Monday , 22 December 2014
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Ironman Triathlon may snarl Village traffic Oct. 30

Ironman Triathlon may snarl Village traffic Oct. 30

By Ron Beasley….
The Miami Ironman Triathlon will wind its way through the streets of several Miami-Dade County communities on Oct. 30 and Pinecrest officials say that could result in some traffic problems for area residents.

The inaugural event – dubbed the Rohto Ironman 70.3 Miami and consisting of a 1.2- mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1- mile run – is expected to draw a capacity of 2,500 athletes to participate, thanks to the availability of 50 qualifying slots to the 2011 Foster Grant Ironman World Championship and a prize purse of $36,000.

Organizers say that because Miami has such a great variety of architecture and a wide diversity of cultures, the Ironman Miami has quickly become a destination event and attracted widespread interest in the triathlon community. However, since the bicycle part of the event is scheduled to take place on a Saturday morning when vehicle traffic is usually heavy, local officials are concerned that there could be problems.

“A portion of the bicycle part of the event traverses through Pinecrest along some of our major routes and this will be disruptive for traffic,” said Police Chief John Hohensee. “However, this event also affects other communities, so the police departments of the City of Miami, Coral Gables and Miami- Dade County also will participate to insure the safety and security of this event.”

Hohensee said the bicyclists will enter the Village at Red Road and Kendall Drive (Southwest 88th Street) and proceed west to 67th Avenue, then south to 120th Street; then west to 82nd Avenue, then south until it crosses 136th Street exiting the Village. About an hour later, after moving through Palmetto Bay and Cutler Ridge and onto Old Cutler Road, the bikers will race north and again pass through Pinecrest, before exiting into Coral Gables at 57th Avenue.

Hohensee said Village police will shut down various roadways that the bicyclists will be using for the duration of the race and the affects on traffic flow would continue to be felt until the last competitor departed Pinecrest.

“We are estimating that the bicyclists will arrive in the Village at about 7:30 a.m. and then they should all be gone by Noon,” he said. “We will have a significant uniform presence to make sure that people are not on that route either impeding the progress of the competitors or creating a safety issue.”

Hohensee said his department would make every effort to notify the public about the upcoming event and the necessity for closing roads and diverting traffic.

“About two weeks before the event we’ll have message boards up on all of the affected streets informing people about the event and advising them to avoid those areas because we will be restricting traffic off those streets,” he said. “The biggest thing we’re trying to get across is that this event is going on and we need to cooperate with one another and if you absolutely have to get someplace on the day of the race, it would be prudent to leave early and consider taking an alternate course that doesn’t conflict with the race route.”

The Miami Ironman is being staged by the World Triathlon Corporation, sanctioned by USA Triathlon, and will begin at 7 a.m. with the kick off swim in Biscayne Bay near the Port of Miami, followed by the bike race that will lead athletes north to Watson Island, loop back through south Miami-Dade and then back along Old Cutler Road to Bayfront Park, followed by the run course across McArthur Causeway and back to the finish line at Bayfront Park. Time limit for the entire event is eight hours.

For more information, go to www.ironmanmiami. com.

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6 comments

  1. It’s not an Ironman. It’s a half-ironman or an ironman70.3. The differences between the two are huge. An Ironman is a full 140.6 miles and can take a participant from 7am to midnight to complete it. An Ironman would be insulted if you do a half-ironman and consider that to be an ironman.

  2. I left EARLY and still arrived 45 minutes late to work. I guess they didn't take into consideration the businesses in that area and that people have to go to WORK. Next time, do it on a Sunday..

    Also, the police officers there do not know how to properly signal when directing traffic. They were using incorrect hand signals across 67th and 112th. I along with numerous drivers got screamed out when the one officer gave a signal that looked like "go" (he waved his hand by his side) then signaled to stop..IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.

  3. The traffic jams this event caused this morning virtually "trapped me". Starting out from Edgewater Dr. at 8am… an hour later I was still stuck in the Grove. Lots of detours until I finally hit a dead stop. The police were told not to allow anyone to pass until ALL the bicycles had gone through. An Hour? or two? Who knows. I gave up on ever reaching Key Biscayne (for MY morning tennis game)… someone behind me was missing a plane. WHO approves this stuff that "hijacks" our streets and our lives???? Is there some sort of discussion at the county or city level that we can protest?

  4. So two weeks weren't enough time for the two of you to figure out you should take an alternate route?

  5. @Ava, the officer WAS telling you to go and then stop in the middle of the road. Cars were allowed to pass through gaps of cyclists, but this only works if you pull up close to where the route is blocked so the police officer can get you through quickly before the next cyclist. A police officer can stop you in the middle of the road or wherever he or she sees fit. The fact that you didn't realize this doesn't mean the officers do not know how to signal properly.

    @Susan, I recommend you pay attention in your community. This wasn't an overnight decision. Sorry you missed your morning tennis game, but thank you for letting me complete the event for which I've trained months and months.

  6. Chief Hohensee: I've done many of these events both as an athlete and as a race official. I also happen to be a police officer myself. Your officers and those from the adjoining communities did a spectacular job with this event despite it being in a congested and challenging venue. Every officer I enountered was professional and courteous with some of them even encouraging riders as they went by. You should be proud of the image your force projects.