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UTC OKs petition requirement change

Thursday, October 12, 2017 by Jessi Devenyns

In order to ensure the first new route the Austin Marathon has had in 10 years remains on course, Dan Carroll, co-owner of High Five Events, the company organizing the marathon, and Frances Hargrove, division manager for the city’s Office of Special Events, approached the Urban Transportation Commission on Oct. 10 to request it waive the signature requirements for obtaining a street event permit. The goal of this is to make sure that the chosen course remains open for runners the day of the event. Hargrove explained that they are asking for the commission to waive the signature requirement because it takes a while to certify each course and if there is a 20 percent rejection of a route within 90 days, “It’s really not enough time to get it recertified,” she said. The new course is reminiscent of the original course that runners took during the first 15 years of the marathon, and the company feels like the route has gotten “enough positive feedback to move forward,” said Carroll. The feedback came from residents of the affected neighborhoods and City Council members from all the affected districts. According to Hargrove, of all the individuals that are concerned, the Transportation Department has received fewer than 20 objections to the course. However, said Carroll, “If we didn’t ask for this waiver they would have the opportunity to take their objection all the way to City Council.” As Council has not yet given its approval, the Austin Marathon has only had a soft announcement of its new course. However, a full-blown media campaign will be launched following Council’s approval. The Urban Transportation Commission unanimously voted to recommend waiving the signature requirement. The Austin Marathon will be held on Feb. 18.

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