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Eau Claire residents raise concern over motorcross race in heart of Calgary

Motorcross race in Eau Claire raising concerns
WATCH: The Red Bull Outliers event is the first of its kind to be held in the heart of a city – taking over Calgary’s Eau Claire this weekend. While residents say they’re used to events in their backyard, this particular one has them grinding their gears. Christa Dao explains.

Eau Claire residents are raising concern over a motorcross race happening in Calgary’s downtown core this weekend.

The Red Bull Outliers race is believed to be Canada’s first motorsports competition ever held in the heart of a city and is taking over the Eau Claire market. Already, several road restrictions are in place.

Bert Maurice lives in a condo building directly adjacent to the event location. He said people in the neighbourhood are no stranger to events happening in their backyard, like the Folk Festival and Beakerhead, but this particular event is grinding their gears.

“I think they could have picked a better place… that’s why we moved here — to get quiet, and the last thing we want is roaring motorcycles going around the street,” Maurice said Thursday.

Councillor for the area, Druh Farrell said the community was not notified of the event.

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“This last weekend they had Beakerhead, which was wonderful, but they would like some vibrancy and some peace and quiet,” Farrell said.

Farrell said more needs to be done when it comes to community consultations.

“I’m asking, for future events, that we have better protocols to work with the community. They weren’t informed of this and they certainly weren’t consulted,” she said.

Other concerns centred around increased traffic and access to parking garages.

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The Calgary Downtown Association said all residents will be able to access their garages. The association also said all noise levels will be within legal limits.

“As with any motorsports event, the sound of the motorbikes will be noticeable. With that said, the noise levels will fall within the allowable limits of city bylaw regulations,” the association said in a statement.

“Any rider with a motorcycle found to be in disrepair in terms of noise or pollution will be requested to correct or disqualified.”

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According to the City of Calgary, the organizers have met all requirements identified through the city’s event team.

“This team reviews and approves major festivals in Calgary to minimize community impact while supporting an event that is new to Calgary,” the city said in a statement.

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“This event showcases a local talent Shane Cutherburtson who designed the track. This event reaches a different audience that we might normally see in Eau Claire, brings patrons to the local businesses and international attention to Calgary by hosting this event here.”

It goes on to say anyone with concerns about noise or traffic are encouraged to call 311 and the city will look into the complaint.

The two-day event begins in Eau Claire on Saturday and wraps up in Steveville, Alta., on Sunday.