Too Many City Marathons

  • 8-26-2015

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The frequency of marathons in the city has increased significantly to the point where they are now a nuisance to motorists. Since the start of the year I stand corrected but I count at least 4 city runs so far, all taking place in city centre. By city centre I mean the general New Kingston roadways, Trafalgar Road, Hope Road and Lady Musgrave Road. These run/walkathons usually take place on a Sunday morning and impede the flow of traffic.

I will highlight one in particular but it is the same situation for the others. The Sigma Run is usually downtown, this year they moved it to uptown. Motorists who were travelling along Trafalgar Road from Guardian Life heading in the direction of Knutsford Boulevard were turned back when they reached the stop light at the top of Knutsford Boulevard. I turned onto Braemar Avenue and found my way to the intersection of Hope Road and Lady Musgrave Road and then turned onto Hope Road trying to get to Washington Boulevard for church. When I reached by Andrews Hospital heading towards the Devon House intersection of Hope Road and Waterloo Road myself along with other motorists were directed to turn on the road opposite Andrews Hospital as we were prevented from going straight down Hope Road. When we reached by the Canadian High Commission trying to head towards Constant Spring Road we encountered another road block and we were directed to turn right and head in the direction of Mega Mart. Still not sure how to get to Washington Boulevard as every route I took lead me to a road block. It was like being held hostage in city centre not being able to get to get out of the city.

Let me hasten to say that I am not opposed to these run/walkathons but the frequency in recent times has served as an inconvenience to the motoring public. The last one I recall when we were diverted away from the city centre and ended up near to Lushusan Centre there was yet another road block and the policeman who was posted there saw the frustration on the faces of the motorists that he pulled it and let us through.

The city’s major roadways are fast becoming tracks for city marathons and also entertainment zones for carnival road marches. Why not give permission but insist that these events take place in other locations where they affect a smaller section of the motoring public. The Palisadoes highway has a wide soft shoulder where motorist are less likely to be impeded as there would be no need to block off the entire road or do so downtown since there is a lot of talk about putting more life into downtown.

Is it that these organizers feel that they get more publicity for their events when they have it in the city centre? If so, that’s rubbish as no one driving along and encounter the event will be parking and jumping out their cars to join them, as to participate one would have to register prior to the event.

The authorities whether it’s the Police or the Kingston and St Andrew Corporation (KSAC) need to limit if not eliminate these events that take place in the city centre, or when they do grant permission they need to do so sparingly so that it doesn’t become the norm as in recent times it seems like organizers think it’s their right to be an inconvenience the motoring public.


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