LETTERS: LA Marathon nightmares

By Tony Rizzo

As a resident of West Hollywood, above and below Sunset Blvd., for over 50 years, I have had to deal with The L.A. Marathon every year. Almost 25 years ago I moved to Sherbourne Drive above Sunset and have had to deal with Sunset Blvd. Street closures every year because of the marathon and on Halloween and Gay Pride days that close Santa Monica Blvd and send all the traffic to Sunset Blvd.

In past years I chose to stay home because Sherbourne and Horn are closed at Sunset Blvd. until 3 or 4 in the afternoon and we’re not allowed to drive our cars out of our building garages, making us all virtual prisoners. This weekend I perused the pamphlet the City Of West Hollywood sent me. It wasn’t easy to navigate because they were vague on exactly when street closures would be but I concluded the streets were being closed between 6 and 6:30 a.m.

I didn’t sleep well because I was worried something could still go wrong. I rose at 5 a.m., dressed, had my coffee and headed to the street, which was still dark and cold. When I got to Sunset on Sherbourne, at 5:50 I saw the barricades were already in place and a guard was posted. I said to the guard “It’s not even 6 a.m. and the street is already closed?” he shook his head.

“But, I continued “My pamphlet from West Hollywood said the streets wouldn’t be closed until 6:30, yet you’ve closed them already.” He said, “They decided to add a bike race and start earlier so we were told to close the streets.” “You Mean,” I continued, “If I tried to drive my car out of my building now you wouldn’t let me?” “That’s right,” he said, “The street is closed to cars.”

Lucky for me, to make sure, to avoid street closures, I parked my car the night before below Sunset and Holloway as I was headed for Palm Springs. As I walked 3 blocks to my car I thought to myself… “Well, West Hollywood residents have less rights than a person who pays an entrance fee for the marathon. Shame on you City Council members for not looking out for residents and the people who voted you into office.

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RicE
RicE
1 month ago

Dude, just move to Palm Springs already, you wrote five paragraphs to complain about a once a year event that you know is happening and planned for by moving your car yet you still felt the need to rant about it 🤦‍♂️

JHLD
JHLD
1 month ago

Many of us have to work marathon day. I work at the Roxy — Sunset and Horn — Parking is bitch already. The bands themselves have trucks and busses that need to get access to the venue. Same for The Whisky and Viper Room. This was a huge huge problem that day. Yea, I know, “they shouldn’t book any bands there on marathon day…”. But just closing up shop to accommodate a bunch of health nuts is not really a solution. That’s a lot a people who would loose a days pay.

Rent A Venue
Rent A Venue
1 month ago

West Hollywood, the commercial turn stile city will never again be Home Sweet Home. Rent a Venue, Pass Through, Perpetual Crime Scene…..anything that produces revenue, forget the residents.

Jose
Jose
1 month ago

To all the Debbie Downers, there is not a city in this country that doesn’t closed streets on a yearly basis for annual events.

The, “how dare they inconvenience Marie Antoinette ” syndrome is waayyy over the top. Buy a patch of dirt in the country and live the way you want without dealing with events.

Thom Cook
Thom Cook
1 month ago

In partial defense of Mr. Rizzo, I understand his frustration with the Marathon. I live at Cynthia and Hilldale and for the last 20+ years have had to endure a closed Cynthia Street at San Vicente. I have listened to cars honking, their tires squealing in anger, drivers shouting at other drivers, cars speeding up a clearly marked dead end Hilldale only to come tearing back down a minute later, running the four-way stop. I finally wised up a few years ago, parking my car south of Santa Monica Boulevard the night before. The day of, I walk down to… Read more »

:dpb
:dpb
1 month ago

Oh get over yourself. Really?

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

You knew enough about the Marathon to park your car 5 blocks away so you could get to it, so what’s the issue? You live in West Hollywood; the Marathon, Pride, Halloween, The Oscars, Emmy, Grammy etc parties all happen here. Sorry, but if you only wanted to deal with slow moving herds of bison then living a block off the Strip wasn’t the best choice.

Roxann
Roxann
1 month ago

I do agree with LA marathon website and maps of street closures are vague to say the least, and need to be clearer. Not just West Hollywood but all cities involved. City council shouldn’t be blamed for a multiple city event a great event at that, that has been happening for years,
I remember how things were not as crowded, but street closers were a thing pretty much as today.
LA marathon as is the Parade etc, are important because of community focus and participation.

Matthew Flanagan
Matthew Flanagan
1 month ago

Why are the gays such whiny little bitches?!? Im gay and over the consistent bitching

Randy
Randy
1 month ago

I moved to Larrabee in 2001, knowing full well that I was in the region of West Hollywood where annual events happen, such as Pride, Halloween and the marathon. Calling it a “nightmare,” and blaming the City Council is quite over-the-top, especially if one had the foresight to park below Sunset. You just have to plan ahead. Don’t want the noise from Pride? Go out of town for the weekend. Don’t want to deal with the traffic and street closures for Halloween? Plan ahead. Make sure you are home before the traffic gets congested.  “West Hollywood residents have less rights… Read more »

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

The streets have been officially closed at 4am for YEARS. Usually what that means though is that they start putting barricades up and try to get cars off the street between 4am and 5am or so. Once you get to 5 or 6 it is fully closed. The bike ride is informal and not a marathon sanctioned activity. It just happens because the streets are closed already and it’s the only time of year that you can ride a bike with almost no traffic. You can find videos online going back to at least 2010 talking about hundreds of people… Read more »

John Ryan
John Ryan
1 month ago

Poor baby! One would think you would be used to this after almost 25 years. I’ve lived just off of Sunset for 28 years and I love that the Marathon comes past my apartment. You want to complain about street closures? Try navigating to Hollywood and Highland Metro station for weeks before the Oscars…..a nightmare every day for weeks! Chill out and go cheer the runners next year!

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