Organizers of what would be downtown Annapolis' first triathlon are racing to put together traffic, parking and trash proposals to calm frustrated business owners who say the event will "overwhelm" the city.
Mayor Ellen O. Moyer sponsored the bill allowing the Annapolis Triathlon Club to lease portions of City Dock for the Sept. 9 event, saying it would be an international draw and an opportunity to showcase the state capital.
About 1,500 athletes, mostly from Maryland, have signed up, and there's room for 100 more, said the club's Tom Smith, who is also a city employee.
For some business owners, the athletes mean traffic tie-ups and possible cancellations of tours booked months in advance.
"I am all for triathlons; it's just the sheer size of the event," said Matt Grubbs, owner of Discover Annapolis, who has a tour scheduled on the day of the race. "If the city council approves the lease, it will give Annapolis a black eye in the eyes of tour operators and wedding planners."
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