Marathon Denied Permits by Cities


The city managers of Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas have told organizers of the San Diego Marathon to take a hike over someone else's road.

The race is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 9 along Old Highway 101, but last week, those cities denied it necessary permits, citing concerns for residents and manpower shortages in the Sheriff's Dept.

The race will not be held if the decisions are not reversed by the city councils, according to Lynn Flanagan, race director.

Flanagan applied for special-events permits in July--shortly after taking over the race from a group of Los Angeles businessmen--and was told of the decisions to deny the permits Friday.

But Flanagan said she is not giving up and that she will appeal the decisions to the city councils beginning with Del Mar Monday.

"I'll tell you," Flanagan said, "there are a lot of days when I wonder why on earth anyone would want to go through this. But I've never been a quitter, and I'm not going to give up now."

The three cities have acted in unison because they contract for Sheriff services through the same substation in Encinitas.

"The Sheriff's Dept. doesn't have the staffing to set up a traffic plan and make sure everything goes smooth," said Joe Hoefgen of the Encinitas city manager's office.

Flanagan offered to hire outside, state-trained traffic controllers to solve the problem but was rebuffed because the cities were wary of an outside agency that was not accountable to them, Hoefgen said.

The three cities also share a concern for residents living west of Highway 101 and their inability to leave the area during the race.

"There will be no way to cross (101) in our area," said Mike Huse, Solana Beach city manager. "Lomas Santa Fe Drive and Via de la Valle, the two main access roads heading east, would be blocked."

Flanagan said that problem would be solved by an "aggressive campaign" of warning residents through direct mail, hand-delivered flyers and media announcements and that residents could go east, but they might have to travel north or south to do so.

Coincidentally, those same residents are Flanagan's last hope. She said she is counting on them to lobby the city councils.

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