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gailcalled's avatar

What's your take on Bloomberg finally canceling the NYC marathon an hour ago?

Asked by gailcalled (52959 points ) November 2nd, 2012

Too little and too late? It was scheduled to start on Staten Island, one of the worse hit areas of the city. Was mayor Bloomberg really that misguided? Should he have had the wits to cancel on Monday before thousands of runners travelled to the city and expected to be able to race?

NYC marathon canceled

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15 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I didn’t realize the resources they were putting into it. The generators alone were enough to relieve a lot of misery. He should have done it sooner.

bkcunningham's avatar

My opinion of Bloomberg isn’t very high and it doesn’t have anything to do with the marathon. He’s such an elitist and so out of touch with reality…I’m just glad someone finally got through to him and he canceled the marathon.

Jeruba's avatar

It sounds like canceling was the right thing to do, and it’s a shame that the decision wasn’t reached a little sooner.

But I would be disinclined to make harsh judgments toward any of the public officials who’ve had to cope with the onslaught and aftermath of the superstorm. I imagine that they must all be far beyond overwhelmed, and their priorities have had to be with survival issues first. If they’ve held it together and managed to deploy resources reasonably well, I would hope we’d be pretty forgiving if they haven’t always avoided inconveniencing someone. I don’t think we have any notion of what it’s been like to be in their place. And they’re probably bound to be criticized no matter what they do.

Bellatrix's avatar

I was watching our morning news earlier this week and one of the runners, who was still in Australia, was getting ready to leave for New York. She was not alone. She said a few people were travelling to New York. She believed, and presumably had been informed, the marathon was still going to be run.

People travel from all over the world to participate in this marathon. Discounting the costs of airfares and the like for people who have travelled there believing the race will go on. It also means additional stress on systems there as they try to check into hotels and the like. It would have been sensible to cancel or indefinitely postpone the race as soon as the damage from Sandy was evident.

glacial's avatar

I agree with Jeruba. Also, New York City has a proud “keep calm and carry on”-style tradition when tragedy strikes. I’m sure part of the decision rested on whether cancelling the marathon would feel like a failure, and delflate the morale of New Yorkers coping with the effects of the storm.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
chyna's avatar

Maybe he was taking his cues from mayor Guiliani during 9/11. Mayor Guiliani was wanting the people of New York to try to go on about their lives as usual.
I don’t live there, so I’m only guessing.

Jeruba's avatar

A little while ago I was talking with a young woman who is a runner and does marathons. She wasn’t signed up for this one, but she said some of her friends were, and some may never have another opportunity because it’s not open to all comers. In addition to qualifying, they had to go to extra trouble and expense to get to New York because of the storm, and they wouldn’t have gone if they’d known of the change on Monday.

I could sympathize with their disappointment, and I can also see why the mayor would have taken a “carry on—we’re undaunted” attitude. But if I were in his place, I think I would just have had to be giving all my attention at first to the people in greatest need of help and the big chunks of infrastructure that needed to be brought back up.

She said that since they’re there and the race is off, they are volunteering to help with the cleanup and the restoration of services in the city.

Ponderer983's avatar

@chyna This is a very different situation from 9/11. While both are catastrophes, this storm has impacted directly so many more people who are starving for life’s essential needs. The radius involved was small whereas this spans appx 1,000 miles of the Eastern Seaboard. Millions without power where the temperature is dropping, gas shortages, etc. This is more “life-threatening” than 9/11. Not attacking you, just informing you of how it’s different from the perspective of someone who has lived in the tri-state are for both happenings.

He should have canceled it earlier, my opinion.

Buttonstc's avatar

Definitely should have done it sooner since this involved people coming from all over the world.

Bellatrix's avatar

This is a news story about the impact on people who have travelled there, because the Mayor said the race would go ahead, and were only informed it would not on Friday.

Nobody can help a natural disaster and cancelling the race would have been perfectly understandable. To let people travel there based on a promise it would go ahead is just ridiculous. Some of these people have probably saved for a long time to get their fares and accommodation money together. As one of them says in this story, had it been cancelled earlier they could have claimed it on insurance.

wildpotato's avatar

I am glad it has been postponed (people around here are treating “cancelled” like it’s a bad word). They should have made the decision a week ago to avoid massively inconveniencing the runners, but the fact that they didn’t doesn’t make the marathon any less of a bad idea, under the circumstances. I know several runners, and their FB posts are very understanding. Of course, they’re all from the Tri-State area – not sure what the feeling is among the out of towers. More angry, I’d expect.

flutherother's avatar

I can see why Bloomberg wanted it to go ahead. People from all over the world have saved up to take part, now it is cancelled their chance to run a marathon in New York has gone, probably forever. It would also have demonstrated that New York was functioning normally but it isn’t and that is obvious to New Yorkers and to the world. Going ahead would have been wrong but it was a difficult decision to make especially before the scale of the calamity was fully known.

Ron_C's avatar

I believe that Bloomberg is an excellent mayor and governs an difficult city with great finesse.
It is good that his first thought was to defy the elements and hold the marathon. It is also good that he listens to his citizens and cancelled the marathon. There aren’t many politicians that actually listen to their constituents.

Blondesjon's avatar

I think that it simply took that long for the mayor’s people to let him know that a majority of folks didn’t support the marathon’s running at this time.

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