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The announcement of free entry to watch the Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines on Monday morning, January 28, created a run on parking spaces at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. The parking area, situated along the northern edge of the golf course, is San Diego city property.

Heading north on the I-5 at 10 a.m., traffic began to back up a mile before the Genesee Avenue exit and then crept forward very slowly. The short distance of just a few miles from the off-ramp to the glider port — where available free parking had been advertised — took about an hour.

As hopeful spectators drove in the direction of the lot, traffic slowly moved south onto Torrey Pines Road, parallel to the UCSD campus. Cars turning off Genesee Avenue had to funnel from four lanes into two and finally a single lane where traffic officers could be seen posted far in the distance.

Along the way, “no parking” signs were installed at properties; a few security guards forbid any thought of public parking. One open lot offered parking for $25 with few apparent takers. Finally reaching the lot entrance, officers were turning most of the traffic away at “Lot Full” signs.

Convincing officers of the glider port or Black’s Beach as a destination, passage was permitted. Upon reaching the glider port, large portions of the lot looked open but were cordoned off; this was apparently due to water that remained puddled from recent rains, leaving soft and muddy areas. Rather than have vehicles get stuck in the mud, far less parking was allowed today than normal.

Later, at 1 p.m., traffic-control officers remained on the job, turning away still-arriving golf fans that hoped to park and see some of the event.

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