Raleigh teacher rally prompts downtown street closures, possible gridlock

May 1, 2019

About 20,000 people attended last year’s teacher rally in downtown Raleigh, and the N.C. Association of Educators is hoping to top that number with Wednesday’s event.

The NCAE says many people are arriving by bus Wednesday morning. Those buses will begin arriving at the NCAE headquarters on Salisbury Street around 8:30 a.m. Organizers say those arrivals will continue until 10:30 a.m.

Rally attendees who are driving themselves need to plan to get to downtown Raleigh early. The city is asking people to come into downtown from Interstate 40, using the Hammond Road exit. Hang a left onto Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and then a right onto Wilmington Street. That will take you near four of the largest parking decks near the NCAE headquarters. Remember that these parking decks could fill quickly, so plan to arrive early. There will be no parking at NCAE headquarters.

After a 10:30 a.m. pre-march rally at the NCAE building, the marchers will head up Fayetteville Street toward the State Capitol, Bicentennial Plaza and the Legislative Building. They will gather at Halifax Mall around 12:30 p.m. for a rally that is scheduled to last about one hour. After the rally, some people will meet with lawmakers at the Legislative Building and begin heading back to the NCAE building to pick up their bus. Those buses will depart from the Salisbury Street headquarters between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Expect street closures along Fayetteville and side streets for much of the day.

If you’re going to be downtown Wednesday, allow plenty of extra time to deal with congestion and parking. Also, be especially careful around the extra pedestrian traffic.