City Council members say races and marathons are welcome, but sometimes they cause problems for drivers and businesses as it did for some in the Rivermarket area.
Kansas City council members approved an ordinance that would change how races and marathons are handled in the city. The council decided that the Parks and Recreation Department, instead of the Public Works Department, would handle the races, and there would be more of an early notice in the forms of signs and postcards to warn residents about upcoming races.
"So they will not only be able to publicize the race, they'll also look at what other community activities would be going on so that they can avoid any conflicts. They can make sure the races aren't on the same route week after week," 4th District Councilmember Jan Marcason said.
The city hosts about 60 races annually. What sparked the debate was a two-day, 50K race in 2011 that some business owners said impeded sales in the Rivermarket area.
"They lost about 60 percent in revenue that day," Marcason said.
Vicki Stanley owns the Urban Trader and remembers that race. She says it was difficult for customers to get to her store because streets were blocked.
"If they are willing to work together so that all of us win, they route the races so they are not blocking parking to our livelihood, then that's a wonderful thing," Stanley said.
The city will be looking for someone for the position of race coordinator. They said, because races and marathons can sometimes be the biggest fund raisers for organizations, they want more races all over the metro.
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