SAVANNAH, GA (October 29, 2014): Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police are utilizing their new Internet site to more effectively advise residents and visitors on the best ways to enjoy or avoid activities surrounding next Saturday’s fourth annual Rock n’ Roll Marathon.
The race itself – expected to be 17,000-runners strong – begins on Bay Street in front of City Hall at 7 a.m., but the ramifications will begin seven hours earlier when police will have to assure that the 13-mile half-marathon and 26-mile marathon courses are free of parked vehicles.
“We’ll begin removing vehicles from the routes at midnight to assure that all runners are safe and resident s are inconvenienced the least amount possible,” said Sgt. Eddie Grant, who is overseeing police preparations for the race.
Competitor Group of San Diego, which produces the race, has been contacting those who live along the routes over the past few weeks to advise them of the race and routes to avoid it.
Metro Police have posted all information on the website SCMPD.org with a special section devoted entirely to the race at http://savannahpd.org/rock-and-roll/.
This year police for the first time will add a live section advising when each intersection is closed as the runners approach and reopened as the final runners pass. Some larger intersections will be opened and closed intermittently during gaps between runners.
Also posted on the website are the course map; road closures by areas with alternate access and exit routes; a complete list of all road closures specifying which areas of particular blocks will be closed and the anticipated time ranges; a color-coded grid of the no parking zones; and a turn-by-turn listing of the route for participants.
“Our goal,” said Police Chief Julie Tolbert, “is to provide everyone with all the information they will need to participate in this tremendous event or to avoid it. I think our officers have done a splendid job of taking advantage of technology and this new website to accomplish this. We hope this information is as beneficial to the public as we anticipate.”
Four areas are of particular note:
* Drayton Street will be closed to traffic from Park Avenue to East Hall Street from Friday throughout the race to allow for setup of the finish line.
* On Saturday, the area around Forsyth Park where the races will terminate and runners usually congregate to recuperate will be highly congested until almost 3 p.m.
* East Victory Drive between Reynolds Street and Skidaway Road become highly congested. Look for mobile message boards to help steer through traffic there.
* Skidaway Road will be closed to through traffic between East 52nd Street and Laroche Avenue from 8:30 a.m. until about 2:45 p.m. Neighborhood traffic will be allowed on Skidaway traveling north from 52nd Street and south from LaRoche.
Parking will not be permitted along the routes later than midnight Friday, roads and streets will be closed to vehicular traffic beginning at 3:30 a.m. in the Historic District and the Truman Parkway between President Street and Derenne Avenue.
Traffic closures will continue in west Savannah about 5:30 a.m.; Carver Heights at 6 a.m.; East Broad Street, East Henry Street, the Gordonston neighborhood and East Anderson Street at 6:15 a.m.; Delesseps Avenue at 6:30 a.m., the Savannah State University area, LaRoche and East 52nd streets at 6:45 a.m.; and the Edgemore neighborhood at 7 a.m. Routes will reopen as the last participant passes.