The Brooklyn Half Marathon kicked off on Saturday, bringing a brigade of 15,000 runners to Ocean Parkway and the Coney Island boardwalk.
For many, it was a great day of fun and sun, as runners finished up before noon and chowed down at Coney Island restaurants. But drivers and residents around the parkway groaned at the inconvenience, and found the communication about road closures and detours to be lacking.
Allan Shweky, founder of Friends of Ocean Parkway, sent in the photos in this post that show both sides of marathon: runners having fun, and drivers getting screwed. He writes with the following suggestion for future years:
Traffic gridlock along the southbound service road of Ocean Parkway could have been eased on Saturday if there was a plan to find the best detour routes for drivers (probably most of them) who wanted to go to the eastbound Belt Parkway.. For example, in one of the photo drivers should have been diverted at this point to take the belt service road west to Shell road, turn left and swing back around to the eastbound Belt service road that leads directly to the onramp of the BP. But traffic was kept in this ridiculous single file which forced drivers to go past Lincoln HS before they could turn right to find the Belt entrance to go east. Here are a few photos of gridlock on Neptune Avenue, Seabreeze Avenue, Coney Island Avenue and the Belt. The photo of people waiting in front of Coney Island Hospital for a bus (B1,B36, or B4) without any information posted on the detour. What happened with the “service changes” that the MTA is so diligent in posting at all affected subway stations. (I spoke to one bus driver who was just given the new route but didn’t know how to get to the Belt). Down near the Belt the buses would get to the other side of OP by taking the Belt Pkwy. I can’t speak for bus routes further north on Ocean Pkwy. Did you get any feedback on the marathon impact on the residents of our community?
And as far as I know only your newspaper listed the new bus routes. Signs should have been posted on all bus shelters in the affected areas.
A real failure to communicate.
What did you think of the marathon? Could planning have been improved?
UPDATE (3:53 p.m.): Moments after posting this, I found this cool pic from a reader in my inbox, showing the runners as they round the bend at Seaside Park: