Charlotte, NC--With the conclusion of the 2014 Coca Cola Speed Street presented by Chevrolet, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have scaled down their activities in support of the annual event. The festival attracted an estimated 400,000 visitors between Thursday and Saturday this year, making it one of the largest events of its kind in the Southeast.
During the month of May, the event along with various Charlotte Motor Speedway activities, generates approximately $230 million for the Charlotte region. For 20 years, the festival has provided local residents, race fans and families a fun and festive environment. Helping to ensure the event’s success, City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County agencies provide support ranging from first aid to traffic control allowing all attendees to have a wonderful experience during the festivities.
While municipal services may pale in comparison to the great food and exciting entertainment offered by the event, they are equally important. “The City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County’s support of Coca-Cola Speed Street presented by Chevrolet over the past 20 years has been integral to the event’s success,” said Jacqueline Gafrarar, General Manager, 600 Festival Association. “From the police officers to the solid waste crews, it is truly a team effort that makes an event of this size possible.”
Over the past few days, Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) provided express bus service from Uptown to Charlotte Motor Speedway via its 80X-Concord Express and increased LYNX light rail service for fans traveling Uptown to the festival. On Thursday, the LYNX service carried 21,030 passengers, a 38% increase for a typical Thursday, while ridership swelled to 25,542 passengers the next day, a 61% increase over a normal Friday. On the event’s final day, 26,814 riders took light rail, which was a 114% increase over an average Saturday. For motorists, who opted to drive Uptown, Charlotte Department of Transportation’s (CDOT) traffic planning prevented any major traffic incidents related to the event during its three days.
As always, event safety remained a priority. During the festival, the Charlotte Fire Department (CFD) and Mecklenburg EMS Agency (MEDIC), treated 24 individuals, mostly for dehydration and heat related injuries.
Earlier in the week, Speed Street was declared an extraordinary event, a precautionary measure which allowed the City to provide additional public safety resources. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) in coordination with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, CFD, Men Who Care Global and other agencies created a secure environment. The adult arrest figures for this year totaled 16, down from 19 last year. They included the following violations*: Trespass (3), Damage to Property (1), Assault (1), Alcohol Related (5), Disorderly Conduct (2), Concealed Weapon (1), Drug Related (3). Nine juvenile arrests were made, down from 10 last year, and included the following charges: Curfew Violation (8) and Resisting Arrest (1).
And finally to ensure a tidy environment for Uptown visitors, the City’s Solid Waste Services crews cleaned streets and collected garbage and recyclable material generated by the event and public. While final figures will not be available for a few days, crews collected more than 24 tons of trash and recyclables during last year’s Speed Street.
Additional information related to municipal services in support of this and other events held in Charlotte’s Uptown is available at uptownevents.charlottenc.gov