With millions of people expected to visit Boston over the next week, including the tens of thousands of runners, city officials have outlined a security plan that increases the presence of police, medical personnel and cameras along the Hub’s two miles of Boston Marathon route.
An increased police presence, more security cameras and in-person trauma counseling are just some of the plans that the city has to ensure the public’s safety and health during this year’s Boston Marathon next Monday.
As for safety, Boston police will increase the number of uniformed and undercover officers along the route. Additionally, more than 100 cameras have been installed in Boston and up to 50 observation points will be set up around the Back Bay to monitor the crowd.
Officials urged people to leave strollers and backpacks at home; however, those items are not banned. Bags and strollers may be subject to search, police said. Also, checkpoints will be set up as people try to head into the Boylston Street and Commonwealth Avenue areas.
“It’s important to know that the Marathon will not be fundamentally changed this year. It will be the Boston Marathon just as it’s always been,” said Mayor Marty Walsh. City officials announced some details of their safety plan on Saturday.
Police Commissioner William Evans said that police will also restrict access to the Boylston Street area if crowds get to a capacity that hinders movement.
“Since 4/15 things have changed. They really have, but our goal is to continue this to be what it is: a great day in the city, a great family day,” Evans said.
Officials also urged people to take the MBTA into the city if they plan on visiting. Many roads will be closed and stopping will not be allowed in the days leading up to the Marathon. While the T said that service will be increased to rush hour levels on Marathon Monday, Copley Square and Arlington Green Line stations will be closed the entire day. Also, South Street, Kent Street and St. Mary’s Street stations will be closed from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. On April 15, the day of the Marathon tribute, Green Line trains will not stop at the Copley Square station between noon and 3 p.m.
During the upcoming week, the Boston Public Health Commission will staff the mayor’s health line (617-534-5050) with clinicians to offer phone-based trauma counseling from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Marathon Monday the health line will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and in-person counseling will be available at Our Lady of Victories Church on Isabella Street.
Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.