Forum: StanChart marathon road closures could have been better handled

Runners heading to the starting line for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019.
Runners heading to the starting line for Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019.ST PHOTO : ARIFFIN JAMAR

The Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019 took place for the first time in the evening on Saturday.

I hope that there will be better measures put in place if this is not the last evening race.

With the marathon came the inevitable road closures. The road closures extended from West Coast Highway all the way to East Coast Parkway, with many roads closed around the Central Business District and city centre - a much larger scale than the Formula 1 car-racing event or National Day.

The impact of the road closures was hard to miss as the roads were closed during the peak hours of the day from 2pm to night time. There were massive jams over eight hours in the Telok Blangah and Lavender areas as a result of a large volume of traffic being redirected.

Traffic in Orchard Road was heavy, more likely arising from the diversion of traffic around the City Hall area than because of the ongoing Black Friday retail sales.

Had any due consideration been given before allowing the closures of so many roads during the day?

Did the businesses in the city centre suffer during one of the busiest retail weekends of the year, Black Friday weekend, due to the closures?

Did the organisers consider the scale of the impact on other road users and road public transportation?

Could there have been other options, for example, closing fewer roads in the city centre, or for getting motorists to avoid the closures, instead of being stuck in massive traffic jams?

While the number of race participants was said to be around 50,000, I am sure far more people were impacted by the jams.

I hope the organisers can reflect on the experience and do better next year, or better yet, revert to a morning race.

Vivian Kang