Trapped in DC by National Marathon
I must say I've heard fewer complaints about this Saturday's National Marathon than the ones in previous years, but this traveler's anger certainly compensates for lack of numbers with intensity of passion.
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
The Ridiculous Blockade of practically all numbered streets running between NE and SE Saturday morning for the Marathon Nuts shows once again how little concern D.C. officials have for the community.
My wife and I were on our way to a funeral. There was total traffic gridlock going in all directions in the Capitol Hill area. We could not cross from NE to SE on any street from 4th Street to 20th Street. It was total chaos!
We went back and forth trying to find a way across to SE. Every car ended up having to make U-turns at blocked intersections on small crowded streets in the neighborhoods. Most of Capitol Hill was tied up. It was a hopeless mess!
As we were slowly inching toward one blocked intersection, horns started blasting, people started getting very angry. After making the U-turn, one man raced his SUV back down the narrow street risking knocking off mirrors.
All cars then were forced to go back to a one-way street, which also was blocked. No one could turn left, and we were blocked to the right.
The three who contributed to this fiasco are Mayor Fenty (who was in the marathon), Police Chief Cathy Lanier and the District Department of Transportation. They all should have known better. They act as though this is the first marathon they have ever handled. Marathons should be downtown if at all the city. Fire engines, ambulances and police cars would be stuck in traffic.
What was your experience? Did you think it was a fine event to hold in the nation's capital? Or do you wish they'd find another nation for this event? The National Marathon creates problems because of the timing and the route. It is unusual in that it is held on a Saturday morning rather than a Sunday, and it's pretty comprehensive in covering the city, rather than confining itself to a relatively narrow portion of the federal area.
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