Atlantic City Ironman Triathlon is Both Wonderful & Frustrating [Opinion]
I have been challenged by so many listeners and readers this past weekend to address the issue of the Atlantic City Ironman Triathlon. The iconic event is officially known as Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City.
The easiest thing for me to do would be to say nothing. To write absolutely nothing. But, that wouldn’t be the right thing to do. When there’s a legitimate public problem that needs to be solved, it must be properly addressed.
First, a disclaimer.
I’m an enormous Atlantic City booster. Always have been. Born in Atlantic City, raised in Atlantic City for a number of years, a graduate from Atlantic City High School, and a current property owner in Atlantic City.
There, I said it.
Now, for the “tough love,” because I love Atlantic City.
Atlantic City just did an awful job in terms of communication to the public regarding the triathlon and its devastating traffic impact. The buck stops with Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small. They must do a better job in the future. Every imaginable ingress and egress was closed and detoured.
For example, Delilah Road was closed in every direction to reach the Atlantic City International Airport.
People have lives to live and they have their own plans. You simply can’t shut everything down at the same time. You have to develop a reasonable plan whereby a major sporting event can safely and properly take place while, at the same, providing everyone else the opportunity to maneuver around, too.
Reasonable people don’t mind a detour. What they mind is being hopelessly trapped.
It took a limousine driver, that I interviewed yesterday, more than an hour to get from Borgata Casino Resort & Spa to the Atlantic City International Airport. No matter how he tried, the road was closed. He, and so many people, are very frustrated and upset about this, and, the fact that it happens each and every year.
Atlantic City needs to do a much better job in coordinating with the surrounding communities to provide ingress and egress. It’s unsafe and many businesses suffer incalculable losses because you simply can’t reach them, all during a busy summer weekend.
The Ironman Triathlon is iconic and it’s awesome. However, it’s patently unfair to hurt so many others in the process.
Here’s a suggestion, involve more highly qualified traffic impact experts. I have no doubt whatsoever, that you can put together an amazing triathlon course, while also providing sensible access for everyone else all at the same time.
Another concerned resident wrote this to me, exactly as follows:
Who is in charge of something like this? What is the person's title? What person in this city would do these things? He or she should be fired immediately … you have all of this extra traffic because of the boat show. It is a nightmare for anyone trying to move in and around Atlantic City, trying to get into or to leave Atlanta City or Pleasantville, etc.
The Atlantic City Triathlon is spectacular. It features a beautiful back bay swim, a flat and fast Atlantic City Expressway bike course, and a run on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk, the finest and biggest Boardwalk in America. The grueling event features a 1.9 Kilometer ocean swim, cycling 90 kilometers, and running 21.1 kilometers.
Before next year, may I suggest that you get a team of highly skilled traffic professionals and review all of these issues? It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s always the same exact complaint, year after year, followed by no solutions.
Then, a full year once again goes by and most people forget about it all over again until it all happens, yet again.
You have an entire year. Buckle down. Fix this.
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