 E. Villa St., $10 admission fee, (626) 744-6531.

Pasadena Motorcycle Club 110th Anniversary Celebration, 2-6 p.m., May 20, in front of Pasadena City Hall, 100 N. Garfield Ave., with street closures.  (781) 696-3164.


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