The University of Richmond Police Department is preparing parking, traffic, security and medical service plans for the Men’s Elite Road Race, the premier event of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships.
On Sunday, Sept. 27, the University of Richmond will host the start of the race. The University of Richmond Police Department has been meeting regularly to discuss the security that this event will require.
UR Drive will be closed starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 26. "The purpose of that is so they can bring their trucks in and build in a start," said David McCoy, the chief of police at Richmond. "It's going to look identical to the finish line up on Broad Street downtown."
McCoy said that they were expecting this construction to last until 6 p.m.
There will be a pre-race television broadcasting on the day of the race at 8:30 a.m. to preface the race.
Boatwright Memorial Library will close at 4 a.m. and will reopen at noon on Sunday because of its proximity to the start of the race, McCoy said. The race will begin on UR Drive between Tyler Haynes Commons and Boatwright Library.
The cyclists will continue up the hill toward the Carole Weinstein International Center, turn left onto Gateway Road then immediately left onto Campus Drive. They will then turn right onto Boatwright Drive, exit campus and proceed toward downtown Richmond.
"The unique thing about a bike race is once it goes, it's gone," McCoy said. "Once it starts it will be off campus quickly and on its route."
On the day of the race, the course will be closed one hour before the start to minimize any interruptions.
Campus police is prepared for a large crowd of at least 3,000 people total. Henrico police and campus police are expecting possible parking issues, and the campus police released an email with the reserved lots for the community including lots B1, B2, B3, B5, R22 and R23.
When the race teams and vehicles arrive on campus, they will be parking in lot R10 behind Maryland Hall. Once the bikers make the turn to exit off campus, the support vehicles will have a simple exit to follow.
"We tried to keep as minimal impact to our students' parking as possible," McCoy said. "We want everyone to get up bright and early Sunday morning and attend. That will be our biggest challenge.”
The Weinstein Recreation and Wellness Center will remain open, although McCoy advises that people planning to visit the center walk instead of drive.
There will be a bike corral set up in the forum for anyone who wishes to bike their way to the event. In return the biker will receive a ticket, which they can use to pick up their bikes after.
The police are unsure when to begin security measures because it is unknown when spectators will begin arriving on campus.
"As soon as the race exits the campus, the team is going to start breaking down the build out and tearing everything down to get us back to normal by Sunday afternoon,” he said.
McCoy and Harry Lambert, president of University of Richmond Emergency Medical Services (UREMS), are preparing their departments to take on and manage the event as if it were a football game.
As a subunit of the Richmond Ambulance Authority, members of UREMS will carry out the EMS coverage for the duration of the bike race.
"Specifically, for the day on campus Sept. 27, the UREMS will be out and about on duty," Lambert said. "We will be running a special coverage for the day to make sure that we cover all of campus properly and that we also cover the additional spectators who come to campus."
Lambert said that the UREMS staff has gone through hundreds of hours of training and that they will learn about specific bike-related issues before the race.
UR Downtown at 626 E Broad St. will also be affected by this race. Richmond on Broad Cafe will remain open throughout the week and is expecting to attract a lot of customers. "Our best scenario is that we sell out all our food very quickly and then we close our door and refresh for the next day," McCoy said. "We do expect a large crowd there."
Normal events have been cancelled as Broad Street has already been shut down. Security will be present in the UR Downtown building for Richmond students or faculty members who will be along the route. Restrooms and a resting place are available.
There will also be no shuttle to UR Downtown from the main campus on the day of the race.
Contact reporter Olivia Healy at firstname.lastname@example.org.