RALEIGH — With the excitement of the State Fair comes the hassle of fair traffic. What is the best way to avoid gridlock? To avoid jams and delays, timing and approach are everything.
"Come off-peak, and if possible, come during the week," says State Fair Manager Wesley Wyatt. "If possible, take public transportation, take theCAT bussystem or takeAMTRAKand you'll be better off."
If you cannot come at off-peak times, and mass transit is not a option, be prepared for delays and possibly detours.
To simplify things, the experts say there is one "best way" to drive in to the State Fairgrounds.
"What I would recommend to everyone is to utilize Wade Avenue and Edwards Mill Road, and just pay close attention to the media advisory reports -- the message board signs that'll be provided by theDOT, and the troopers," says Capt. R.L. Hayes of the N.C. Highway Patrol. Exits & Parking:Most fairgoers use either Interstate 40, or the I-440 Beltline. Wade Avenue intersects both 40 and 440. Get onto Wade Avenue and look for the Edwards Mill exit. The Edwards Mill exit leads to the free parking lots around the arena and Carter Finley Stadium. The only other free parking lot is at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Blue Ridge Road. Parking isnotallowed along the streets around the fairgrounds, including Hillsborough Street, Blue Ridge Road, Youth Center Road and Trinity Road.
One of the good things about fair traffic this year is that Carter Finley Stadium will be empty. The annual football game between N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill will be played in Chapel Hill.
Enjoy the fair, but as you are driving and parking, try to bring along a little patience.