The 121st Boston Marathon commences on Monday morning, April 17. Here’s what you should know whether you’re planning to attend or just want to avoid.
A detailed map of the route can be found here via the Boston Athletic Association, which organizes the race.
It starts on Main Street in Hopkinton; and then wends through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley on Route 135, until it turns on to Commonwealth Avenue in Newton.
It runs on Commonwealth and then turns on to Chestnut Hill Avenue and into Brookline, toward Cleveland Circle, on its way into Boston proper.
From there, it’s on to Beacon Street toward Kenmore Square; and then Hereford Street and Boylston Street, with the famous finish line in Copley Square.
The race is Monday, April 17 (which is also known as Patriots’ Day in these parts—and, no, not from the movie, but from the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775).
8:50 a.m.: Mobility impaired
9:17 a.m.: Men's push-rim wheelchair
9:19 a.m.: Women's push-rim wheelchair and duo participants
9:22 a.m.: Handcycles and duos
9:32 a.m.: Elite women
10:00 a.m.: Elite men and Wave one
10:25 a.m. - Wave two
10:50 a.m. - Wave three
11:15 a.m. - Wave four
There are a ton, and officials strongly recommend that spectators take public transit to get to the marathon’s edges rather than try to drive and park.
And, for those simply trying to get to work or wherever on Monday, your best bet is also to take public transit or to avoid the following due to closures.
Roads around the town common will close at 6 a.m. on April 17. And these roads will shut down at 7 a.m. and re-open at approximately 1:30 p.m., per the Hopkinton Police Department:
- West Main Street eastbound will be closed at Route 495.
- Route 495 Exit 21A will be closed.
- Wood Street, which is also Route 135, eastbound will be closed at Elm Street.
- Cedar Street, which is also Route 85, southbound will be closed at the entrance to the Hopkinton State Park.
- East Main Street, which is also Route 135, westbound will be closed at the Ashland town line.
- Hayden Rowe Street, which is also Route 85, northbound will be closed at Chestnut Street.
Route 135 will be closed April 17 from 7:15 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Route 135 closed from 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.
Route 135 will be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
Route 135 and Route 16 will each be closed from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Route 16 and Route 30 will each be closed from 8 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Beacon Street will be closed 9:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
The city is closing the following streets to vehicles starting at the following times on April 17. (Basically, don’t try to drive in and out of Back Bay on Monday.)
- 5 a.m. Streets around Boston Common
- 6 a.m. Boylston Street, Hereford Street to Arlington Street
- 8 a.m. All streets east of Massachusetts Avenue (as well as Massachusetts Turnpike Exit 22)
- 8 a.m. All streets west of Massachusetts Avenue in the Kenmore Square Audubon Circle area
- 8:30 a.m. All streets in the Brighton area leading into the route
- Boylston Street is expected to reopen at 8 p.m., and all other streets are expected to reopen an hour earlier.
The following swathes of Back Bay are closed to parking until April 20:
- Boylston Street (both sides), Exeter Street to Dartmouth Street
- Boylston Street, from Dartmouth Street near the Copley Square Mall to Clarendon Street
- Exeter Street (east side), Boylston Street to Blagden Street
- Blagden Street (south side), Huntington Avenue to Exeter Street
- Blagden Street (north side), Dartmouth Street to BPL Driveway
The following are closed to parking through April 18:
- Trinity Place (both sides), South of Stuart Street
- Exeter Street (west side), Alley 441 to Boylston Street
Newbury Street (both sides), Dartmouth to Exeter is closed to parking from Saturday just after midnight until 3 p.m.
The following are closed to parking the entire weekend, starting Friday:
- Beacon Street (Boston Common side), Charles Street to Joy Street
- Boylston Street (both sides), Dalton Street to Arlington Street
- Exeter Street (both sides), Newbury Street to Huntington Avenue (except where otherwise posted)
- Dartmouth Street (both sides), Boylston Street to Newbury Street
- Trinity Place (both sides), St. James Avenue to Stuart Street
The following are closed to parking Saturday, Sunday, and Monday:
- Cambridge Street (both sides), Court Street to Sudbury Street, excluding any active construction zones
- St. James Avenue (both sides), Dartmouth Street to Arlington Street
The following are closed to parking Saturday and Monday, but not Sunday:
- Boylston Street (both sides), Arlington Street to Charles Street
- Charles Street (both sides), Boylston Street to Beacon Street
- St. James Avenue (both sides), Berkeley Street to Dartmouth Street
- Stuart Street (both sides), Huntington Avenue to Arlington Street
And the following are closed Marathon Monday:
- Arlington Street (both sides), Beacon Street to Stuart Street
- Arlington Street (odd side), Columbus Avenue to Isabella Street
- Beacon Street (both sides), Chestnut Hill Avenue to Brookline Line
- Beacon Street (both sides), Brookline Line to Bay State Road
- Belvidere Street (both sides), Huntington Avenue to Massachusetts Avenue
- Berkeley Street (both sides), Columbus Avenue to Commonwealth Avenue
- Blagden Street (both sides), Huntington Avenue to Exeter Street
- Bromfield Street (south side), Washington Street to Tremont Street
- Cambridge Street (west side), Court Street to Beacon Street / Tremont Street
- Cambridge Street (both sides), Sudbury Street to Tremont Street
- Charles Street (both sides), Boylston Street to Beacon Street
- Charles Street South (both sides), Park Plaza to Boylston Street
- Chestnut Hill Avenue (both sides), Commonwealth Avenue to Beacon Street
- Clarendon Street (both sides), Commonwealth Avenue to Columbus Avenue
- Cleveland Circle (both sides), Parking areas adjacent to Cassidy Playground and adjacent to Sutherland Road, from Beacon Street to Chestnut Hill Avenue
- Columbus Avenue (both sides), Arlington Street to Dartmouth (unless otherwise posted)
- Commonwealth Avenue (south side), Beacon Street (Kenmore Square) to 80’ east of Hereford
- Commonwealth Avenue, Lake Street to Chestnut Hill Avenue (inbound)
- Commonwealth Avenue, Charlesgate West to Deerfield Street (outbound)
- Congress Street (northbound roadway, east side), State Street to Hanover Street
- Dalton Street (both sides), Boylston Street to Clearway Street
- Dartmouth Street (both sides), Newbury Street to Commonwealth Avenue, Saint James Avenue to Columbus Avenue
- Deerfield Street (both sides), Commonwealth Avenue to Bay State Road
- East Dedham Street (both sides), Harrison Avenue to Albany Street
- Exeter Street (both sides), Commonwealth Avenue to Newbury Street
- Fairfield Street (both sides), Boylston Street to Commonwealth Avenue
- Gloucester Street (both sides), Commonwealth Avenue to Boylston Street
- Hanover Street (both sides), Congress Street to Commercial Street
- Hereford Street (both sides), Commonwealth Avenue to Boylston Street
- Huntington Avenue (northwest side), Blagden Street to Massachusetts Avenue
- Kenmore Street (both sides), Newbury Street to Beacon Street
- Merrimac Street (odd side), New Chardon Street to Staniford Street, excluding car-share space
- Newbury Street (both sides), Arlington Street to Brookline Avenue
- New Chardon Street (north side), Merrimac Street to Cambridge Street
- Plympton Street (both sides), Harrison Avenue to Albany Street
- Providence Street (both sides), Arlington Street to Berkeley Street
- Raleigh Street (both sides), Bay State Road to Beacon Street
- State Street (both sides), Washington Street to Congress Street
- Stanhope Street (both sides), Berkeley Street to Clarendon Street
- Scotia Street (both sides), Dalton Street to St. Cecilia Street
- St. Cecilia Street (both sides), Belvidere Street to Boylston Street
- Tremont Street (both sides), Cambridge Street to Stuart Street
- Washington Street (both sides), Bromfield Street to State Street
Tune in to the Boston Police Department for further changes and restrictions.
While it’s the best option for Marathon Monday, public transit has its own restrictions. Per the MBTA:
- Copley Station will be closed on April 17. Customers may use Arlington (all branches), Prudential (E Branch), or Hynes Convention Center (B, C, and D Branches) instead, or Back Bay on the Orange Line.
- These above-ground Green Line stations will be closed between 10 a.m. and approximately 6 p.m. on April 17: South Street (B Branch); Kent Street (C Branch); and St. Mary’s Street (C Branch)
- The T’s subway and trolley lines will otherwise operate a regular weekday schedule with rush-hour levels of service before and after the race.
- Commuter rail trains will operate on a regular weekday schedule and there will be extra service on the Framingham-Worcester line.
- The MBTA will over a $20 Worcester line Marathon Day pass at ticket counters. It is only valid on the Worcester commuter line on April 17.
- The MBTA will not allow bikes on buses or trains on Sunday evening or Monday.
- All MBTA parking garages will be pay-on-entry and cash-only.
Public drinking as well as open containers and intoxication are prohibited at the race.
Congregating on rooftops, fire escapes, and porches is also prohibited.
And the Boston Police Department requests that attendees not bring backpacks to the race, though they’re not explicitly banned.
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