- Leave backpacks, large containers, coolers at home
- Congregating on roofs, porches, and fire escapes is banned
- Call 911 for an emergency or if you see suspicious activity
Security and safety measures for Monday’s Boston Marathon will resemble last year’s, including a BU-sponsored event for safely enjoying the 123rd running of the iconic race.
With the Boston Police commissioner, William Gross, announcing prohibitions on “congregating on rooftops, fire escapes, and porches” during the Marathon, the University is once again sponsoring an alcohol-free BU Cheer Section on South Campus, at 518 Park Drive, from noon until 2 pm, featuring free bagels and water courtesy of BU Dining Services and the Student Activities Office, raffle gift cards courtesy of Barnes & Noble at BU, and Terrier rally towels courtesy of Agganis Arena, says Katharine Mooney (SPH’12), director of the University’s Wellness & Prevention office.
“It’s such a great weekend in so many ways,” Mooney says. “It’s a huge celebration of spring and the city of Boston. But we also know that there’s a lot of risky drinking behavior that happens.”
There’s another reason Terriers might want to attend the Cheer Section: convenience.
Not only are public drinking and open containers banned along the race route as in the past, but carrying items that police have asked be left at home might hold you up at the numerous security checkpoints, where guards will inspect spectators’ belongings. Those items include backpacks, suitcases and roller bags, coolers, handbags, glass containers, bulky packages, large blankets and sleeping bags, weapons, costumes with masks, military-style props, and fireworks.
Security will be especially tight at the Boylston Street finish line near Copley Square and at other venues for Marathon-related events. From wherever spectators watch the race, police ask them to remain alert to their surroundings and call 911 immediately if they see any suspicious activity or need emergency help.
Students seeking to go between the Fenway and Charles River Campuses should be prepared for delays. Beacon Street threads between the campuses but is part of the Marathon course, and “there will be limited opportunity to cross it during the race,” says Kelly Nee, BU police chief. Students can walk to, and cut through, the Kenmore Square MBTA station to get from one side to the other, she says. Students will have limited chances to cross the Brookline stretch of the street when it is runner-free, she adds.
In an email to students, Nee and Kenneth Elmore (Wheelock’87), associate provost and dean of students, reiterate the warning about roof-and-porch parties:
“Many of these structures were never constructed with the intent of hosting large gatherings. Be mindful—it’s not a good idea to be on roofs, sit on railings, hang out on crowded decks and porches, or to jump off of roofs, ledges, walls, and porches.”
They also caution students to be on the alert for “scammers, thieves, and people who may try to victimize you, especially in crowds.”
At a news conference earlier this month, federal, state, local, and yes, military authorities said 7,000 law enforcement officers, some in plainclothes among the crowd, will protect the Marathon. Cameras and all four state police helicopters will be used for surveillance along the course.
As in past years, the BU Shuttle (the BUS) will suspend daytime service on Marathon Monday (which is Patriots Day, a Massachusetts state holiday), as it does on other holidays. “Patriots Day is also a day of numerous Marathon-related street closures that block shuttle routes,” says Billy Hajjar, director of BU’s Parking & Transportation Services. Service will resume with the late-night shuttle at 10 pm between the Charles River and Fenway campuses.
While the MBTA will run extra service on Monday, the Green Line’s Copley Station is closed that day, as is the Berkeley Street entrance to Arlington Station. MBTA stops at St. Mary’s Street and Kent Street on the Green Line C branch and South Street on the Green Line B branch will be closed between 10 am and 6 pm as well. Find other MBTA race day information here.
Newbury Street and Huntington Avenue outbound will be closed to vehicles to permit easier movement of spectators.
Security was tightened at the Marathon following the 2013 bombings that killed three people, including Lu Lingzi (GRS’13).