On Wednesday a video surfaced of runners during last weekend’s Vancouver Marathon being delayed and held up by officers directing traffic. The course was redesigned in 2012 to better showcase the city, but with the redesign came more traffic agreements with the city.
“It’s a little disconcerting, the video that was posted,” says executive director Charlene Krepiakevich.
“Certainly we’re talking with the City and Vancouver Police Department to understand what happened because that’s not a safe crossing. Our plans were much more rigid in terms of not permitting traffic through there. We’re only supposed to be permitting transit and emergency vehicles, so nonetheless we’re on it and talking with the city and VPD about ways to mitigate.”
With the new traffic crossings, mats were placed at roads that were required to be kept open to local traffic. Runners cross the mats on each side and their time between the mats if corrected for however long they had to wait. Generally, the corrals are timed to allowed traffic to flow between large surges of racers, though Krepiakevich says there may have been a mix-up this year.
We release runners in waves and it is all timed in accordance with our agreement with the city and there is supposed to be natural breaks in between the waves. At certain points the crossing in stopped to allow for transit and emergency vehicles.
“That certainly wasn’t planned” admits Krepiakevich, noting that each year a few hundred runners are impacted by traffic holdups, but this year there seems to have been a larger problem.
“I guess the thing is, a city marathon is a city marathon. It crosses many streets. We rely on dozens and dozens of stakeholders to put the race on and we’re grateful to the city for allowing us to be around for 44 years and hope we’ll be around for another 44 years. It is a community that enables this. We’ll go back to the city and VPD and dive into the data and analyze it and look to mitigate it in the future. In a perfect world we’d like no disruptions but we’re granted permission and with that comes responsibility to other stakeholders.”