2017 Boston Marathon: Road Closures, MBTA Impact and Prohibited Items

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Charlie Breitrose

The 118th Boston Marathon is Monday, and it could impact your travel plans.

Charlie Breitrose

The 121st Boston Marathon is Monday, and it could impact your travel plans.

People planning to go out to watch the Boston Marathon should be aware of certain restrictions this year, as well as road closures and impacts on users of the MBTA.

The Boston Athletic Association (BAA) and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced that spectators along the course may have to go through security checkpoints and released a list of restricted items, including backpacks, suitcases or rolling bags. Spectators can have clear plastic bags containing personal items.

Part of the 2017 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines announcement said:

Spectators along the course are discouraged from possessing any of the items listed below. Possession of any of these items may result in delays when passing through security checkpoints and enhanced screening.

  • Weapons or items of any kind that may be used as weapons, including firearms, knives, mace, etc.
  • Backpacks or any similar item carried over the shoulder.
  • Suitcases and rolling bags/rollers.
  • Coolers.
  • Glass containers or cans.
  • Flammable liquids, fuels, fireworks or explosives.
  • Any container capable of carrying more than 1 liter of liquid.
  • Handbags or packages or bulky items larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 6 inches.
  • Large blankets/comforters, duvets, sleeping bags.
  • Costumes covering the face or any non-form fitting, bulky outfits extending beyond the perimeter of the body.
  • Props (including sporting equipment and military and fire gear).

The announcement also says that the Marathon is a “no drone zone.”

“The use of drones (unmanned aerial vehicles) anywhere in the area of the course, including above runners and spectators, is strongly discouraged,” the announcement reads.

Road Closures

Roadways along and around the Marathon Course will be closed for several hours on Monday. Here are the approximate times, according to the BAA.

Hopkinton 7:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Ashland 7:15 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.
Framingham 8:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Natick 8:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Wellesley 8:30 a.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Newton 8:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Brookline 9:15 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Boston Variable – 6:30 p.m.

The Boston Marathon starts in Hopkinton and travels through Ashland, Framigham, Natick on Rte. 135. In Wellesley it transfers from Rte. 135 to Rte. 16. The marathon enters Newton on Rte. 16 in Newton Lower Falls, turns right at the fire station onto Commonwealth Avenue (Rte. 30), and follows Commonwealth through the Newton Hills. The race turns right at the reservoir onto Chestnut Hill Avenue to Cleveland Circle, then turns left onto Beacon Street and goes through Kenmore Square, turns right onto Hereford Street then left onto Boylston Street, finishing near the John Hancock Tower in Copley Square.

To learn more about the course, and to view a map, click here.

Impact on Public Transportation

Most of the T system will run on a regular weekday schedule, but some MBTA routes will be impacted – mostly during the time of the Marathon. The MBTA will not allow bicycles on its vehicles Marathon Monday because of the increased number of riders.

The following buses that run through and from Watertown will be impacted by the race, according to the MBTA website:

  •  Route 52: Service will run in two segments: Watertown Yard to Centre St. at Ward St. (just north of Commonwealth Ave) and Newton Center to Dedham Mall. There will be no service between Ward St. and Newton Center.
  •  Route 57: Buses will terminate at Commonwealth Ave and Blandford Street. There will be no service to Kenmore Station. Outbound connections can be made at Commonwealth Avenue and Sherborn Street. Inbound connections can be made at Commonwealth Avenue and Blandford Street.
  •  Route 59: Service will run in two segments: Watertown Sq. to Newtonville and Newton Highlands to Needham Junction. There will be no service on Walnut Street between Newton Highlands and Newtonville Avenue.
  •  Route 502 and 503: No service.
  •  Route 504: There will be no service to Stuart Street or St. James Avenue. Inbound connections can be made at Kneeland Street and Washington Street. Outbound connections can be made at Back Bay Station on Dartmouth Street.

Those going into Boston to watch the race should note that Copley Station will be closed all day an instead may use Arlington (all branches), Prudential (E Branch), or Hynes Convention Center (B, C, and D Branches), or Back Bay on the Orange Line.

Other Green Line stations will be closed during the race (approximately 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: South Street (B Line), Kent Street (C Line), St. Mary’s Street (C Line).

For more information on taking the T on Monday, click here: http://www.mbta.com/events/

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