Traffic on Independence Boulevard heading toward uptown was backed up for miles early Tuesday, in part, because of a wreck earlier in the morning.
In one collision, a car went up an embankment near Hawthorne Lane. Drivers needing to head inbound can use Central Avenue or Monroe Roads as alternate routes.
Meanwhile, a wreck was reported around 8:20 a.m. at the intersection of Johnston Road and Ballantyne Commons Parkway. Traffic on the parkway was already limited to people traveling westbound between Johnston and North Community House Road because of security restrictions related to the Democratic National Convention.
The wreck is one of at least six that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were responding to around 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. At least two of the collisions involved injuries.
The wrecks have mainly occurred outside of uptown, where heavy congestion is already expected because of road closures and other restrictions in place for the DNC.
But some people reported Tuesday that their commute to uptown was largely problem free this morning, which could be a sign that many uptown workers are choosing to do their jobs from home or from another remote location. Some LYNX light rail passengers exiting at the Stonewall Street station said crowds haven’t been as bad as on Monday, which is when thousands of people came uptown for events like the Labor Day Parade and CarolinaFest 2012.
Still backups were visible on some uptown streets and on interstates near Charlotte’s center city.
One of the hang-ups was on Stonewall Street near the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where some passengers in taxis and limos were seen getting out of the vehicles after getting stuck in traffic.
Elswhere, traffic on Tryon Street is currently limited to northbound traffic only between Stonewall and Twelfth streets (southbound drivers can use Church Street).
Those restrictions join other street blockages and redirections already in place near Time Warner Cable Arena and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. For example, the ramp to South College Street from Interstate 277 is closed.
Also, Elizabeth Avenue is closed between Kings Drive and Charlottetowne Avenue so crews can stage equipment and personnel for DNC and other activities uptown. Charlotte Area Transit System buses will be allowed to travel in the area. Meanwhile, the ramp from Interstate 277 to West Carson Boulevard will be closed to vehicles and street parking starting at 8 p.m., according to the security plan.
See a map of the uptown closures at http://bit.ly/O8d83e
The road closures and additional congestion have officials encouraging people who need to come uptown for work or DNC activities to use public transportation.
Charlotte Area Transit System buses are back to running on the normal weekday schedule, but will now end at a temporary transit center that opened Monday at the corner of Third and Mint Streets near Bank of America stadium.
Meanwhile, the LYNX light rail line will run every 15 minutes from 5:30-6 a.m.; every 10 minutes from 6-9 a.m.; every 15 minutes from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.; every 10 minutes from 3:30-6 p.m.; and every 15 minutes from 6 p.m.-1 a.m. The line ends at the Stonewall Street station through Thursday
Light rail passengers who need to make a bus transfer have been told to depart at the Carson Street station where shuttles will be available to take them to the temporary bus lot.
Among the commuters already heading to work early Tuesday was Caroline Tanis. Tanis, who works at the Westin hotel in uptown, says it has been a “mess” getting into work. She said it took her two hours to get to uptown on Monday, and she left about an hour early this morning. She plans to build in extra time for the remainder of the week.
“With all the storms yesterday it was crazy,” Tanis said. “But it’s only for a week.”
DNC volunteers Mike and Maralyn Hauer were also at the light rail stop at Interstate 485/South Boulevard early Tuesday. The Arizona couple said they needed to be uptown by 9 a.m. and decided to get to the station by 7 a.m.
They said while the train has been crowded, they’ve met nice people and said it’s been fun being on the train. Lukas Johnson and Mark Price and NewsChannel 36 contributed.