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Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

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Barbados
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Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

I do not know Charlotte at all, but would like to rent a car for a day to go shopping before heading down to Rock Hill for an event. I plan to be driving from the airport to Southpark Mall on a Thursday morning (10.30 - 11.00) and then maybe will need to be back to return the car and meet up with the hotel shuttle at 6.30 p.m. I want to go to a couple of stores in Southpark that aren't in Rock Hill but I don't want to keep the car for the whole 4 days I'm in Rock Hill, so I figure renting the car for a few hours before heading to Rock Hill works out best (it's cheaper than the taxi rates I found online).

I assume the morning drive won't be an issue, and should take 20 - 25 minutes. How about the evening drive from Southpark over to CLT? What does the traffic nornally do between 5 and 6 p.m. on weekdays? I figure it's heavier coming out of Charlotte (like south on 77 etc.), and from Southpark I'll be heading more towards Charlotte. Is Billy Graham the best road to take traffic-wise, or is there a better way? If I wanted to get to the rental car return by 6 p.m., what time should I leave the mall?

I don't mind driving in the U.S., it's not difficult to me, and I've driven in many places I didn't know beforehand. I just need to be able to figure out what time to leave the mall so that I can meet up with the hotel shuttle that is collecting another party from our event.

Edited: 10:05 am, October 08, 2012
Wilmington, North...
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1. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

Your post is pretty confusing. If you clear it up as to where and when perhaps someone can help you. Around Charlotte that time of day will not be fun regardless of where you travel. BTW...Southpark is in Charlotte.

Barbados
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2. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

Sorry, I thought it was pretty clear: Thursday evening rush hour, need to drive from Southpark Mall to Charlotte Douglas airport. If the specific date matters, it's Nov 15th. I am arriving at CLT that same Thursday around 10 a.m. (on a flight from Miami) but don't have to be in Rock Hill until that night or the next day, which is why I am planning on staying in the Charlotte area for the day and had decided on Southpark Mall.

I realize that Southpark is in greater Charlotte - I guess I was thinking that it was south of the main downtown core, at least from looking at a map. Maybe that makes no difference to the traffic? I was just wondering if the direction I'd be going in would be any lighter than rush hour hour traffic usually is, or if it would still be very bad. Are we talking about an hour's drive from Southpark Mall to CLT (if i want to get to CLT by 6), or should I plan on more like 1.5? If it's going to be that bad I might wait until 8 or 8.30 at night to return the car and have the hotel shuttle make a special trip for me.

Edited: 8:32 am, October 09, 2012
Charlotte
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3. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

While there will be a good amount of traffic around that time (5:00 to 6:00), it shouldn't take you an hour to get from SouthPark to CLT, more like 30 minutes assuming no major accidents on your route. I'd probably take Tyvola to I-77N to Billy Graham.

Barbados
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4. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

Thanks Brian, that's good news! More shopping time, which is important for us folks who live on small Caribbean islands!

Charlotte, NC
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5. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

My estimate is about 45 minutes: Fairview to Park Road (going North - special merge lane to Park Rd, so stay in the right lane) Then Park Road to Woodlawn, you will be turning left to East Woodlawn. Cross South Boulevard, keep going straight until you get to Billy Graham. Left Lane tends to be a bit better, so stay there until about Morris Field ? ( you will see the sign for the airport..- special right lane, so if unsure, move to right lane a bit earlier...) Then you need to watch for signs (car returns... close to parking lots).

There is lightly to be traffic: from the mall, but Park Road will be busier in the opposite direction. Then mainly bad traffic around South Blvd/Billy Graham.

You could do it in 25 minutes (no traffic), but allow 45 minutes. Tip: park somewhere close to Sears (Fairview, even if you have to walk a bit to the mall) it saves a lot of time., :)

Edited: 9:58 am, October 09, 2012
Charlotte, NC
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6. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

Sorry: ...There is lightly to be traffic - meant to type There is likely to be traffic..

Edited: 10:01 am, October 09, 2012
Barbados
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7. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

Thanks for the tips, Sophie!

Charlotte, NC
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8. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

You're welcome. I know the route well, used to teach evening adult classes of Billy Graham, and after a few tries (Tyvola, etc.) I came up with this route. Hopefully it will work for you.

www.simon.com/mall/malldirectory.aspx?id=788

Good mall, apart from Macy's etc., I like Brighton Collectibles - makes it easy to find gifts under $15 (unusual bookmarks, etc.)

southcarolina
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9. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

Tip: park somewhere close to Sears (Fairview, even if you have to walk a bit to the mall) it saves a lot of time., :)

There is no "Sears" at SouthPark Mall

But it is good advice to park off of Fairview Rd. My suggestion would be to park on the upper deck parking lot at Nordstroms. That way when you leave out of the lot (making a right) you will be right on Fairview Rd.

Charlotte, NC
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10. Re: Rush hour traffic patterns near Charlotte (south)?

Yes you're right; sorry, I still call the parking area "Sears" ....definitely off Fairview; the shortest distance to get to Park Road (North).