DNC commute better than many drivers expected - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

DNC commute better than many drivers expected

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For weeks, commuters in the Charlotte area have worried about Democratic National Convention traffic. Many drivers feared DNC traffic would turn local roads into parking lots. Now the Convention is halfway over, and commuters who primarily use area interstates are reporting normal commutes.  Some even say their commutes are easier than usual.

On Facebook, Nan wrote about her commute to Northlake Mall.

"It's been amazingly easy," she wrote. "I guess with everyone working from home, it's taken a lot of the commuters off the road."

She said her commute Wednesday morning was 20 minutes shorter than usual.

"This morning, I came around 485 to Harris Blvd. and got here in record time! My one hour commute turned into 40 minutes!"

Kristen Kulikowski drives from Mint Hill to Charlotte every day. She gave herself an extra hour on the first day of the DNC, thinking traffic would be a mess, but she was pleasantly surprised.

 "Honestly, the DNC hasn't affected my commute whatsoever," said Kulikowski, who got to work five minutes ahead of schedule Wednesday morning.

Steven Cummings, who commutes to Charlotte from Matthews, says mornings have been fine, but he has noticed a difference at night.

 "It's a little more challenging, because you kind of have to maneuver around uptown," said Cummings.  He said his evening commute was about 30 minutes longer than usual.

WBTV's Kristen Hampton timed her commute from her home just South of Concord, down I-85 South to the WBTV studios.  On the Friday before the DNC it took her 30 seconds longer to get to work than on Tuesday, right in the middle of the Convention.

While many Charlotte-area interstates are in the clear, uptown Charlotte is a traffic nightmare. Many of the roads inside the I-277 loop are closed or restricted. The Secret Service is also operating three vehicle checkpoints in uptown that are creating back-ups.

The President's motorcade is also causing temporary traffic jams throughout the Queen City. President Obama arrived Wednesday afternoon and headed to Ballantyne. That caused several roads to shut down and also clogged up I-485. Traffic problems should expected wherever the motorcade travels during the President's visit, from Wednesday to Friday.

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