Homegrown Halloween: Tuesday, Oct. 31

As the Town of Chapel Hill continues its preparations for the night of Halloween, please review the following information and remember to plan for heavy traffic and large crowds on the evening of Oct. 31.

Preparation efforts begin on Nov. 1 every year as lessons learned are added to the plan for response. Halloween in Chapel Hill is not a promoted event; it is a community safety response to a large crowd gathering on Franklin Street.

The Chapel Hill Police Department has reached out to more than a dozen law enforcement agencies from around our region for assistance. There will be more than 200 police officers at the event. One major safety concern relates to the overconsumption of alcohol. In previous years, medical treatment calls for alcohol-related issues have reached upwards of 80.

Alcohol checkpoints will be in place, and DWI enforcement on the perimeter of the event will be in place.

Getting Around

Chapel Hill Transit and Safe Ride Buses

Chapel Hill Transit will adjust some routes and schedules to accommodate the Halloween celebration on Franklin Street. The following schedule modifications will be in effect:

  • CW Route—Last bus will leave Credit Union at 7:10 p.m.           
  • CM Route—Last bus will leave Jones Ferry park and ride at 7:50 p.m.
  • D Route will end at 7:31 p.m. Sagebrook Apartments
  • F Route will end at 7:45 p.m. Colony Woods and 7:38 p.m. Pine Grove 
  • G Route will end at 7:47 p.m. Booker Creek and 7:43 p.m. University Place
  • J Route will end at 7:56 p.m. Rock Creek Apartments
  • NS Route—Last bus will leave Eubanks park and ride at 7:40 p.m. and from Southern Village park and ride 7:45 p.m.
  • NU Route will end at 7:44 p.m. RR Lot
  • EZ Rider service will end at 7:30 p.m.

All other routes will operate on regular routes and published schedules, although delays may occur due to increased traffic.

Safe Ride buses will operate from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., as Franklin Street reopens. Safe Ride is a service funded by the UNC-Chapel Hill Student Government for the safety of students. For information on routes and schedules:  http://www.townofchapelhill.org/town-hall/departments-services/transit/safe-ride-program.

Please be advised that due to road closures and traffic pattern changes, Chapel Hill Transit may be unable to operate published schedules for these routes. The delays will also impact Next­Bus predictions.

There will be no bus shuttles operating from park and ride lots to the Halloween celebration.

Street Closures

Beginning at 8 p.m., some downtown streets will be closed to vehicular traffic:

  • Franklin Street, from Raleigh Street to Church Street
  • Columbia Street, from Rosemary Street to South Road 
    • Northbound traffic on South Columbia Street will be detoured west onto McCauley Street
  • Henderson Street, from East Rosemary Street to East Franklin Street
  • Church Street (southbound), from West Rosemary Street to West Franklin Street
  • Robertson Lane
  • Pickard Lane
  • South Road, from South Columbia Street to Raleigh Street (6:30 p.m. to 12 midnight)
  • Cameron Avenue, from South Columbia Street to Raleigh Street (6:30 p.m. to 12 midnight
  • Stadium Drive (5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.)
  • Skipper Bowles Drive (6 p.m. to 11 p.m.)

Residential streets near downtown will be closed except to residents of those streets and their guests.


There will be limited parking in downtown. There will be no place for charter buses to drop off of pick up passengers. Charter buses entering the downtown Chapel Hill area will be directed by law enforcement officers to the outskirts of Town prior to dropping off any passengers. There will also be no parking in the neighborhoods adjacent to downtown. Access to neighborhoods will be limited by barricades and police personnel at the roads leading into them. This will begin early in the evening.

Vehicles parked on streets to be closed will be towed beginning at 6 p.m.

Vehicles that are illegally parked will be ticketed and towed, with a minimum recovery cost of $140 plus the cost of the ticket.

For the latest UNC public safety information on Halloween (street closures and parking restrictions) visit move.unc.edu.

Prohibited Items

Downtown Residents
The Town of Chapel Hill will make every effort to keep people who are attending the gathering on Franklin Street from parking in your neighborhood. Access to your neighborhood will be limited by barricades and police personnel leading into your neighborhood. This will begin early in the evening.

  • Residents of the neighborhood will be able to drive in and out of the enclosed area. Tell the officer at the barricade where you live.
  • Your guests will also be able to enter and leave. They will need to tell the officer at the barricade exactly where they are going.
  • Illegally-parked vehicles (even of residents and guests) will be ticketed and towed.
  • Traffic will be congested, and getting past the barricades may be a slow process. Thank you for your patience