“Unfortunately, the city of Roswell didn’t approve the race for 2014,” said Christine Curtin, who organized the 2013 Historic Roswell 10-mile and 5K event.
“They cite city resources and the inability to close Canton Street early on a Saturday morning as the reasons.”
Curtin said she posted last week about the event’s demise on the race’s Facebook page “and I was overwhelmed by the response.
“This is clearly a hot button for Roswell residents who cannot understand why the city will shut down Canton Street for Alive after Five, for the Mayor’s bike race, for a new Italian bike race that will strap the city’s resources, but they won’t for this event, one that promotes family, good health and where proceeds are sent to a nonprofit children’s hospital that serves local residents.”
City officials said there is still opportunity for the race to be held. “I need to be clear that the permit has not been denied, just the organizer’s preferred route,” said Community Development Director Alice Wakefield. “There are alternatives and staff is open to work with the organizer.”
The issue is the route, Wakefield said. “The police department and transportation department have both said that the route used last year is not feasible due to the traffic issues the road closures caused.”
The event isn’t comparable to others such as Alive After Five or the Roswell Criterium because the road race course went all the way north on Crabapple Road and crossed Crossville Road, said Transportation Director Steve Acenbrak.
Police closed the intersection of Crabapple and Crossville until all the runners got through.
“Traffic backed up terribly,” Acenbrak said. “So it was really a strain on the entire system. There were so many people impacted that had nothing to do with this run. I think it is appropriate to try to balance the needs of the run with the needs of the rest of the traveling public.”
Curtin has not officially cancelled the event with the city, so she still holds the date.
An alternative route along Willeo and Azalea roads has been offered as an option, Wakefield said. The city also identified other routes with minimum road closures less disruptive to the residents.
“Willeo and Azalea aren’t an option because, according to the city, it would exceed the 17-officer cap that was voted on by council,” Curtin said.
“With the new special events parameters that were voted on in 2013 there is no way to make a route work that is this distance or even slightly less because of their 17-officer cap.”