Color Run in Seattle By Scooter Lowrimore (from Flickr)
A number of residents of Raleigh’s Historic Oakwood neighborhood were not happy to find their cars were missing from the street Saturday morning. The Color Run, a for-profit road run featuring dyed corn starch packets, had set up for its run through the neighborhood. Unlike most road races, organizers insisted that all the cars be removed from the street, most likely because of the colossal mess the corn starch packets make.
Raleigh Police posted “no parking” notices with as little as 13 hours notice, leaving many residents unprepared. Tow trucks hauled off their cars and stuck them with bills upwards of $150 to get them back. This in addition to the godawfully sticky corn starch that trashed their streets and homes.
Needless to say, residents were livid at their cars being taken and their neighborhood trashed. Council members were summoned and the city has agreed to reimburse residents for their towing charges.
I watched after the run as contractors worked to clear the starchy muck off of Wilmington Street near Polk Street. The contractor used a bleach mixture for this work, pouring this chemical-laden broth into our storm drains for eventual draining into the Neuse River. Nice move. I made a call to the city’s stormwater department when I saw this and begged someone to check it out. The city responded that this was just one of many issues they are collecting about the run.
Several runners question the motives of a for-profit company closing down city streets and using city resources. I watched at the end as a decal-laden Color Run car was loaded onto a tractor trailer that already held about 8 other shiny company vehicles. Apparently business is good!