Petition seeks to change Hot Chocolate race route

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A petition has been circulating on social media and in less than 24 hours, more than 100 people signed it.

The goal is to reroute the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K and 5K that took place Sunday.

“It was just odd that this small of a race created this, essentially cornered us off,” resident Jim Cray said.

The course for the 15k goes around the entire area of Harrison West.

“I think trying to isolate an entire community so they can’t get in or out is not the greatest decision,” resident Jeanna Diederich said.

The petition states that “residents risk missing flights and other ticketed events, and are unable to run errands, see friends and family, and attend religious gatherings.”

That was the case for Diederich.

“Every which way I went, I couldn’t get into Victorian Village,” Diederich said.

She was trying to get to church while the race was going on.

The mass was dedicated to her mother, who passed away 6 months ago.

However, she couldn’t get there.

“It took a good half an hour to try out all sorts of different routes,” Diederich said.

An officer eventually helped her out.

“By the time all that happened, I was late to mass and I wasn’t in the frame of mind to be at church any longer,” she said.

Since it was difficult to access the area, many people said it’s a safety issue.

“I think about the event of an emergency, someone needs to get in or out, and people who work long shifts,” Diederich said.

For about four hours during Sunday’s race, the roads were blocked.

“We saw a lot of people struggling to get back into the neighborhood, especially from the University Hospital area,” Cray said.

Now people are hoping the petition will prevent that from happening again.

“I hope it brings enough attention that the race coordinator looks at the route,” Diederich said.

And create better communication between residents and organizers.

“Nothing was circulated, I didn’t see anything on social media, so I was surprised,” Cray said.

The creators of the petition plan to bring it to the city council in the coming days.

NBC4 reached out to city council and was told that the petition would be given to the mayor’s team and residents should be notified of routes in the future.

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