Staying Safe During the Boston Marathon – 2015


If you are planning to attend the Boston Marathon this year – or simply live or work near the route – it is important that you take certain precautions to help yourself and others stay safe and reduce the possibility of sustaining a serious or catastrophic injury. The tragic bombing near the finish line in 2013, while an extreme example of the danger posed in any event with huge crowds, serves as a constant reminder of the need to stay vigilant and alert at all times.

Safety Tips for People Traveling To and From the Marathon

The 119th Boston Marathon takes place on Monday, April 20, 2015. An estimated 30,000 runners will be participating, and hundreds of thousands of spectators will line the route. Since the marathon takes place on a weekday, those traveling to and from the race will need to give themselves extra time to get to their destinations.

Traffic will be heavy and road closures are put in place early in the day. Police and security will also be out in force, so those in attendance may have to go through security checkpoints at various locations and this will add time. If possible, use public transportation rather than driving.

Marathon-Related Traffic and Closures

Whether you are planning to participate in the Boston Marathon as a runner or spectator, or you live in one of the communities along the marathon route, it is important to be aware of the heavy traffic and closures you are likely to encounter. You do not want to miss the race, nor do you want to find yourself stuck in traffic or involved in a car accident en route to the marathon.

The 2015 Boston Marathon begins in the town of Hopkinton, and the route takes runners through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton, Brookline and into downtown Boston. The finish line is located in Copley Square, near the John Hancock Tower, while the halfway mark is in the town of Wellesley. If you want to avoid traffic in these areas, you are going to need to arrive early or make plans to stay locally.

Road closures in each of the towns along the route are planned to be as follows:

City Time of Expected Closure
Hopkinton 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Ashland 7:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Framingham 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Natick 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Wellesley 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Newton 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Brookline 9:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Boston Variable to 6:30 p.m.


Spectator Safety Tips: Staying Safe in a Crowd

Crowds of the size expected to attend this year’s Boston Marathon can pose serious risks. To help keep spectators, runners, volunteers and others safe, race organizers have issued a series of guidelines and rules. First, spectators are being asked not to carry any of the following items:

  • Backpacks, handbags or over-the-shoulder bags of any kind.
  • Suitcases.
  • Coolers.
  • Containers capable of holding more than 1 liter of liquid.
  • Fireworks.
  • Packages.
  • Large blankets.
  • Firearms, knifes, pepper spray or weapons of any kind.
  • Costumes, particularly ones that cover the face or are bulky in nature.
  • Sporting equipment, military gear, fire gear, etc.

Spectators who want to carry items with them must do so in a clear plastic bag, so the items are clearly visible to security. This will help you to avoid unnecessary delays at the various security checkpoints and allow you to reach your planned viewing spot more quickly.

Boston Marathon spectators are also being asked to do their part of keep the area in and around the Boston Marathon safe by doing the following:

  • Do not leave any unattended items.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • If you see something, say something. Report unusual behavior or items to security without delay.

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