Event not well planned

Residents not giving warning of the scale of closures from the Surrey Marathon.

I am happy that letter writer Elyse Fryer had a wonderful anniversary and enjoyed the marathon (“A marathon for runners, drivers,” Letters, The Leader, Oct. 1).

I am not here to complain about the Surrey International World Music Marathon itself. I do think, though, that Fryer has oversimplified the situation drivers had during the event.

There were not signs up where I live, in Cedar Hills. There was no large ad in the paper advertising the extremely wide street closure area. There was no plan for getting local traffic back to their homes.

We knew the marathon was on, but we had no idea that when we went out for groceries on Sunday morning that there would be nowhere to turn north from 88 Avenue between 128 and 152 Streets and that those two routes would be parking lots, making it absolutely impossible for us to get home with our frozen food, and to pick up things needed for the kids to go to a friend’s birthday party. There was literally no way for us to get home that wouldn’t have taken hours and I find that inexcusable for a city planner to allow.

I am all for Surrey hosting events; it’s one of the things that makes our city great. However, there needs to be a way for people to get to and from their homes. To be unable to do so for most of the day is not a situation that I would like to see repeat itself next year.

There was not enough notification, not enough clarity of the actual extent of the closures, and we’re lucky there’s just a bunch of angry residents and not someone who had a baby at the side of the road, or worse for not being able to get to the hospital. All of the detour routes were completely crammed. There was no way to get through in any kind of reasonable time frame.

Please plan better next time.

 

Sharon Hughes

Surrey North Delta Leader

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