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Union members chart NYC Marathon

Local 1455 members in the Dept. of Transportation paint the 26.2-mile New York City Marathon course borough by borough.

Days before an international crowd gathered to run the race, Dept. of Transportation night crews hit the road to mark the course that guides runners safely through city streets for the annual New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.

Crews of Local 1455 Traffic Device Maintainers worked with the New York City Road Runners Club and the city Dept. of Parks and Recreation to paint the line of the world-famous 26.2-mile foot race. The thin blue line pointed runners to the finish.

“We have about a dozen TDMs assigned to paint the New York City Marathon line,” said Local 1455 President Mike DeMarco.

“Streets are full of traffic the nights we’re working and the crews are moving along at about 20 miles an hour,” DeMarco said. “We make sure impatient drivers don’t cut us off. This assignment coordinates TDMs in advance trucks and the night-liner spray truck to hit all five boroughs until the job is done.”

Local 983 Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers secure Central Park Nov.
Local 1455 Traffic Device Maintainers with Local 1455 President Mike DeMarco.

Safety first

The work TDMs do is vital to the safety of all New Yorkers. And on Marathon Sunday that extends to some 50,000 professional and first-time racers—male and female, duos, wheelchair-bound and hand cyclists.

The 26.2-mile journey traverses five boroughs and as many bridges and wends through dozens of busy city neighborhoods.

Over two nights the DOT crews painted the route that started on the Staten Island side of the Verrazano Bridge, snaked through south Brooklyn into Queens, on to East Harlem, touching the South Bronx. The course ends in leafy Central Park.

In the predawn hours of Nov. 6, members in Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority Employees Local 1931 closed the Verrazano Bridge approaches to vehicular traffic.

In Central Park, Local 1505 City Parks Workers and Jobs Training and Placement Services participants prepared the midtown finish line. And 150 Urban Park Rangers who are Parks Enforcement Patrol Officers and Supervisors in Local 983 secured venue grounds to make Central Park safe for marathoners and spectators.

On the chilly autumn morning of Marathon Sunday, millions lined the route to cheer on runners. They reflect the diversity of New York City.

Elite world athletes and fleet-footed competitors from across the country race against the clock in the world’s largest marathon charted, prepped and secured by dedicated public servants in DC 37 Blue Collar locals.