BMO Vancouver Marathon gets approval for road closures

City of Vancouver and TransLink support road closure at key intersections of 2016 BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Vancouver, BC – March 3, 2016 – Vancouver’s only marathon will celebrate its 45th year in 2016 with a new traffic control plan that will allow runners of the BMO Vancouver Marathon to race uninterrupted at key junctures.

Approved by the City of Vancouver and TransLink, local event organizers will bear the cost of turning two intersections formerly open for buses into hard road closures. Residential traffic and the Canada Line will not experience any change, but buses will be impacted for a short 45-minute window on race day along West 49th Avenue at the Granville Street and Oak Street intersections.

“Safety is everyone’s top priority, and this investment to our traffic control plan will improve overall safety, improve the race experience aligning with international marathon standards and increase the reputation of Vancouver as a top sports city,” adds Charlene Krepiakevich, Executive Director of the Vancouver International Marathon Society, the non-profit, volunteer-based organization responsible for annually hosting the BMO Vancouver Marathon.

“Our vision is to be the world’s best running experience, celebrating all that is Vancouver,” adds Krepiakevich, whose team does extensive community outreach to advise residents and business owners of temporary road closures and traffic control measures every year.

Ranked one of the World’s top marathons by the likes of Forbes, CNN and USA Today – thanks to a stunning course featuring snow-capped mountain ranges and 70% shoreline views – Vancouver’s only marathon will take another step forward in 2016 with this new traffic control plan, and will continue to draw international attention; Runners from over 50 countries have already registered for this year’s event.

“Vancouver is home to one of the best destination marathons in the world and the City is pleased the BMO Vancouver Marathon has been successful in their efforts to meet standard race practices regarding road closures and traffic controls,” says Sadhu Johnston, Acting City Manager of the City of Vancouver. “The City will continue to work with the marathon organizers and TransLink to manage the temporary road impacts associated with the race.”

The Vancouver Police Department and other traffic control personal will be on hand to safely manage and redirect traffic on race day, TransLink will add shuttles to assist bus riders, and detour routes are again available for local vehicle traffic.

To shorten the time frame of the road closures, the BMO Vancouver Marathon will also move to a mass start, rather than a wave start, with all 5,000 marathon runners leaving from Queen Elizabeth Park at 8:30am.

“TransLink is preparing an extensive plan to ensure customers affected by the road closures will have transit alternatives on race day,” says Jennifer Morland, TransLink spokesperson. “We’ve worked with the organizers of the BMO Vancouver Marathon for many years, and they’ve shown great commitment to TravelSmart options, including a transit pass for all runners. We’re happy to work with race organizers and the City of Vancouver to ensure racers and fans safely get where they need to be.”

In 2012, the BMO Vancouver Marathon and Half Marathon courses were redesigned as point-to-point routes running through 12 city neighbourhoods. While beautiful, the stunning Marathon course is especially challenging as it covers so much of Vancouver, BC, with its 42.2KM course.

From 2012-2015, the Society worked with the City of Vancouver to release runners in waves creating natural breaks to manage important arterials along West 49th Avenue at Oak and Granville. Controlled crossings provided for buses and other emergency vehicles through the intersection, but some runners were stopped as a result.

“To improve safety, the race experience and adhere to international marathon race standards, a full closure of these intersections is planned for 2016,” adds Krepiakevich.

Motorists and transit riders are encouraged to avoid travel during the affected hours, or to plan ahead for potential delays and consider the alternative routes available. The race does follow a rolling road closure/opening protocol, meaning that roads will close and later re-open as runners pass by. With the exception of the Finish Line on West Pender, no roads are closed for the entire duration of the race.

“We encourage everyone to enjoy the experience of this internationally renown race, plus see BC’s best as we also host the BC Half Marathon Championships,” concludes Krepiakevich. “Join the celebrations of our 45th anniversary of Vancouver’s only marathon — run, cheer, or volunteer. There are many ways to get involved and we encourage you to embrace the spirit of this great event.”

Run! Cheer!Volunteer!

Click here for Road Closure and Detour Maps