Over the past six years, the number of 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, fun runs, not-so-fun runs, French-themed bicycle showdowns and other organized races has exploded in Dallas, up 60 percent, according to the city. It speaks well of the city, both that it indicates that more and more people are exercising and that they're engaged enough to organize and participate in community events. It gives hope that we may someday in the distant future shed our image as one of the nation's fattest cities.
But not everyone is so thrilled with our newfound penchant for physical activity, so complaints fielded by the city have spiked just about as dramatically as the number of events. People seem to be most upset that the same streets are closed over and over again (e.g. anything near White Rock Lake) and that Sunday events have a negative impact on churches.
The complaints have prompted the city to brainstorm new regulations to help lessen the impact of races. They disallow street closures within 10 days of a previous street closure, require parking plans to be submitted to the Office of Special Events, and place restrictions on the use of Lawther Drive at White Rock.
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And just in case you were wondering: Yes, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is available for your special event, assuming it has more than 6,000 participants, "significantly contributes to positive advertising and economic growth of the city," and you have $5,000 per day the city requires to close off the bridge. Anyone filming on the bridge will just have to dodge traffic.