Residents Voice Opposition to TriRock Annapolis
On Monday, the Annapolis City Council hosted a public hearing on the triathlon.
It's a bumpy road back for organizers of TriRock Annapolis triathlon.
Some local residents aren't happy about a proposal to host the race in Annapolis, for the second year in a row.
The race's course can be found on TriRock's website.
Residents shared their thoughts on the event at a public hearing during Monday night's Annapolis City Council meeting.
Budge testified noise from the race woke up residents, limited parking and prevented customers from partonizing local businesses.
Alderman Fred Paone, of Ward 2, said he has also heard complaints about TriRock from residents.
"I have never heard about an event that has brought about so many complaints in terms of inconvenience, lack of business," Paone said to Ashley Halsey, of the Annapolis Triathlon Club. "You've got your work cut out for you in the good will department."
Halsey, who serves as the group's operations and infrastructure representative, said organizers have met with the business community and residents to resolve issues from last year's race. He said they are also working to alleviate parking issues and promote local businesses.
"We are very excited about the race," Halsey said. "We feel it's a good showcase for the city."
He added that the race participants brought significant business to the downtown community.
"We also offered an area to keep people's equipment while they went out after the race to experience the businesses downtown, and I believe a number of the businesses benefited from that."
Zach Barnhorst, of Competitor Group, said the triathlon is a healthy initiative and 30 percent of the 1,300 participants are Annapolis residents.
"That's a good chunk of [locals] that not just want the race to happen, but are a part of it," Barnhorst said.
Budge, who rebuffed Halsey's assertion that last year's race participants supported local businesses, is concerned that efforts to make TriRock more amenable to the community aren't enough.
"The organizers have made some attempt to put lipstick on this pig but it is still fundamentally a pig," he said.
John Guild, president of the Historic Annapolis Foundation, expressed his organization's dismay at not being involved in the planning of TriRock. He said the date and time of this year's triathlon coincides with the foundation's biggest fundraiser; a garden sale that has been held annually for almost 30 years.
"We didn't get the memo," Guild said.
Guild said the triathlon would prevent customers from getting to the garden sale, which generally raises about $30,000.
"What am I going to do folks?" Guild said. "For us, $30,000 is a lot of money."
He said the triathlon may not be a bad idea overall, but his group should have known about it ahead of time.
"The planning was flawed and it's going to have a major negative impact on our organization," Guild said.