The popularity of road races in Raleigh, a prime location because of its scenery, calm and (for the most part) good weather, has been a good thing for charity fundraisers. But it has become too much of a good thing, and now the Raleigh City Council has properly acted to slightly curb the number of races and thus the inconvenience to neighborhoods.
It’s not a popular call in the minds of charity sponsors, but it’s the right one for neighborhoods, particularly those around downtown. A council committee recommends lowering the number of annual races allowed from 100 to 95, banning existing races from closing streets in the same neighborhoods on back-to-back weekends and forcing some races to change their dates and locations. There would be no additional races in or around neighborhoods in downtown, which seems to draw the bulk of them.
Businesses in those areas reported they were hurt by the dislocations the races caused. While race organizers are good people trying to do good deeds, they should understand the point of view of business people trying to make a living.
It’s also disquieting to neighborhoods to have races all the time, and 95 races a year is aplenty. Even that number may be high. The council, in considering changes, is doing what it should do, which is to balance the worth of good causes with the well-being of neighborhoods. The committee’s view seems reasonable. The full City Council will vote on the policy at its next meeting Sept. 2.