It only took 43 years: Wolfpack Club makes move to improve Carter Finley traffic flow

Alternative Title: After 43 years, Wolfpack Club takes leadership of Athletics Department’s responsibility (again)

After last week’s game against South Carolina, SFN opened an interesting thread on the message boards asking people to share their ‘non-football’ experiences at Carter-Finley.

As a Stadium SE permit holder, I have noticed the last several years that nobody has any clue how to get out of the parking lot in a timely manner. After one game last year (FSU Thursday night game maybe?), we attempted to exit quickly and ended up sitting in the main road running between the treeline and the road that circles the stadium/RBC) for an hour without moving. Every car was trying to go this same way or exit on Westchase (towards the practice field). So finally after one of the rows cleared, I turned left towards Trinity and drove immediately out of (Gate A) with no problems.

An hour of not moving and then all of a sudden I drive straight out of the lot? How is that possible and why wasn’t everyone going out Gate A? Why were all the cars in the rows on that side of the SSE lot (closest side to Trinity) trying to go towards the practice field and/or down the main road running vertically through the parking lot?

You would think with most people parking in the same lots year after year that people would eventually have a standard plan/route for leaving the stadium. I remember after the ECU game last year the SSE lot still being a cluster&*%$ two hours after the game ended.

Everyone has stories about on this issue and apparently major problems in the Tx lot (why Tx?) and Trinity lot spurred some much needed change and planning. Here is a link to a map of Carter Finley showing all parking lots and gates. Please check the map and the instructions below so that we can all leave the parking lot as fast as possible.

An email from the Wolfpack Club this morning notes the changes and traffic flow plans for every gate at CF. The only problem that cannot be solved is Gate B. Due to pedestrian traffic crossing Trinity Rd. and Youth Center Dr, there is just no way to fix the bottleneck that occurs there every game unless a pedestrian bridge was constructed. Due to cost and potential safety issues ( see: 100 people hurt when bridge collapses at Lowes Motor Speedway), I don’t ever see that happening so Gate B should continue to cause problems. Make a note to avoid Gate B (the intersection of Youth Center and Trinity).

Other than Gate B problems, the plan sounds brilliant (How often can you describe something generated by people associated with NC State athletics as brilliant?). Blue Ridge should have much better flow with no traffic from Gate B or from the Vet School lot. If you park in the Vet school lot, then do not turn right on Hillsborough St. back towards Blue Ridge. Just head towards campus and you have access to I-440 in either direction. Improved flow from less competing traffic on Blue Ridge and Trinity Rd. should help Westchase Blvd, SSE, Tx lot and Trinity lot immensely.

The only thing I don’t quite understand is the alternating exit lane out of Tx and Trinity. However, these lots aren’t typically a problem because I am told many of these people drive over the curb directly on to Trinity avoiding the exit lane for these lots altogether.

Having read this plan in its entirety, I will pay particular attention to the SSE, Faculty, TX, and Trinity lots to see if things improve. Having implemented a satellite dish this year at our tailgate, the need to get to a sports bar to watch a particular football game has been eliminated.

Here is the email from the WPC:

Significant changes for exiting traffic after the game have been planned for the September 12th home game against Murray State. Through efforts enacted by the State Highway Patrol and McLaurin Parking, a plan has been developed that should expedite departure.

Motorists should be careful of pedestrian departures when exiting and follow the direction of the parking attendants and State Highway Patrol. All exiting corridors will be directed toward major roads and /or interstates highways allowing for directional changes if needed.

Motorist cooperation is imperative to having a successful plan.

Here are the particulars for the new egress plan:

Gate A – will be directed East on Trinity toward Blue Ridge Road – no change from the past

Gate B – will be directed south along Youth Center Road only with an officer and traffic cones at Hillsborough making all
traffic turn right

Gate C – will turn west on Trinity toward Edwards Mill – no change except these vehicles will be the only users of this
departure route

Cardinal Gibbons – will be directed out the back only and onto Trinity Road. McLaurin will provide officers to enact this
movement avoiding these vehicles from compacting Trinity Road at Edwards Mill.

Vet School Lot – will directed onto Hillsborough Street directly. This is a change from their departure onto Blue Ridge in
the past.

TX and Trinity Lots – will be devoted an alternating exit lane onto Trinity and directed to Hillsborough Street from Blue
Ridge Road. Less competing traffic on Trinity should aid this movement.

Faculty and Staff – should benefit from an enhanced flow from both Gate A and Westchase Drive.

Westchase – two lanes will be mandated (not three) to exit onto Blue Ridge Rd. making a left turn at the intersection. No
change here except- this exiting traffic will have less competition from Blue Ridge traffic. The street can only accept two lanes so only two lanes on Westchase will be allowed. The movement on this corridor should be much improved.

The emphasis of this plan is to send exiting traffic away from the stadium without sending any lanes back into other exiting traffic from the stadium.

Again, motorist cooperation is vital to the plan’s success.

Thank you and Go Pack!

N&O’s Blog on the topic

'09 Football Editor's Picks General

28 Responses to It only took 43 years: Wolfpack Club makes move to improve Carter Finley traffic flow

  1. StateofthePack 09/11/2009 at 10:12 AM #

    Thank goodness an attempt is being made to straighten this cluster out. If this pattern is followed after each game, it should really ease congestion once people become familiar with each exit route.

  2. Iremember87 09/11/2009 at 10:19 AM #

    After the last few years in Stadium SE. I went in person to the wolfpack club office in the spring and told them I would NOT park in SSE ever again. I served my time….our parking group disbanded and we all park in our own little space in Arena West and it is great.
    Heck the SSE area was more organized in the 80’s when it was a big field and you just drove in and parked where you wanted.

  3. Daily Update 09/11/2009 at 10:31 AM #

    SSE is consistently a disaster. Hopefully the people in this lot can figure it out this year (leave using Gate A and don’t go all the way across the lot to Westchase). We added satellite this year so it shouldn’t impact me as much.

  4. Flannel Avenger 09/11/2009 at 10:52 AM #

    Regarding the safety of pedestrian bridges… the main campus has all those tunnels under the railroad tracks that have been perfectly safe for years. We could always tunnel under the road. Of course, cost is still a problem.

  5. Daily Update 09/11/2009 at 10:59 AM #

    Tunnel??? Good idea. A tunnel or bridge is really the only option for the issue at that intersection/Gate to go away.

  6. Clarksa 09/11/2009 at 11:01 AM #

    How long has C-F been open? How long has the current road configuration been in place? This isn’t rocket science…the patterns should have been set for years and they shouldn’t change them.

  7. old13 09/11/2009 at 11:19 AM #

    Oh, no! Ya mean there was a breakdown in the fusillitees!

  8. BassPacker 09/11/2009 at 11:22 AM #

    I’ve parked in Stadium SE white for years, fixed the problem of sitting in traffic, just break out the food, eat and socialize while everyone gets all frustrated trying to either get in line or out. I get home just as quick as most but alot less stressed.

    I like the idea of a walking bridge. Heck they could move the one that crosses over 440 at Wade Ave, what a waste of tax payer money that is.

  9. Alpha Wolf 09/11/2009 at 11:32 AM #

    ^ That bridge seems to be fairly popular with a lot of greenway walkers. I would suggest building another one in the manner suggested.

    Oh, no! Ya mean there was a breakdown in the fusillitees!

    But they already have your money, so you know what THAT means.

  10. MrPerfectionest 09/11/2009 at 11:50 AM #

    We parked in Cardinal Gibbons last year and getting out the back way was a dream. Absolutely no wait. Last week, we parked in Westchase to go tailgate with friends in TX. And it was as others described. We moved 50ft in an hour before it finally started moving freely. You’d think at an engineering school with a steady stream of traffic engineers coming out of it they’d have this solved by now.

    And with as much money that continues to be pumped into football, there really is no excuse for not having a tunnel or bridge to get over the roads. It helps people leave faster and it’s safer for pedestrians.

  11. Alpha Wolf 09/11/2009 at 12:02 PM #

    “You’d think at an engineering school with a steady stream of traffic engineers coming out of it they’d have this solved by now.”

    With all due respect to our fine civil engineering grads and students, the overall state of the roads and their management in NC has left a lot to be desired.

    Then again, if one speaks to one of those grads that work in the DOT, they will tell you that political considerations ALWAYS trump engineering ones.

  12. bradleyb123 09/11/2009 at 12:25 PM #

    I’m in TX lot this year for the first time. Does anyone have any suggestions for the best way to get to that lot before the game? I’m used to coming in on Edwards Mill Road, but I think I should come from the other end of Trinity.

    Hillsborough Street seems like a nightmare before games. I’m thinking Blue Ridge Road exit from Wade Avenue, turn left on Blue Ridge, and Right on Trinity.

  13. BoKnowsNCS71 09/11/2009 at 12:44 PM #

    I am less worried about getting cars in and out and more about getting the students in and sitting down before the game. At USC, twice as many students as there were seats came into Section 14. They stood in the aisles most the first quarter and no one could enter or leave. There was a problem with some girl freaking out about 6 rows behind us and it took half the section yelling for Security for about 10 minutes until they could get a Sheriff’s attention. They finally moved the student’s out. I doubt they ever got back into a seat. Many kept moving into and out of LTR seats. Classic cluster that has been going on for years. Complained to the WPC and they swear they are going to handle it. Time will tell at the Pitt game. Doubtful that the MS and GW games are going to draw the students. Until they give each student a seat number, this is going to be a disaster.

  14. Noah 09/11/2009 at 1:02 PM #

    The bridge that goes over 440 is the longest pedestrian bridge in the state. It connects Reedy Creek Greenway with the art musuem and ultimately with Umstead Park. It gets TONS of traffic every day. NCSU’s College of Natural Resources was a major partner in that bridge getting built.

    A waste?? Hardly.

  15. DFMo 09/11/2009 at 1:17 PM #

    >> I’m thinking Blue Ridge Road exit from Wade Avenue, turn left on Blue Ridge, and Right on Trinity.

    I’ve tried a number of routes- above is exactly what I do now. Depending on the time, the left onto Blue Ridge can require patience.

  16. bradleyb123 09/11/2009 at 2:18 PM #

    DFMo, thanks. I guess that’s what I’ll do.

    I was thinking about taking Edwards Mill Road and turning left on Trinity, and eventually turning left (if I can) into the TX lot. But I wasn’t sure if the traffic patterns would allow that.

    I may leave a lot earlier this week and test that route. That way if the cops won’t let me go that way, I’ll have time to leave and come back the Blue Ridge way.

  17. Oldwolf 09/11/2009 at 2:26 PM #

    I have been parking in Trinity for several years and too me, part of the problem with traffic flow exiting games is that it is totally different every game. The HP/Raleigh police have had a different game plan every week and you never know which way they will make you go.

  18. StateFans 09/11/2009 at 3:31 PM #

    Note that the Wolfpack Club is taking leadership here. Don’t you find it interesting that it is so public that this is the WPC and not the ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT stepping up and taking leadership?

    Don’t ignore the nuances of this stuff in the politics of power.

  19. highstick 09/11/2009 at 5:07 PM #

    Five words, guys, just five words…..lack of management and vision!

    I was gonna say two words, i.e. “Lee Fowler”, but this one is older than Lee, but “he had his chance” to fix it and didn’t, as usual!

  20. LRM 09/11/2009 at 5:53 PM #

    Nothing good can come out of this. It’s entirely possible that they study the traffic flow and conclude that the root of the problem is all those pesky fans going to the games.

  21. goforit 09/11/2009 at 6:53 PM #

    “Gate A – will be directed East on Trinity toward Blue Ridge Road – no change from the past”

    This one is a puzzler. It has always seemed to be 50/50 which direction you will go out. It changes week to week.

  22. FunPack 09/11/2009 at 6:59 PM #

    ^^Actually the traffic is fine… it’s just the lunatic fringe acting up again! 😉

  23. Uncle Everett 09/11/2009 at 8:11 PM #


    I left the last game in the 4th qtr. through Gate A and there were traffic cones directing the flow towards Edwards Mill instead of Blue Ridge. I agree this has not been consistent in the past.

  24. wolfpack95 09/13/2009 at 12:31 PM #

    Traffic flow did seem to move faster, but that could be explained by 1/2 the stadium leaving before the end of the game.

    We exited from Gate B, turned right on Trinity and then to Edwards Mill.
    Im not sure if this was according to traffic plans.

  25. 61Packer 09/13/2009 at 3:13 PM #

    Until 2-way traffic on the main roads around the stadium (Blue Ridge, Trinity, Youth Center and Ewards Mill) is eliminated for an hour or so following games, they are never going to clear up the mess we have. All lanes of these four streets should be utilized for departing traffic. They do this in Ann Arbor and it clears a stadium twice the size as ours in half the time.

    Pedistrian flow is another problem, but if Raleigh and Wake County have enough money to build pedestrian bridges like the little-used monstrosity that crosses the I-440/US1 Beltline near Wade Avenue, they ought to have the money for a smaller one to bridge Trinity Road near the stadium, before someone gets killed out there after a game.

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