Here’s how to legally shut down your street for a neighborhood block party

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For those enterprising Charlotteans seeking to throw the social event of the season, arranging to have a street closed off for a block party is surprisingly easy, provided you’re not afraid of a little forethought.

With proper planning (and a few well-placed barricades), revelers can enjoy the comforts of automobile-free asphalt instead of playing real-world Frogger with literal party-crashers.

Give four weeks lead time

Closing a city street isn’t business-as-usual; several different city departments need time to review the request. Giving the Charlotte Department of Transportation (CDoT) and CMPD a month’s heads-up is only fair.

After all, you wouldn’t stick your guests with a last-minute invitation and expect your event to be successful, would you? Why treat the municipal powers-that-be any differently?

Talk to your neighbors

Speaking of giving a heads-up: you don’t necessarily have to invite your neighbors to your soirée, but you at least need to be neighborly and inform them about your desire to temporarily shut down their street.

This isn’t just common courtesy, it’s required: signatures from 75% of the folks affected by the closure need to accompany your closure request for the city to sign off.

Booze it & lose it (or get an exemption)

Considering it’s against local law to openly imbibe on city streets (City Code Section 13-4.1, you’re such a kill-joy), you’ll need to seek an exemption from CDoT. Again, they’re asking for 30 days lead-time.

Links to the Permits form gave me nothing but error codes (check your links, admin!), so give them a call at 704-336-5531.

Shut it down & get lit

You’re on the hook for your own barricades, by the way. The city calls for 3 at each end of the street. After all, nothing can ruin a party like uninvited guests, especially when the “guest” is really a car.

Partying at night? Make sure those barricades are equipped with flashing lights. Safety first and all that…

Clean up after yourselves

You have two options here: get the post-party street back to normal within 12 hours, or simply wait and have the city handle cleaning it up for you.

Downside: they’ll be sticking you with the bill. I’d advise choosing the first option.

Complete directions, including the necessary forms, can be found here.

Cover image via Facebook

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Jonathan Wells
| @AllTheWells |
Jonathan Wells is the beer writer for Charlotte Agenda.