Ryder Cup neighborhood gets no-pedestrian zone in Chaska
CHASKA, Minn.--Non-motorized transportation will not be tolerated in a significant portion of Chaska surrounding Hazeltine National Golf Club during the Ryder Cup starting Tuesday, Sept. 27.
CHASKA, Minn.-Non-motorized transportation will not be tolerated in a significant portion of Chaska surrounding Hazeltine National Golf Club during the Ryder Cup starting Tuesday, Sept. 27.
That's right: No walking, no cycling.
The extraordinary measures - even one residential neighborhood is a "no-pedestrian zone" - are the result of a security plan for the U.S.-vs.-Europe golf event, which organizers and police believe could be an inviting target for terrorists.
"This is one of the three biggest sporting events in the world, and it's my duty to make sure everyone there and everyone in the community is safe," Chaska Police Chief Scott Knight said. "It's the Olympics, soccer World Cup and the Ryder Cup. They're almost equal in terms of how many people they reach around the world."
The actual 12-on-12 competition runs from Friday through Sunday, but the 250,000 ticket-holding spectators will begin showing up Tuesday to watch a 9-hole celebrity match and practice rounds for the players.
Tuesday is when the security measures will start.
Cyclists and pedestrians aren't being singled out in favor of cars. Taxis, Uber vehicles, and regular cars of spectators are all banned as well. Only authorized vehicles - shuttle buses mainly - will be allowed inside an outer security perimeter that extends well outside the grounds of the golf course.
Those buses will all converge on Chaska High School, which lies inside that outer perimeter.
"No, you cannot walk to or take a bike to Chaska High School," Knight said.
Take the bus
In other words, you cannot walk or bike to the Ryder Cup. With exception of specially credentialed personnel, here are the only ways to get there:
• Drive (or walk or bike or taxi or whatever) to Canterbury Park. From there, take a shuttle to Chaska High School
• Ride public transportation via Metro Transit's Ryder Cup plan.
The only exceptions are for local residents - to avoid the absurdly inconvenient. "For the Chaska area residents, a shuttle service option is being provided for them," Knight said, emphasizing that such shuttles are not available to the general public.
The restrictions were codified three months ago when the Chaska City Council adopted them in an ordinance specifically addressing the Ryder Cup.
Previous events at Hazeltine, including the PGA Championship in 2009, have not featured such tight security.
"We had a plan for major events, and we built it out," said Knight said, adding that he did not model the plan specifically on any other event.
Knight said a series of local meetings have been held to explain to local ticket holders that they will not be able to walk or bike to the event - as they had in past events.
A perimeter is set around Hazeltine National Golf Club (in red on map). Inside that perimeter, only authorized vehicles - and no pedestrians or cyclists - will be allowed. Most spectators will drive to Canterbury Park and take a shuttle to Chaska High School. The only other option is MetroTransit buses. The outer security perimeter is generally bounded by the following streets:
• U.S. 212 on the south
• Hundertmark Road on the west
• Hazeltine Boulevard on the north
• Audubon Road on the east
Anyone approaching those boundaries will be greeted by gates and armed security and police. "If they compromise the fence, they're going to go to jail," Knight said.
The area includes the residential Hazeltine Glen neighborhood. Residents there, and their guests, are free to come and go as they please - but only upon showing special credentials issued to them. And only in their cars.
"They're not going to be locked in their houses, but if their routine was to take a run with their dog on Pioneer Trail they're not going to be able to do that," Knight said. "The only thing Hazeltine Glen people cannot do is exit on foot. It's a no-pedestrian zone. If they need to go for a long jog or bike ride, they're going to have to drive somewhere."
Knight said the strictness makes it easy for law enforcement to determine whether to stop someone; everyone on foot gets stopped.
He said residents have been understanding.
"Turn on your television today. Look at what's happening in America and around the world. People understand that we've got to take security seriously. It's only a few days," he said.
Going to Hazeltine? Don't drive. Really.
If you're among the 250,000 or so people going to Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska this week to watch the Ryder Cup, here's your most important tip:
DO NOT DRIVE TO THE COURSE.
Drive to Canterbury Park and take a shuttle bus, or take public transportation via Metro Transit's Ryder Cup plan.
That first bit of advice is all-caps-worthy because Ryder Cup officials are concerned that the public doesn't get it yet: The ability to simply drive to the course, even to just get dropped off by a friend, taxi or Uber, is pretty much zip. It's an option only for a tiny group of people, including players and their families, some credentialed media, and event staff - not regular spectators.
According to a memo from event organizers:
"We feel like the general public doesn't yet understand that there are only two ways you will be able to gain access to Hazeltine:
• On-site Parking Pass - these are VERY rare.
• Shuttle to Hazeltine from Canterbury.
Anyone who plans to drive to Hazeltine without a parking pass, or be dropped off nearby and walk in, will not be able to gain access."