It is a pretty simple conflict, all things considered, and one Raleigh officials have plenty of time to address. What it comes down to is this: The city is going to host the Rock n Roll Marathon on April 13 next year, and it is likely to bring up to 12,000 runners from all over the country to town.
Obviously, the run offers a good showcase for Raleigh. And it also offers the runners and their friends and family members a chance to leave a few greenbacks behind with hotels, restaurants and retail merchants. Fine n dandy. Well and good.
But in approving the route for the race, the Raleigh City Council would have been wise to spend more time talking to downtown churches. Those churches, including the Church of the Good Shepherd and First Baptist, might have some serious parking problems on Palm Sunday given the current route. Also of concern: the 40 rock bands that will be playing. Rock n roll is great, but it doesnt mix too well with Palm Sunday hymns.
Church leaders are being pretty good-natured about all this, but their worries are understandable. The city should bend here and look at altering the route to allow Sunday services to have as little disruption as possible. The excitement about the event is understandable, and the city needs people who can deliver that kind of enthusiasm and do the hard work necessary to bring this off.
But there is plenty of time to accommodate all concerned, and certainly there are some gifted organizational people working on the race and working for the city of Raleigh who can get together and assemble the pieces of the puzzle in a way that will answer all concerns. If it all works, this can be a Rock n Roll Marathon for the ages and a good day for the rock of ages, too.