ROAD rules were ignored near the epicentre of Sunday’s Mt Martha Triathlon. There was little evidence of the normal courtesies or cautions shown by cyclists, motorists and pedestrians at the corner of Watson Road and the Esplanade.
VicRoads has told The News that it gave no permission for road rules to be ignored, but as the photographic evidence shows, in just 15 minutes one young boy was nearly run over by a cyclist (who did yell out a warning) and had to be comforted by his mother; several cars were driven through the supposedly blocked street; cyclists and walkers ignored red lights at the pedestrian crossing; and cars were parked up to four abreast in Watson Road. The shire’s website said the road would be closed only on the Saturday.
There appeared to be no triathlon marshals at the crossing.
There is a 50kph speed limit in that section of the Esplanade, although cyclists coming along the downhill straight towards Mornington from the Dominion Road intersection appeared to be travelling much faster.
Those approaching Watson Road from the bridge over Balcombe Creek were travelling much slower as they prepared to turn left into the triathlon bike storage area which occupied the entire gravel car park opposite the shops.
Further up Watson Road on the Sunday before midday flags were placed on the road to denote a barrier between traffic and triathlon runners.
The shire charges the triathlon $160 for a permit to use public infrastructure while VicRoads does not charge for the six hours it allows the Esplanade to be closed.
The organisers say the triathlon “generates thousands for the local economy”, but traders report smaller turnovers than normal.
The sealed car park behind the shopping strip was full by 8am.