It’s no news to our readers that there is a lot to like about East Dallas, the mature trees, the interesting neighborhoods, the trails, and the lake especially. It’s also very gratifying to know that so many people inside and outside the neighborhood appreciate these qualities and more. I know most of us are happy to share the good things about our part of town with pretty much anyone else who appreciates them.

The operative word here is "share" and I am increasingly concerned that the organizers of events like this past weekend’s marathon are not operating in that spirit. The scene is becoming all too familiar. I was on my way to a 7:30 breakfast meeting on Saturday when I found myself stopped at Munger and Swiss to allow runners to pass. The wait stretched from a couple of minutes and a few cars to a number of minutes and cars backed up for a block in each direction. Eventually the police officers on duty started helping the waiting cars to turn around and try and find another way. I took advantage of this only to also find the street blocked farther down Live Oak as I searched for a way to get to I-30. I was a full half hour late to my meeting.

This is no longer an isolated incident, but happens multiple times during the year. Usually it’s runners. On occasion it’s bicycles. In all instances I find that I am ultimately late to whatever I am doing and on one Sunday had to skip church altogether. All dressed up and no place to go. I simply couldn’t find a way around and the backed up traffic  made it difficult to look. While I waited at Munger, there were noticeable spaces between some of the runners but they were apparently too small to make the officers holding traffic comfortable that cars could pass. Ok, no one, including me, wants to compromise safety. Even so, I asked the officer nearby if she couldn’t at least signal some of the oncoming runners to slow down a step to let a few pass at a time and her response was "Oh no, oh no. They made that very clear this morning. Not a chance"

That’s not sharing, that’s the treatment that is otherwise reserved for emergency vehicles and trains. I appreciate why these events occur on our streets. I appreciate that participants keep track of their time. I especially appreciate that most of these events support very worthy causes.  But I don’t appreciate someone deciding that 15 seconds of the runners time is more valuable than 15 minutes of mine. I believe it is time to revise how these events are handled.

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