Standard Chartered Marathon should not shut down city in land-scarce S'pore on Saturday evening, thousands agree

90 roads shut down in the midst of the biggest concert in Singapore.

Belmont Lay | December 02, 2019, 08:50 PM

Those of you who were in the Central Business District, Kallang, City Hall, Bugis, Beach Road, Keppel and VivoCity area, on Saturday evening, Nov. 30, 2019 -- sucks to be you.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that it sucks to be everyone, because as it turns out, tens, if not, hundreds of thousands of people were trapped in traffic on Saturday evening.

And the blame is being pushed to the Standard Chartered Marathon.

This was after the three-day running event closed nearly 90 roads and lanes at various times from Friday, Nov. 29, to Sunday, Dec. 1.

All these closures occurred as U2’s first of two concerts in Singapore occurred at the National Stadium, Orchard Road teemed with Black Friday bargain hunters, a three-day anime festival at Suntec City Convention Center attracted the weebs, and the Christmas Wonderland event was held at Gardens by the Bay.

The marathon itself was attended by more than 50,000 people.

The eventual gridlock faced by motorists and public transport commuters was biblical and bladder-bursting long.

For some, traffic came to a standstill for at least three hours in the Keppel area towards the city.

A Google Map screenshot showed the extent of heavy traffic jams happening at Victoria Street, the Benjamin Sheares Flyover, and New Upper Changi Road, as provided by one person on Facebook, who wrote an epic complaint to capture the essence of what sort of happened.

Post-event, popular opinion has turned against the marathon for the epic inconvenience caused this festive season so close to Christmas.

Some have even demanded the event be moved to the outskirts of Singapore in the future, such as Choa Chu Kang, to avoid a repeat of the jam that occurred, where a city was shut down to make way for marathoners.

This is the full post:

This post is dedicated to the organisers of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2019.

You organise a run in the heart of Singapore, closing roads in the CBD, Marina area, Keppel area, and some parts of West Coast and East Coast from 1.30pm. Sure.

You then take it a step further by choosing a Saturday for your race, and a flag-off time from 6pm, with many of the major roads closed from 1pm till 1.30am the next day. This, I’m afraid, is a decision that reeks of nothing but stupidity and selfishness.

One look at the full listing of roads that are scheduled to be closed and anyone with a brain will know that it’s going to be a disaster.

It’s less than a month to Christmas, and there are events happening all over the island. Some have important family functions, and others are doing Christmas shopping. Some are heading for a concert, and others are rushing for their flights with several luggages in tow. Then there are weddings in every ballroom in every hotel all over the island, and there are people who need to travel by car/van simply because there are things to transport (e.g. bulky sound system, big instruments like cello/harp). Wedding attendees, who are decked in their best for the evening, will also mostly be driving.

You come out to say that the race area is well-served by the MRT, and commuters are encouraged to take the MRT as their primary mode of transport. Any idiot would know that not everyone is able to hop on the MRT just like that, especially on a Saturday evening where the MRT is already packed even without the road closures.

You clog up the entire Singapore with the worst jam of the decade bringing traffic islandwide to a complete standstill, no thanks to your road closures on a Saturday evening, no less.

Simply put, you cannot simply close roads to make way for a run on a Saturday evening, because it affects a lot of people – many of whom are working.

To my friend who spent close to 4 full hours in a jam travelling from Sentosa to Fullerton Hotel, I feel for you. To my other friend who had to wheel her harp down Nicoll Highway while rushing for a performance, I feel for you. To another friend who was stuck in a taxi with a full bladder only to reach her destination with a $55 fare, I feel for you. To the lady in a lovely gown who was a wedding organiser at a wedding I attended last evening and had no choice but to park somewhere else while making a dash to the hotel with bags of wedding photo albums in tow, I feel for you. To all my friends who were affected by the road closures with every other person posting on social media, I really do feel for you. I was caught in the dreaded jam too.

To the organisers of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon, for heaven’s sake, please don’t organize a Saturday evening race again. Have some compassion, even if you don’t have a brain.

P.S. To my friends who took part and completed the race, congratulations! This post is not targeted at any of you. Love you all.

Changed format

The Standard Chartered Marathon was traditionally a two-day event, which sees the runners flag off in the early morning.

However, in order to fulfil the criteria of entering the Standard Chartered Marathon into the Abbott World Marathon Majors (AbbottWMMM), this year’s race format has been changed to a three-day event, The Straits Times reported.

Therefore, the event began in the evening of Nov. 30 instead.

The AbbottWMMM is a series of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world, which includes the Boston Marathon and the TCS New York City Marathon.

Unfortunately, this meant that major road closures had to be made to accommodate the race, starting from 1pm on Nov. 30, near Marina Centre.

Normal traffic was expected to resume by 12pm on Dec. 1.