The Christchurch Marathon is on this morning, and the route goes past our Kilmore Street corner. Soon after 9am Barbadoes Street traffic was slowed to a standstill, and I went out to see the runners.
Not sure how many there are altogether, but last year there were 4,300, and with this year’s return to a central city route there could be more. An hour and a half later the traffic still hasn’t been able to move, and there are some angry people. Although signs alerting drivers to road closures have been up for at least a couple of weeks it’s clear that some didn’t see them or didn’t grasp their import.
Some people have abandoned their cars and walked up to see what’s happening. Others have tried to detour down side streets only to find these are also blocked. A fire engine with siren was allowed through, but no-one else. Traffic control on the Barbadoes Street Bridge cleared a space and let some cars drive the wrong way through to Peterborough Street and freedom.
I spoke to one unhappy man who said he was trapped and needed to get to work. Presumably some will get through eventually. but the runners are expected to continue until the early afternoon, as the course goes both ways along Kilmore Street. I very glad I don’t need to drive anywhere this morning. The whole event must be a logistical nightmare, but I like the fact that cars need to give way to people on just one day of the year. Those who walk or cycle will not be held up.
“With traffic turmoil in our street
the best way through is on your feet.”