Residents and visitors may be challenged to find parking spaces or navigate some streets Saturday when Savannah stages its third Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon.
The 26-mile marathon and 13-mile half marathon begin at 7 a.m., but Savannah-Chatham Metro Police will have to begin closing parking areas as early as today to prepare for it. Details on road closures can be found on the Web site http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/savannah/road-closures.
Approximately 18,500 runners have registered for the event. And some side streets have been included in the festivities, complicating the issue even further. Automobiles parked in those areas will be towed to various towing companies to assure the safety of the runners.
Metro Police have begun posting changes to schedules and traffic patterns as well as race updates on its Twitter page @scmpd, and will continue to do so throughout the race. Viewers can monitor the page at all times for breaking traffic or situation updates.
The race begins on Bay Street at Bull, heading west and then doubles back several times through downtown, midtown and west Savannah before ending at Forsyth Park. The sheer numbers of runners and those accompanying them to the starting area are enough to overwhelm parking in the downtown area.
Particularly difficult will be parking in the areas around Forsyth Park including Park Avenue and Bull, Duffy, Gaston and Drayton streets. Parking is not be allowed on the north side of Park Avenue between Bull and Drayton as organizers prepare for the end of race festivities.
Both sides of Park Avenue are closed between Drayton Street and Abercorn. Parking on those streets will remain closed until 6 p.m. Saturday.
Road construction on East President Street will require portions of that road to become one-way travelling west for 1 ½ hours. During those times, eastbound traffic will be diverted to Wheaton Street to regain access to President by veering left onto East Gwinnett Street and turning north (left) on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Parking on the east side of Bull Street between Bay Street and Bryan Street will be closed until 11 a.m. Saturday.
Automobiles parked on and around the course face towing if they are not removed by the posted times for those areas. Normal parking will be reinstated on a rolling basis beginning about 10 a.m. but some areas may not be reinstated until as late as 4 p.m.
Drivers who forget and find their cars missing will need to go to police headquarters on Habersham at Oglethorpe streets to learn where their vehicle has been towed. They will have to retrieve their vehicles from the towing company. Drivers who have their cars towed will face varied fees along with potential storage charges.