Mountain Goats vs. African Americans: Church Access Blocked by Annual Mountain Goat Run


Every year, congregants of churches serving the African-American community are met with road blocks and delays, as they attempt to navigate through the city in an effort to attend, regularly scheduled church services. The Annual Mountain Goat Run is a grueling 10 mile race its route winds through our city and neighborhoods. This year the race occurred on Sunday, May 7th.

While The Annual Mountain Goat Run is an event that draws 3,600 runners to our community, and enlists the services of 400 volunteers. It’s the African-American church community that bears the brunt of being inconvenienced by routinely having congregants arrive late, if at all on Mountain Goat Sunday.

Mountain Goat Route Map (Click on image to enlarge)

City streets are intermittently closed to traffic; the route has long impeded community access to places of worship that happen to be located in a zone within the route of the Annual Mountain Goat Race. If the church is not within the zone, the road block(s) prevent people from passing through the race zone to attend churches that happen to be located on the other side.

Congregants and church leaders complain annually about this logistical nightmare. At least one Pastor has stated, “It’s time for church leaders in the African-American Community to address this problem”.

4 of at least 30 churches impacted by the Mountain Goat Run

There are suggestions that the race departure time could be adjusted. Another option is to move the Annual Mountain Goat Run to Saturday, which would avoid the collision between church attendee’s and race participants.

In the past, any comments regarding the Mountain Goat Run have been met with a visceral response from the running community. Perhaps, it’s time for the African-American Church community to have a visceral response to the annual event, which for years has blocked access to one of our most cherished institutions.

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Authors note: The following is the route that’s being taken during the Annual Mountain Goat Run. This will give you an idea of the annual “no drive zone”.

No Drive Zone

These are the areas that were periodically closed during the course of the Mountain Goat Run. In order to safely prepare and execute the event, the following streets were closed to vehicular traffic according to the schedule listed below. All times are approximate.

Sunday, May 7

Dunn Tire Mountain Goat Run

  • South Salina Street from West Genesee to Fayette Streets – from 4:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • East Water, Erie Blvd. East, and East Genesee Streets, from Salina to Warren Streets – from 5:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The following streets will be closed intermittently from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 7:

  • Salina Streets, from Fayette to Harrison Streets
  • Washington Street, from Clinton to Warren Streets
  • Erie Boulevard West, from Clinton to Franklin Streets
  • Jefferson Street, from Clinton to State Streets
  • Fayette Street, from Franklin to Warren Streets
  • Warren Street, from Onondaga to Jefferson Streets
  • Onondaga Street, from Salina to Adams/Seymour Streets

Local traffic will be permitted on West Fayette Street and Walton Street, from Franklin to Clinton Streets.

Dunn Tire Mountain Goat Run

In addition, on Sunday, May 7, the following streets will be closed during the timeframe listed:

  • East Adams Street, from Onondaga to Townsend Streets — from 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
  • Townsend Street, Adams to Genesee Streets — from 10:15 to 10:30 a.m.
  • The corridor including Genesee Street to Onondaga Street to Jefferson to Salina Streets — 10:20 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
  • West Onondaga Street, from Salina Street to Bellevue Avenue; Summit Avenue, from Bellevue to Stolp, and Stolp Avenue, from Summit to Rider Avenue —  from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.
  • Rider Avenue, from Stolp  to Argonne;  Hancock Drive  from Argonne to Arden; and Strathmore Drive, from Arden to Onondaga Park — from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45  a.m.
  • Roadways through Upper and Lower Onondaga Parks —   from 10 to 11 a.m.
  • Intermittent delays on Onondaga Avenue, from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.; South Avenue, from Onondaga Park Drive to Kirk Avenue; Kirk Avenue, from South Avenue and Landon Avenue; Landon Avenue, from Kirk Avenue to Beard Avenue; Beard Avenue, from Landon to South Salina Street; South Salina Street; and South Salina Street, from Beard Avenue to East Colvin Street — from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m.
  • East Colvin Street, between South Salina Street and Comstock Avenue, will be restricted flow.
  • Route 81 On-Ramp at East Colvin Street — 10:20 to 11:40 a.m.  Vehicles can access Route 81 at Calthrop Avenue or Adams Street.
  • Comstock Avenue, from East Colvin Street to University Place and then University Place from Comstock Avenue into Thornden Park entrance — 10:15 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Roadways through Thornden Park will be closed between 10:20 a.m. and noon.

The following streets will be closed from 10:20 a.m. to 12 noon:

  • Madison Street, from the entrance at Thornden Park  through Crouse Avenue
  • South Crouse Avenue, from Madison  to East Genesee Streets
  • East Genesee Street, from Crouse Avenue through South State Street/Jefferson Street
  • Jefferson Street, from South State Street through South Salina Street
  • South Salina Street, from Harrison Street to Clinton Square

Vehicle traffic will not be allowed access through the race route during the above times listed.

No parking will be allowed on South Salina Street, from Water Street to Jefferson Street.