Ann Arbor Marathon Gets Street Closing OK

The second Ann Arbor Marathon has received approval of the necessary street closings for the 26.2 looping course through Ann Arbor.

Course map of the 2013 Ann Arbor marathon. Image links to marathon website.

Course map of the 2013 Ann Arbor Marathon. Image links to marathon website.

The approval came on a unanimous vote of the city council at its March 4, 2013 meeting. Last year’s race, held on June 17, 2012, drew harsh criticism  – as some residents were surprised to have their morning routes to church cut off and their Father’s Day plans disrupted.

As part of his city administrator’s report at the city council meeting the day after the marathon, Steve Powers noted a number of complaints had been received about disruption caused by the race. Powers asked councilmembers to forward complaints from constituents to him, saying the city staff would review the event and would appreciate hearing from councilmembers’ constituents.

The staff memo accompanying the council’s March 4 agenda item included a description of several changes to this year’s event, meant to address some of the complaints.

The date of the event in 2013 is Sunday, June 9 – not Father’s Day. Washtenaw Avenue was eliminated from the course, which is meant to diminish the impact to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority’s bus service.

Improved efforts are also supposed to be made by Champions for Charity, the event sponsor, to notify neighborhood associations, churches, apartment complexes and other relevant organizations about the event. Course marshals will also get better training about alternative routes to recommend to the public, when people are confronted with an unexpected street closure.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]