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Close the streets for 24,000 marathon runners? L.A. voters should have a say

Close the streets for 24,000 marathon runners? L.A. voters should have a say
Runners make their way down Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills during the L.A. Marathon on March 18. (Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

To the editor: Your March 18 article, “Thousands join in the fun for the 33rd L.A. Marathon,” described the highlights of the Los Angeles Marathon: the great weather, the thousands of cheering spectators, the agony and the ecstasy of the 24,000 runners.

Your article neglected to mention the greatest problem caused by the race: the unbearable traffic. The road closures kept many hundreds of thousands of motorists stranded in gridlock most of the day on the 405 Freeway, on Sunset Boulevard and on every north-south street blocked by the race route and every east-west street parallel to it.

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The L.A. Marathon is a privately run event with a tremendously negative impact on the whole city. Let the people vote on whether we want it — I think the answer would be a resounding no.

Michael E. Mahler, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Instead of expending their time, energy and money in running marathons, why don’t runners use those for citizen science projects that collect data for scientists?

The citizen science projects may involve hiking, scuba diving and other rigorous activities that are rewarding for the participant as well as for the good of science and humankind.

The narcissistic pleasures of activities like marathons and mountain climbing could be put to better use by helping to advance lasting science rather than providing temporary amusements for people.

Bob Ladendorf, Los Angeles

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