carolina.gif (1377 bytes)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


For immediate use

May 5, 2004 -- No. 248

Early arrival, shuttle use advised
for commencement Sunday (May 9)

CHAPEL HILL Ė Family, friends and visitors are urged to arrive early and use free park-ride lots and shuttle buses for commencement at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, set for 9:30 a.m. Sunday (May 9) in Kenan Stadium.

"Advance planning and use of the park-and-ride lots will reduce traffic and frustration and make the day better for everyone involved," said Deborah Hawkins of the UNC Public Safety Department.

The lots are beside Dillardís at University Mall on Estes Drive and on Friday Center Drive off N.C. 54 East, on the right just before the William and Ida Friday Continuing Education Center. Should that lot fill, guests may park in a second lot farther down Friday Center Drive on the left.

Shuttles will take guests from these lots to Gate 2 on the north side of Kenan starting at 7:15 a.m. and pick them up at Gate 2 for return service from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Guests attending additional ceremonies after the main one, for schools and departments, may catch shuttles back to the lots from Carmichael Auditorium on South Road or the Old Well on Cameron Avenue from 1-5:30 p.m.

Use of the University Mall and Friday Center lots is preferred, but shuttles also will run from 7:15 a.m. to 10 a.m. from parking lots near the Dean E. Smith Center; the Cardinal Deck at Manning and West drives and the Dogwood Deck at Manning and East drives, both across from UNC Hospitals; the Ambulatory Care Center lot off Mason Farm Road; and these sites off Manning: Craig Deck, Ehringhaus and Hinton James residence halls, Bowles Drive.

South campus shuttles will take guests from these lots to Gate 6 on the south side of Kenan. Return trips from Gate 6 will be from approximately 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shuttles also will operate from Carmichael and the Old Well to the south campus lots and decks from 1-5:30 p.m.

If the ceremony is moved to the Dean E. Smith Center because of severe weather -- rain with high winds, thunder and lightening -- shuttles will service the center instead of Kenan. Afternoon shuttles still will run from Carmichael and the Old Well.

The university would announce a move to the Smith Center early Sunday morning on its main Web page (; on UNCís Travelersí Information System Radio, 1610 AM., near campus; and on area TV and radio stations.

Traffic is expected to slow most routes into town until 9:45 a.m., starting as early as 8 a.m. Outbound traffic can be heavy after the ceremony, from about 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hawkins advised motorists to avoid north campus, where most lots will be reserved. In addition, traffic there can be "bumper-to-bumper" from 8 a.m. on. After 8 a.m., campus is accessed best from U.S. 15-501 via Columbia Street, Manning Drive or Mason Farm Road.

The following road closings are planned:

Ridge Road, Stadium Drive: Closed to through traffic, about 6 a.m.-1 p.m.

South Road: Closed, Raleigh Street to Country Club Road, approximately 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Cameron Avenue: Closed to through traffic, Raleigh Street to Columbia Street, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Parking information will be on UNCís commencement ( and public safety Web sites (, under "breaking news" and "commencement.")

Guests with special needs who have questions may contact UNC Disabilities Services at 919-962-8300 or through 5 p.m. Friday (May 7).

- 30 -

Contacts: L.J. Toler, UNC News Services, 919-962-8589; News Services staff member on call, pager 919-216-2584.