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LA Marathon: Get Ready For Traffic Troubles

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Tomorrow is the 23rd Annual LA Marathon, and the multiple races taking place in the city as a part of the day-long event are going to compromise a great many of our streets.

Many street closures will begin in the overnight and early morning hours, and the LADOT is expected to enforce parking restrictions aggressively. According to the City of LA's official LA Marathon info: "Impounding of vehicles will begin no later than 2:00 am. Typical costs for towed vehicles include $70 for the citation and between $150 and $185 to recover the vehicle from the towing company."

In addition to the full 26 mile main event, which starts at 8:15, there is a bike tour that begins at 5:50 a.m., a 5k run that begins at 7:15 a.m., and two wheelchair races that begin at 7:45 and 7:50 a.m. respectively. The Marathon has a new route, which begins at Cahuenga and Lankershim near Universal City and ends at 5th and Flower in Downtown.

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Bottom line: Check where you're parked before you hit the sack tonight and make sure you aren't in the line of fire for potential towing, and figure out how you might get from whatever Point A to Point B might be in your plans tomorrow and avoid the closures. Unless of course, you're running in the Marathon--in that case, get your carbo-loading on, wash your lucky running socks, and good luck to you!

Closures, routes, and re-opening times are pretty complicated, so the full text from the official City website is included after the jump.

Street closures begin at approximately 3 am. Some streets will remain closed until about 5 pm. Freeway on-ramps not on the route will be open to assist drivers to exit the areas impacted by the event. Freeway off-ramps that lead to the route will be closed to reduce traffic congestion in the area. It is imperative that Angeleno's review the route map and times of closures to confirm whether desired routes will be available, and to identify streets, which may be used to get to the far side of the race route. In certain areas, it may be necessary to park a vehicle on the far side of the race course on Saturday and plan to walk across the route, when safe on Sunday. The Bike Tour begins at 5:50 am at 39th Street and Figueroa Street. It follows a generally counter-clockwise route, finishing at the Coliseum. Since the Marathon route must be completely cleared before the first wheelchair competitor arrives, any bicyclist reaching selected locations after a specified time, will be diverted to a shortcut route. The bicyclists are expected to complete their event by 9 am.

The 5-K run begins at 7:15 am at 39th Street and Figueroa Street. The end of that race is at Sports Arena. This event is expected to conclude at 8:45 am.

The hand-crank wheelchair race begins at 7:45 am, followed by regular wheelchairs at 7:50. Elite runners are expected to begin at 8:17, followed by all other runners and walkers.

The new Marathon route starts at Cahuenga and Lankershim near Universal City, and ends in Downtown LA at 5th & Flower. Note that this is a point-to-point route, rather than a large loop. Cahuenga Boulevard will be closed to all vehicular traffic starting at 5 AM. It will reopen at approximately 10 AM. Residents of the Hollywood Hills, who normally use Cahuenga Boulevard to get to or from their homes, will be unable to use Cahuenga Boulevard during this time. They will need to make alternate plans or stay home. Freeway ramps in this area will be severely impacted. Some Marathon participants will choose to park near the finish line in Downtown LA, while others will attempt to park near Universal City, so there is likely to be significant congestion at both locations. The Metro Red Line will shuttle many participants to or from their cars.

Beginning Saturday evening, March 1st, the area bounded by 3rd Street, Grand Avenue, 5th Street and Flower Street will be closed to install the Marathon Finish Line Stage. Before and during the race, vehicular traffic cannot cross the route at any time. Sweepers will begin cleaning the route after the last runner. During the cleaning operation, traffic will be allowed to cross the route at the following 15 crossing points until the cleaning is completed and all traffic controls have been removed from the route, allowing the streets to be re-opened: Sunset & Vine; Santa Monica & Vine; 3rd & Rossmore; 6th & Western; Harvard & Wilshire; Normandie & Washington; Jefferson & Normandie; Adams & Grand; Figueroa & Washington; Figueroa & Pico; 11th & Broadway; Alameda & Olympic; Olympic & Santa Fe; 6th & Alameda; and 7th & Broadway.

Drivers within the area bounded by 3rd, Soto, 11th, and Figueroa are likely to experience problems entering and exiting due to the huge loops and backtracks of the race route. Persons with unessential travel should avoid driving in all areas affected by the event. The Hollywood, Harbor and Santa Monica freeways provide the best options for crossing the route. The Metro Red Line may also be used.

Bike Route: Starts at 39th & Figueroa, south to Martin Luther King, east to Central, north to Jefferson, west to Main, north to Adams, west to Figueroa, north to 11th, east to Main St, north to Olympic, east to San Julian, north to 9th/Olympic, east to Boyle, north to Whittier, west to 6th, continue west to Central, north to 3rd, west to Los Angeles, south to 7th Street, west to Grand, south to 8th, west to Union, north to 6th, west to Harvard, south to Olympic, east to Hoover, south to Pico, west to Vermont, south to Venice, east to Normandie, south to Exposition, east to Menlo, south to finish line at the Coliseum. Bike Shortcut routes: A: north on Figueroa, west on Pico Bl, south on Alvarado; B: west on 8th, south on Alvarado, south on Hoover, west on Jefferson, south on Vermont, east on Exposition, south on Menlo to finish line at the Coliseum; C: west on 6th, south on Alvarado, south on Hoover, west on Jefferson, south on Vermont, east on southside of Exposition, south on Menlo to finish line at the Coliseum; D: west on Olympic, continue past Hoover to Alvarado, south on Hoover, west on Jefferson, south on Vermont, east on Exposition, south on Menlo to finish line at the Coliseum. Streets closed exclusively for the Bike Route (see A, B, C and D above) are expected to be reopened by 8:30 am.

5K Route: Starts at 39th & Figueroa, south on Figueroa, east on Martin Luther King to Central, "U" turn at Central, west on Martin Luther King, north on Figueroa to finish line at Sports Arena. Martin Luther King between Broadway and Figueroa are expected to be reopened by 10:00 am.

Marathon Route: Starts at Cahuenga and Lankershim, south to Highland, continue south to Hollywood, west to Vine, south to Melrose, east to Lucerne, south to Beverly, west to Rossmore, south to 6th, west to Harvard, south to Olympic, east to Hoover, south to Pico, west to Vermont, south to Venice, west to Normandie, south to 39th, east to Main, south to M K King, east to Central, north to Jefferson, west to Main, north to Adams, west to Figueroa, north to 11th, east to Main, north to Olympic, east to San Julian, north to 9th/Olympic, east to Boyle, north to Whittier, west to 6th, continue west to Central, north to 3rd, west to Los Angeles, south to 7th Street, west to Flower, north to finish line at 5th.

Photo by Jordan Fischer via Flickr