Businessman Buried in Paperwork

I learned today that the 2013 edition of Bike DC is cancelled because “[t]he restrictions and road blocks to getting permits from the National Park Service and some DC agencies have made it impracticable to continue this event.”

Well, isn’t that a fine “How do you do?”

This is disappointing as my wife and I were looking forward to the event.  It has a unique combination of moderate distance (about 30 miles) and fantastic scenery that make it a great day out on the bike for both of us.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be to get the necessary permissions to close roads in the nation’s capital.  Still, one wonders how the group was able to do it for the past several years but is no longer able to do so.  It would appear the ever-expanding bureaucracy has overwhelmed this organization’s ability to cope.

This seems to be a growing trend in our area.  In 2011, The Jingle All The Way run organizers mentioned that they had hoped to make the event a traditional 10K run but were forced to shorten it to the unusual distance of 8K due to the challenges of getting approvals from the various organizations which have oversight on such things in the District.

More recently, the finish for next weekend’s Marine Corps 17.75K run mysteriously changed from previous years. Instead of wrapping things up in a very fitting setting in front of the Marine Corps Museum, the route will be lengthened inside Prince William Forest Park and the finish will be at the significantly less interesting venue of Pinegrove Campground.  The only logical explanation (to me at least) is the race was unable to get permission to use local roads needed to get everyone to the Museum, which is a shame.

I wonder if others are experiencing similar challenges in their area?  Rest assured, I shall keep you updated on this issue as events warrant!


14 thoughts on “Paperwork

  1. Bad luck. One of the problems is the tendency of people to sue at the drop of a hat which leads to everyone else having to cover every eventuality which leads to annoying setbacks for organisers.

  2. TP stole my comment, so I can’t add much to the conversation. I wonder, though, if this is part and parcel of the pricey nature of some events in N. America that I was asking about a few weeks back? Perhaps the costs are just getting too out of hand for the organizers?

    Cities should be facilitating these sorts of events, even at the taxpayer’s expense. My two centimes worth.

    • In an event like Bike DC, it is necessary to pay police to man many intersections. I’m not sure how many I saw last year, but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn 100 of them were out there. There are probably a host of other costs that drive up the registration price in a downtown venue.

      Conversely, my upcoming 300K cost me $10. There won’t be any fancy shirts, swag bags, closed roads, or pre-ride expo, but there will be a great cue sheet for a proven course with a nice pre/post food spread for the folks who participate!

  3. Health and Safety and the litigious society are a curse on mankind I think.
    The need of someone to blame stops people putting themselves in the firing line should something go wrong..
    Sorry just me muttering away in my little corner again, more fuel for my fire.. 🙂

  4. As a cyclist I’m with you, as a regular citizen, well… I’ve never lived in a city, and I imagine that with the number of people who want large group access to public areas for all sorts of things not everyone gets what they want.

    But… It seems in Europe there isn’t much problem closing roads for races. From what I’ve read a belgium rider could race almost every day of the week.

    As far as litigation goes… I’m almost completely in agreement with you guys. It should be impossible to sue someone or an organization for something that happens to you in a public space such as roadways.

    If I was say riding in Ray’s Indoor Mountain bike park and some part of his elevated track broke and I fell that would be a different story. Private business and clear neglect.

    • It is a rare weekend that DC doesn’t have some sort of community event, athletic contest, or political protest clogging up the streets. I’ve often said it is one of the reasons I would hate to be a resident there.

      Can’t argue on the litigation issue. Just another example of people turning toward their government to solve their problems, real and imagined.

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