SEOUL, Jul. 18 (Korea Bizwire) — Municipal authorities in Sokcho are facing a backlash from local residents and tourists over the ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup, with critics slamming the annual sporting event for the serious traffic congestion and limited access to facilities that it results in.
Marking its 21st year, the two-day event was held earlier this month at Cheongcho Lake Park and a number of locations in the downtown area, attracting some 1,000 athletes and amateurs triathletes.
However, local authorities who organized the event faced criticism this year over issues concerning road safety and traffic from local residents and visitors on holiday, complaints that have been growing in volume in recent years.
Criticism grew notably this year in particular, as road accidents caused during the cycling portion of the event saw crashes between competitors and residents that in some cases resulted in hospitalization.
Residents who hold an unfavorable view of the event complain that there are many issues facing them as the sporting event takes place during the weekend and during the holiday season.
Owners of business establishments located near Cheongcho Lake Park are reportedly up in arms also as traffic congestion and closed roads have had a negative impact, sometimes forcing shops to stay closed until noon on occasion.
The Sokcho ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup was held near Sokcho from 1996 until 2013, when the location was moved to Cheongcho Lake Park.
Event organizers have been facing problems of their own, as an increasing number of building projects near the lake began emerging two to three years ago, making it more difficult for the event to go on as planned every year.
Sokcho government officials also took some heat for restricting vehicular access to the coastal road, and some motorists out of frustration drove against the flow of traffic to change their route, a dangerous course of action that could have led to an accident.
“The Sokcho ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup is a renowned sporting event which draws around 1,000 people every year. As the event contributes to the local economy, we seek cooperation from local residents and business owners,” said representatives of the Sokcho municipal government.
“To address the issues raised by those suffering from traffic control, we are planning on introducing countermeasures such as changing cycling routes.”