The Chesco Grandprix–the first annual bike racing series that’s tentatively scheduled for a June 30 date in Phoenixville–took another large step towards becoming reality on Tuesday night, as the borough council approved a revised application from the race organizers, pending the approval of police chief William Mossman.
The 0.6 mile course the cyclists will circle will begin and end at 220 W. Bridge Street, hang right on S. Main Street, run right onto Walnut Street, then turn right onto Gay Street before making a final right back onto Bridge. The originally proposed course had to be changed because USA Cycling–the governing body that oversees all such street races–adjusted its mandatory minimum street width.
The event is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., and will necessitate the closure of Walnut Street between Main and Gay from 1 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. on the day of the race. In the view of the council, the logistics of the closure pose a few headaches.
Mayor Leo Scoda worried the borough would be forced to tow residents who didn’t see signs warning them of the race, while president Richard Kirkner suggested that the primary proposal to handle the problem of displaced resident automobiles–free parking in the municipal lot on the day of the race for residents of Walnut Street–would be difficult to enforce and cost the township revenue.
"We're giving up our parking lot for the day and we're not getting anything out of it. We represent the taxpayers of this town, what's in it for them?" asked Kirkner.
Middle ward representative Jennifer Mayo, a Walnut Street resident and the race’s most vocal advocate on the council, said the hurdles were not so daunting as to make the race impossible to pull off.
"I want to see it," said Mayo, who suggested she would be willing to go door to door to inform her neighbors of the parking implications of the race. "I want to see it go by from my porch."
The race will also feature a fenced off beer garden sponsored by Downingtown's Victory Brewery that will be fully catered.