Re: [MPD-5D] Saturday's Marathon Traffic Nightmare
- Katherine - Extremely well said! And I agree on all fronts. Also congrats on running such a tough race.Julia
On Tuesday, March 26, 2013, Katherine Makris wrote:As someone who lives in this neighborhood, and has run this marathon three times now, AND as someone who works for an organization who does outdoor event permitting and works with the MSETG, MPD, and NPS, I would encourage you to be open minded in dealing with this situation. I have been on every side of this race at this point and while I have definitely experienced being 100% shut in to my few block radius for a few hours, I have also experienced the joy of participating, as well as the hell of permitting. I also use alert dc and pay attention to the VMS boards and road closure signs which were placed throughout the city well in advance. Consider those who live in Anacostia who had THEIR streets shut down until 2pm. We are lucky we are on the half marathon course and only had it bad for a few hours.Rather than barking up the tree of MPD and MSETG and trying desperately to have this event taken down, it would actually be most effective to get in touch with Competitor group, who runs these races, and offer them some constructive criticism of the route. Don't just start complaining to every organization in town; event organizers actually REALLY value community feedback, good or bad. I'm sure they would appreciate hearing of your concerns, as well as some ideas of better streets to route it on.Finally, to people who are complaining that these events happen ALL THE TIME...they do, on the national mall and park service territory. Our neighborhood is shut down for a few hours ONE day per year for this race. It is incredibly difficult to be creative in planning a safe, desirable 26.2 miles of running course through a city that gives you little mileage to work with. Be open to the fact that this race brings 30,000 people through our streets and many of these are out of towners bringing the city revenue. I agree that there were traffic issues and as a runner on the course I know I certainly have suggestions for some re-routing...but let's all be part of the solution instead of trying to take down something that probably motivated a lot of our citizens to get out the door and get healthy.
Our life is what our thoughts make it - Marcus Aurelius
- I'd like to be clear about what my complaint is concerning this and other marathons. I am certainly not opposed to marathons in general and staying fit. I am a runner myself and enjoy getting my exercise outside. I also applaud events that give their proceeds to charity and help the community in some way. I also have no quarrel with the event organizers themselves. They presented a plan to the city that they liked, and it was approved.
My frustration is with our representatives, most of which don't seem to have an issue like this on their radar screens. The big question I'd like answered is, why is it OK to block roads and intersections in our city for entertainment? I have received criticism for my view that the marathon should not have happened as permitted, most of who feel that I should just get over it and not to worry myself with such a trivial issue. To me, this is very serious. I do not believe that our DC government is appropriately considering important issues when handing out these permits.
One of the reasons I urged people to speak out to their representatives is because they probably think we're all OK with this. And, if that's the case, then by all means let them know that you're happy. But if you think something needs to change, you have to be vocal about it. Also, one of the reasons I urged people to speak with Councilman McDuffie's office is because he has been a great champion for our Ward. I did notice that this marathon did not cut across Georgetown, Cleveland Park, or some of the other more affluent neighborhoods in the city, and I am hoping that he will ask those questions of the committees that approve these requests. Anacostia, Columbia Heights, and Bloomingdale seem to have born the brunt of this marathon's traffic woes.
What I would REALLY like to see is a sensible marathon route, and our officials pushing back on anything else. I would like to see real detour routes for traffic, and more police knowledgeable about where traffic should redirect. I am not trying to "kill" this marathon, but rather am trying to get people to acknowledge that the situation can be improved.