Hopscotch music festival will take over downtown Raleigh and crowds of music lovers will descend upon the city streets. With a fast-paced 160 bands in just 3 days, any prepared festival goer needs transportation options to match. Navigating Raleigh’s relatively square grid-like downtown blocks is not always as straightforward as it seems, so here are some tips for choosing the transport methods to best suit your festival schedule. [Bonus feature: a handy map of festival venues to get you started!]
“I have no wheels!”
Pedestrians get a few subtle perks in Raleigh. With City Plaza as epicenter of the festival, most of Fayetteville Street will be blocked off and only available to pedestrians. Crosswalks in downtown Raleigh are timed with the car traffic, no button mashing required! Simply wait your turn, and appreciate the few crosswalks around town that give a head start to pedestrians while everyone else is stopped.
Public transit in downtown Raleigh can connect your bipedal travel. Raleigh features two free bus routes: NCSU’s Wolfprowl and CAT’s R-Line. You can use Transloc on your computer or smart phone to track the location of the bus at any time. The Wolfprowl and the R-line share a stop on Morgan Street. The stops along Wilmington Street are close to most festival venues, and the route is lined with parking decks for the multi-modal Hopscotch’ers (see “I have four wheels!” below). Both buses run until at least 2am on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights so you don’t have to miss any of the festival action.
“I have two wheels!”
Raleigh doesn’t have any truly protected bike lanes, but it has an assortment of bike-friendly sharrows painted on many roads around town. The Capital Area Greenway Trail System can connect you to the festival action, particularly the Rocky Branch or Little Rock Trails.
Especially when biking on roads in the flow of traffic with cars, wear a helmet and ensure you have a functioning white light for the front and a red light for the back of your bike. Follow all traffic laws and bike predictably for the safest ride. There are lots of bike racks within a few blocks of Fayetteville Street, even a few cleverly shaped, so bring a handsome bike lock.
“I have four wheels”
Raleigh features parking decks are well-located surrounding the main attractions and venues in town. The decks are generally free after 7pm and on weekends, but special event parking is a $7 fee. Check out the city’s ParkLink for the most up to date guides, maps, and parking information. The R-line route is lined with parking decks for the multi-modal Hopscotch’ers (see “I have no wheels!” above).
Regardless of your preferred mode of travel, happy Hopscotch’ing!