The 2011 Los Angeles Marathon takes place this Sunday, largely repeating 2010’s “Stadium to the Sea” route. Last year’s route successfully highlighted various Los Angeles area landmarks, including Dodgers Stadium, Rodeo Drive, and the Santa Monica Pier near the finish line. However, I was at the finish line last year, and the popularity of the Marathon made things very tough on spectators there. For example, it was nearly impossible to walk across Ocean Avenue even at points well beyond the finish line. Additionally, the sidewalk on the East Side of Ocean Ave. was so jammed that it looked hazardous to be there. I wondered whether it would be feasible to construct a temporary pedestrian foot bridge over Ocean using the same scaffolding materials that were used for the finish line itself (see photo at top).
The good news is that the Marathon planners apparently have taken a stab at trying to ameliorate some of the crowd congestion and pedestrian street access problems that occurred last year. Specifically, in addition to better access for runners getting to the starting line, the finish line has been moved several blocks North down Ocean Ave. Hopefully, this will allow for a real pedestrian crossing zone on Ocean well past the finish line, which would not interfere with the recuperating runners who have just finished the race.
If that’s the case, then I’m looking forward to an even more successful Marathon finish line party this year.