|CIAA declared extraordinary event|
|Crowds require extra public safety resources|
|Published Monday, February 24, 2014 3:03 pm|
The CIAA basketball tournament has been declared an extraordinary event.
The designation, announced by Charlotte City Manager Ron Carlee, is based on a city ordinance that defines a large-scale event of national or international significance and/or an event expected to attract a large number of people to the city. The ordinance provides for significant public safety resources to be expended during the tournament and allows law enforcement to identify risks or the intent of individuals to do harm during the event.
The declaration, which is in effect Feb. 24-March 1, allows the city to modify its permitting process for activities like parades and specifies items that are prohibited from being brought into areas near the event. The geographical boundaries are West Stonewall Street at Church Street, east to South Davidson Street, then South Davidson Street north to 9th Street; 9th Street west to North Church Street, and North Church Street southward to Stonewall Street.
The tournament begins Feb. 25 at Time Warner Cable Arena.
CIAA week brings heavy foot and automobile traffic to Center City, especially on Friday and Saturday as fans make their way to the arena and the Convention Center.
City officials urge drivers to be aware of changes during tournament week:
• There are no planned street closures, but sporadic closures of Fifth Street near the arena may occur after games end.
• When pedestrian traffic is high, turns onto side streets from College and Tryon streets may be forbidden, especially between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Sixth streets.
• On Friday and Saturday, turns from College and Tryon between Stonewall and Ninth may be prohibited.
• Alternate routes are encouraged.
• On-street parking will be limited on parts of Trade, Church, Tryon, College, Fifth and Sixth streets.
• Access Center City parking lots or decks by using the side street where they’re located.
Drivers and pedestrians should be alert at all times, especially near the arena. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers will be on duty at every main pedestrian intersection in this area Thursday through Saturday.
CATS extends Gold Rush
The Charlotte Area Transit System is extending services for commuters during tournament week.
If you're not interested in driving, the Gold Rush Red Line will operate its regular route between Johnson C. Smith University and Central Piedmont Community College. Starting Tuesday at 6 p.m. through March 1, the service will extend to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard near the Hilton Garden Inn and on McDowell Street near the Sheraton Hotel.
The Gold Rush schedule for the tournament:
Feb. 25 – 6-11 p.m.
Feb. 26 – 6- 11 p.m.
Feb. 27 – 6 p.m.-12 a.m.
Feb. 28 – 6 p.m.-12 a.m.
March 1 – 11 a.m.-12 a.m.
The Lynx Blue Line light rail service will operate between 15 stations from I-485 at South Boulevard to Uptown. Parking is free at seven park-and-ride lots along the route.
The Sprinter bus service will shuttle visitors to and from Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. The service operates every 20 minutes from Center City during the day and every 30 minutes nights and weekends.
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