SURVEY RESULTS: “YES” TO RACES, “NO” TO DISRUPTION, AS VOTES POUR IN
A just-completed on-line survey of attitudes toward large-scale foot races in the area drew the biggest response yet to a UPHA poll, and revealed that a majority of residents of our community –79 % of respondents–are affected to some degree by the runs. Many residents reported that they enjoyed the races, but very few (6%) wanted the number of race events increased. Respondents also cited traffic, trash, and noise problems created by the runs, and some respondents suggested rerouting them away from populous areas. Many voters called for more effective pre-race communication with residents likely to be affected by blocked off streets and thoroughfares.
The poll was e-mailed to both UPHA members and non-members who live in our community. Respondents were asked whether they were personally affected by the races, which are high-profile events that often involve thousands of participants and spectators. They were invited to comment on inconveniences and problems created by the events, and suggest steps to make the races less disruptive. Respondents were also asked whether the number of runs is too many, too few, or about right. Respondents were evenly split on the question of whether there are too many races, or just the right number.
The data and anonymous comments from our survey were given to the Law and Public Safety Committee of the Raleigh City Council. The city leaders are currently examining road race policies.
One hundred and sixty nine responses have been received as of publication. While 36% cent of respondents said they were not inconvenienced by foot races –and many commented that they enjoyed the excitement and spectacle of the runners– 44% said their plans were disrupted. Residents complained of loss of access to homes and streets, and time lost behind race barricades when trying to get weekend errands done. One respondent recalled being blocked by a race for five hours. There were also complaints about amplified music, and trash left behind by competitors and spectators. On the positive side, residents wrote of their pride in showcasing our neighborhood, and promoting community spirit.
Many respondents suggested alternate locations for the races–RTP, public parks, the Dorothea Dix site and the Centennial Campus. They also suggested earlier starting and ending times, more effective five-day advance notice to affected areas, more flexible traffic controls and barriers, and a ban on for-profit race events.
To see the results of the survey Click HERE