ATLANTA -- There is little doubt that this year's AJC Peachtree Road Race will draw 60,000 runners and tens of thousands of enthusiastic, July 4th spectators. But this year's race will have a top-of-mind focus on security, as promised by the mayor, and backed by a scientific poll of metro Atlanta residents.
The SurveyUSA poll, commissioned by 11 Alive News, asked 500 people: How concerned are you that an attack similar to the Boston Marathon bombing could take place in our area?
32% said "very concerned."
35% said "somewhat concerned."
24% said "not very concerned."
8% said "not at all concerned."
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5%.
The poll asked: How safe would you feel attending the Peachtree Road Race this year?
29% said they would feel "very safe."
45% said they would feel "somewhat safe."
17% said "not very safe"
3% said "not at all safe."
The poll asked specifically: Should bags and backpacks be allowed at this year's Peachtree Road Race?
52% said they should be banned.
34% said they should be allowed.
The poll also asked: If possible, should viewers of this year's race have to pass through metal detectors? To this question, the 500 metro Atlanta residents overwhelmingly answered yes.
66% said yes.
24% said no.
During a morning meeting with reporters, Mayor Kasim Reed said the race's security plan will come together in the month preceding the race.
"I don't know if they're going to ask for a ban on backpacks. But if they do ....we're going to do everything we can to enforce that ban," Reed said.
Last week, Mayor Reed said that security at the AJC Peachtree Road Race will be "extraordinary" and "disruptive." Our poll indicates such measures will have solid support.