by: Linzi Sheldon Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With road closures and thousands more people in town, parking in Uptown Charlotte is expected to be a little more complicated than usual during the Democratic National Convention.
At the Lynx Blue Line station on Sharon Road West in south Charlotte, Delphine McClelland said the parking lot fills up fast.
"I see a lot of cars do ride around here trying to find parking," she said.
With city leaders encouraging people to take public transportation during the DNC, McClelland expects that to happen even faster.
"Next week is going to be really crazy with people that are trying to get to work and not wanting to drive," she said.
Charlotte Area Transit System officials said they will have staff monitoring the parking lots, updating their website and sending out email alerts about any lots that fill up.
Across the street, employees with Oerlikon Textile are betting on it happening.
Company officials said they've handed out pamphlets to local hotels and recently put up signs to advertise parking in their lot for $10 a day.
But for people looking for free parking, Tom Bartholomy with the Better Business Bureau has a warning.
While some companies have signs warning about towing clearly posted, others do not, and predatory towing companies may be waiting right around the corner.
"Don't think just because a lot is not attended or that the business isn't open because it's Labor Day, don't think you can automatically just park there for free," Bartholomy said.
He said South End and Dilworth will be targets because they're within walking distance of Uptown, where wards will be posted with "No parking. Residents only" signs and Park It agents will be assigned to enforce restrictions.
Center City Partners said Tuesday at least two dozen parking lots on College Street, Brevard Street and other uptown streets will be open during the DNC, although they will likely cost more than usual.
"Be prepared to pay for parking," Bartholomy said. "Look for a lot that's attended and pay whatever it costs to do it. That way you're going to be guaranteed that you're not going to be towed."
Center City Partners plans to post more parking information online on Wednesday. To visit their website, click here.