Road blocks could snarl uptown Charlotte during DNC

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Officials released details Wednesday about the security and transportation plans for the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next month.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Rodney Monroe said, "We've tested it. We've looked at it. We've trained on it."

WSOC-TV went through the roughly 20 pages of lists and maps. The road closures will get worse as the week goes by.

More than two dozen streets in and around uptown will be closed for the convention. There are several different schedules for when streets will close and reopen.

Starting Sunday, roads close around the arena from College Street to Alexander Street and 3rd Street to 8th Street. Monday, the I-277 East exit ramp to College Street closes, along with College Street and 4th Street. Tuesday, add an off-ramp from I-277 into Uptown.

Wednesday, streets close to get ready for President Obama's speech. Thursday morning, much of Uptown shuts down and even parts of I-277.

To read the full plan, click here

After rush hour, streets re-open around the arena. Samantha McKinney was expecting a mess, even before Wednesday's announcement. Her boyfriend works Uptown, for Bank of America. They're leaving town for the convention.

She said, "We've heard it's going to be really bad so we're getting out of here."

David Wheaton can't leave town. He works for Coca-Cola and has a lot of Uptown customers expecting him that week. He expects good business, but said, "It's just going to be awful hard to service the downtown area."

Reggie Grier of Uptown Works has a strategy: "Wait until it happens. Try to maneuver around it."

Cab drivers may be maneuvering more than most people. Their livelihood depends on the roads. Charles Ezechukwu said, "We don't know how it's going to turn out, but we are prepared."

Even people who ride mass transit will see changes. The transit center will be closed three days that week and riders will switch buses a few blocks away, at the Charlotte Knights ballpark site. But CATS promises the same hours and amenities.

CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers said, "Air conditioning in waiting areas. Concessions. ADA accessible public restrooms. Safety and security. And pass sales."

Many bus riders will see route changes and even delays. LYNX riders won't be able to go north past the Westin Hotel.

City leaders hope Charlotte-area residents see it all as a small price to pay to be able to host a large event like the DNC.

"If you look at London, which is hosting the Olympics right now, I'm sure there are folks in London who are inconvenienced, but they realize that the benefit of hosting an event like that is worth it," said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

The plans were developed by local, state and federal law enforcement and public safety agencies.

"Every effort has been made to minimize the impact of these safety measures," officials said in the news release.

Officials said the NCDOT 511 information line will have the latest on road closures for interstates and state highways throughout the convention week.

 

CMS says uptown schools will remain open during DNC

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials said all the schools in uptown will remain open during the convention, but there will be big changes for logistics and security.

There are three schools within the I-277 loop that were of the most concern, including the Metro School and Irwin Avenue Academy. Both will be dismissed two hours early on the Thursday of DNC week.

First Ward Elementary will have an early dismissal each day that week.

Superintendent Heath Morrison joined other city officials Wednesday morning in making the announcement. He said children living in uptown will have special bus routes for that week.

Morrison said the police department worked with CMS to ensure kids are getting to and from school safely.

“My bias is to always keep school open,” he said. “And so when I sat down with officials and said, ‘These are the things we'd need to have,’ it was right off the bat.”

 

Streets closed to traffic and public street parking from 9 a.m. Sept. 2 to approximately 9 a.m. Sept. 6:

  • East Trade Street from North College Street to North Myers Street
  • East 5th Street from North College Street to North Myers Street
  • East 6th Street from North College Street to North Alexander Street
  • East 7th Street from North College Street to North Davidson Street
  • East 8th Street from North College Street to North Caldwell Street
  • South Brevard Street from East 4th Street to East Trade Street
  • North Brevard Street from East 5th Street to East 9th Street
  • South Caldwell Street from East 4th Street to East Trade Street
  • North Caldwell Street from East Trade Street to East 9th Street
  • South Davidson Street from East 4th Street to East Trade Street
  • North Davidson Street from East Trade Street to East 7th Street
  • South Alexander Street from East 4th Street to East Trade Street
  • North Alexander Street from East Trade Street to East 6th Street

 

Streets closed to traffic and public street parking from 6 p.m. Sept. 2 to approximately 9 a.m. Sept. 6:

  • East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from South College Street to South Caldwell Street
  • East 3rd Street from South College Street to South Davidson Street
  • South Brevard Street from East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to East 4th Street
  • South Caldwell Street from East Stonewall Street to East 4th Street
  • South Davidson Street from East 3rd Street to East 4th Street

 

Street closed to traffic and public street parking from 1 a.m. Sept. 3 to approximately 5 a.m. Sept. 7:

  • East 4th Street from South College Street to South McDowell Street

 

Streets closed to traffic and public street parking from 8 p.m. Sept. 3 to approximately 9 a.m. Sept. 6:

  • I-277 East exit ramp to South College Street
  • South College Street from East Stonewall Street to East Trade Street
  • North College Street from East Trade Street to East 9th Street
  • East 3rd Street from South Tryon Street to South College Street
  • East 4th Street from South Tryon Street to South College Street
  • East Trade Street from South Tryon Street to South College Street
  • East 5th Street from North Tryon Street to North College Street
  • East 6th Street from North Tryon Street to North College Street
  • East 7th Street from North Tryon Street to North College Street

 

Streets closed to traffic and public street parking from 9 a.m. Sept. 6 to approximately 5 a.m. Sept. 7:

  • East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from South College Street to South Caldwell Street
  • South Brevard Street from East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to East 3rd Street
  • South Caldwell Street from East Stonewall Street to East 3rd Street
  • South Boulevard from Lexington Avenue to East Stonewall Street