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Heads up: Charlotte’s back-to-school traffic starts Monday

UNC_CHARLOTTE_MOVE_IN_02
John D. Simmons - jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com
Kerry Blanch, left, and Rachel Cucinotta help other students get the essentials, such as this microwave, up to their dorm rooms. Thousands of UNC Charlotte students began moving into campus dormitories on Friday.

Morning commuters could encounter delays Monday, as the Charlotte area’s two biggest colleges begin classes for the fall semester.

With the academic year opening for UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College’s Central and other campuses, motorists traveling near those schools can expect delays, officials say.

The most likely times and locations for traffic headaches will be from 8 a.m. until about 10:30 a.m. That is when students – especially freshmen and other newcomers – are learning the ins and outs of finding parking spots.

Jeff Lowrance, a spokesman for CPCC, said the school encourages students to leave early for classes so they can find parking spots and reach their classes on time. Lowrance said CPCC will offer parking updates on Twitter at #cpccparking, and he encouraged students to check online at www.cpcc.edu/campuses for updates.

According to recent statistics, about 16,000 students could be enrolled at CPCC’s Central campus, with 7,000 more at the Levine campus in Matthews and an additional 3,500 at the Cato campus in northeast Charlotte.

UNCC sold parking passes to students last week, but there were social media notices in recent days about off-campus parking spots being sold. Recent statistics show more than 21,000 students could be going to classes Monday.

Johnson C. Smith University students moved in to dormitories over the weekend, but classes don’t start until Thursday. Opening day for students is Aug. 25 for Queens University of Charlotte and Davidson and Sept. 9 for Johnson & Wales University.

Potential traffic trouble spots Monday:

•  UNCC: University City Boulevard, East Mallard Creek Church Road and North Tryon Street.

•  CPCC Central campus: Charlottetowne Avenue, Third Street, Fourth Street, Seventh Street and Kings Drive.

•  CPCC Levine campus: East Independence Boulevard near Interstate 485 in Matthews.

•  CPCC Cato campus: East W.T. Harris Boulevard and Grier Road.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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