Road closures

The rumbles of discontent with car rallies began rolling across the Hills earlier this year.
By the time the Supaloc Classic Targa Adelaide came around, the groundswell of antipathy towards closing public roads for motor sport had spread across three council districts.
People are tired of being inconvenienced year after year.
For some residents, like those living along Fox Creek Road at Cudlee Creek, Targa was the third motor sport event that had restricted access to their properties in six months. Enough is enough.
They are tired of the hassle but more than anything they are tired of the “wannabes” who roar up and down their road in the weeks before and after the rallies.
Unlike the lycra brigade who emulate the pro-cyclists in the Tour Down Under, these pretenders impose on the local CFS who are required to fish them out of paddocks and off embankments when they miss corners.
It all adds to the growing sentiment that promoting car rallies sends the wrong message about road safety.
But it would be wrong to call Targa competitors “hoons”. They are serious motor sport enthusiasts who work hard to bring their cars and skills up to race standard. Very few areas open their roads to amateur drivers so rally participants are extremely careful not to bring their sport into disrepute.
Rally organisers are also conscious that “hoon behavior” is a public conception that needs to be taken seriously.
Unluckily for this region, SA has very few areas of roads that are windy and wide enough to encourage safe but challenging competition.
The Courier understands that long straight roads are not favored by Targa planners because they promote faster speeds.
The result is the same roads in the Hills will tend to get used over and over again.
The option of giving some places “a rest” might not be feasible.
If that is the case, then Targa and other rallies will have to work much harder to bring communities on side.
Hills people don’t mind the Bay to Birdwood old car run or the Tour Down Under international cycling race because they are seen as major spectator events that bring enormous benefits and public attention to the region.
Adelaide people put up with the inconveniences surrounding the Clipsal 500 Adelaide and even the City-Bay for similar reasons.
If Targa and other rallies are going to thrive, organisers are going to have to bring the community on side and work with them.
A step in the right direction would be some strategic planning across all major events.
Subjecting areas to multiple closures is simply not fair.

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