Dr. Traffic

Drivers, avoid weekend’s uptown festivities

Mint Julep Jazz Band performs at the Bearden Music Series on Saturday.
Mint Julep Jazz Band performs at the Bearden Music Series on Saturday. Mint Julep Jazz Band

You can walk, run, take in a ballgame or a concert in and around uptown this weekend. If you don’t, it’s a good idea to have a travel plan that avoids slowdowns on roads leading to the festivities.

Here’s what’s coming up:

On Saturday the sixth annual North Carolina Music Factory 5K Rock N Run will block off part of uptown and North Charlotte.

The race starts at 8 a.m. The race course will take runners and walkers along Statesville Avenue, across North Graham Street and along Dalton Avenue.

At one end of the trail, participants will loop around Plymouth Avenue, Grimes Street, Sylvania Avenue and Dunlow Street en route to the Music Factory and Fourth Street uptown.

Two other events in uptown also could bring heavier traffic into the city:

▪ The Bearden Music Series will bring jazz to Romare Bearden Park from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, 300 S. Church St.

▪ Just across the street at BB&T Ballpark, the Charlotte Knights will play the Rochester Red Wings at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and again at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.

Limited light-rail service

Riding the Lynx Blue Line to get to the ballpark or the concert might not be an option this weekend, depending on how far you’ll be traveling.

Light-rail service will be available for only eight of the 15 stops, from New Bern to Seventh Street stations. There will be no train service from the Interstate 85/South Boulevard Station to New Bern.

Bus service will be available on the Lynx Connector bus, which will follow the same schedule as the train, according to the Charlotte Area Transit System. That means about every 20 minutes.

CATS will close the stations as it makes improvements to serve more light-rail riders.

Walk this way …

Looking ahead, a celebration is coming up at 10 a.m. Aug. 18 at Johnson & Wales University.

Charlotte Department of Transportation has wrapped up a $1.7 million project that makes the area safer for students in chef coats and other pedestrians. Transportation bonds paid for the upgrades.

Crews realigned the right turn lanes onto Johnson & Wales Way from Trade and Fourth streets and improved pedestrian crossings, according to CDOT. The project also improved pedestrian access to Frazier Park.

Fourth Street has been converted from four lanes to two between Victoria and Summit avenues. That stretch now has medians, pedestrian “refuges” and on-street parking.

Karen Sullivan: 704-358-5532, @Sullivan_kms