Town of Palm Beach News

Town of Palm Beach Approves Marathon By Narrow Margin

The Palm Beaches Marathon scheduled for December 3, 2017 will allow runners to cross the island for the first time, with revisions made to the original proposed route.

After a narrow 3-2 vote, the Town of Palm Beach Town Council granted the event permit-access to cross over the Flagler Memorial Bridge, on to the Lake Trail and across the Royal Park Bridge, which will be approximately 1.2 miles. The proposed length of the race was originally 4 miles, but was altered after Town staff members provided their input at this past Wednesday’s meeting; with concerns of how the race would be impacted, in the event of a presidential visit. Past Marathon bridge access was denied, due to traffic congestion and safety hazard concerns.

Voting against the new race route were Council Members Bobbie Lindsay and Julie Araskog, who have been notified by residents expressing their concerns about traffic, noise and security. If President Trump visits, South Ocean Boulevard could be closed north of Mar-a-Lago. “We could have a situation where nobody can get off the island,”said Araskog. According to Lindsay, “People called me appalled.” She added, “You’re running down the Lake Trail by multi-million dollar homes at six in the morning on a Sunday when there’s a very high chance our president is in town. I just don’t think this kind of event is a fit for a residential community like ours.”

Town of Palm Beach Approves Marathon By Narrow Margin

Event owner and organizer Ken Kennerly, CEO of K2 Sports Ventures presented a strong enough case, that Mayor Gail Coniglio, Council Member Maggie Zeidman, Danielle Moore, and President Richard Kleid agreed to allow the new route. “I think this is a very workable plan,” Zeidman said. “I think it’s good for our community.”

If approved, the City of West Palm Beach will close down the North Bridge until 10AM The middle bridge’s westbound lane will be closed for the duration of the race, which will last approximately 1.5 hours. The event schedule has runners entering the town at approximately 6AM, and exiting by 7:00AM, with trash and cone pick-ups completed by 7:15AM.

Related>>> Palm Beach Marathon Wants to Race in the Town of Palm Beach

Kirk Blouin, Director of Public Safety stated police and fire-rescue will be on hand in the event of an emergency, and that Flagler Bridge will likely be closed off. “This is doable from a public safety perspective,” Blouin added in regard to the route changes.

As added security measures, Kennerly plans to hire off-duty police officers to be posted near Palm Beach Towers and at intersections.“Our goal is to make everyone proud and create a great experience for the runners, the residents and the Town of Palm Beach.” According to Kennerly, the added bridge access to the annual marathon is, “a big step in the right direction toward our efforts to create an elite international running experience.”

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