City officials outline details of Charlotte DNC security plan
Updated: Updated 08/08/2012 08:37 PM
By: News 14 Carolina Staff
CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg police and city officials held a news conference Wednesday morning to talk about the security plan developed for the Democratic National Convention next month.
Mayor Anthony Foxx, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe, CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers and Charlotte-Douglas Airport Director Jerry Orr spoke about road closures, impact on schools and transportation in and around uptown Charlotte from Sept. 3-6.
"The security plan has been in works for more than a year," said Foxx. "[It's] a balance between safety and mobility. This convention is a huge international opportunity."
Some of the road closures include: several blocks around the arena being closed beginning Sunday, Sept. 2 at 9 a.m. and re-opening on Thursday morning, Interstate 277 closing on Thursday, Sept. 6 from I-77 to Independence Boulevard and three vehicle checkpoints into uptown that can be found at South College Street between East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and East 3rd Street, West 6th Street between North Tryon Street and North College Street and East 6th Street between North Alexander Street and North Myers Street.
"Traffic is probably our biggest test now," said Monroe.
He went on to say there will not be wholesale searches of backpacks and bags.
"A bag of rocks? We'll look at a bag of rocks," said Monroe.
Flowers spoke about the temporary transit center and rerouting bus routes. She said the Transit Center will be moved to 3rd Street and Mint Street, will offer the same amenities and ambassadors will be on hand to answer and transit-related questions. The traditional Transit Center will reopen on Thursday, Sept. 6.
Temporary message boards will surround Charlotte-Douglas Airport as access to the airport will be changed to accommodate influx of travelers.
"It's important for you to follow the message boards and not just go where you think you ought to go," said Orr.
Morrison spoke about the impact the convention will have on schools in uptown. He said all uptown schools will remain open but will run on abbreviated schedules. The Metro and Irwin schools will be dismissed two hours early on Thursday, Sept. 6. First Ward Elementary School will have an early dismissal Tuesday, Sept. 4 and Wednesday, Sept. 5.
"We've had to change over 325 routes to adjust but we are communicating that in every way possible," said Morrison.
Officials hope these changes and inconveniences will be outweighed by the benefits of catapulting Charlotte onto the international stage.
"This is an event that people have worked for decades to allow the city to host," said Foxx. "That will overtake any of the conveniences."
Reporter Elise Roberts has more on how the DNC security plan will affect CMS students.
Reporter Elise Esasky spoke with uptown business owners about their plans during the DNC.
Reporter David Kernodle takes a look at what county services, such as parks, libraries and the courthouse, will see scheduling changes during the DNC.
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