Why the daily Providence Road commute to Uptown is the worst thing in Charlotte

A nice long line of cars waiting on Providence.

From my house in Waxhaw, Google Maps says it will take 38 minutes to reach Uptown via Providence Road.

Google Maps, if it actually only took that long I would be a much calmer, much happier person. Instead, I tend to sit on Providence for 45-50 minutes on my morning commute. It is unequivocally the bane of my existence.

Here’s what 50 minutes of driving on Providence Road looks like:

8:55 a.m.: Time to leave for my 10 a.m. start. I will almost certainly be late.

9:00 a.m.: Pulling out of the neighborhood, I almost hit a coyote crossing the street. It looks like the coyote has a squirrel in its mouth. Biodiversity!

9:03 a.m.: I have reached Providence Road! From here on out, it’s a straight shot into the heart of Uptown. Till next time, blinkers. I won’t think of you again until I reach South McDowell Street, where I park (yes, I know there’s a right-hand turn in Myers Park to stay on Providence, but if no one else uses their blinkers in that intersection, then I won’t either). 

9:10 a.m.: I’m coming up to my least favorite section of Providence: the Weddington Corners Shopping Center. I slow down to 35 mph, but I’m not happy about it. Recently I’ve been seeing cops monitoring the area though, so better safe than sorry.

9:15 a.m.: There she is! As I leave the shopping center, accelerating to 45 mph as fast as humanly possible, and I’m rewarded with my first glimpse of Uptown. I can see the tips of the Bank of America building, barely rising above the treetops opposite me.

9:25 a.m.: Question: Why is Providence Road always under construction? It shouldn’t be touched. Leave it be as the wild beast it was always meant to be. In other words, I’ve reached my first “Road Work Ahead” sign, which means traffic is coming.

9:40 a.m.: After much sitting idly, I’m finally through the construction traffic, only to be hit with a red light on the pedestrian crosswalk next to the Harris Teeter at the intersection of Queens and Providence as a group of children in blue shirts cross the road. I didn’t even know that stoplight was in use.

9:45 a.m.: I hate having to turn right to stay on Providence, but I get to my parking spot slightly faster than I would if I took an alternate route. Of course, that doesn’t take into account that joining in the long line of cars waiting to turn right takes years off my lifetime. I’ve made it this far using Providence alone so I’m not stopping now, but apparently every other person in Charlotte feels the same way.

9:50 a.m.: Another 35 mph zone. Providence Road was designed to raise blood pressure. 

9:55 a.m. With a left turn onto South McDowell, I bid Providence Road adieu for now. It has, of course, crushed my soul once again. I will be late for work.

See you this afternoon, Providence!


  1. You had to stop so that pedestrians might be able to cross the street? OH THE HUMANITY!

    Guess what, snowflake, those pedestrians were in just as much of a hurry to cross the street and get away from sanctimonious drivers like you.

  2. There is an express bus that goes up Providence every day. Save yourself the hassle and take public transportation. You can relax, read, work and not have to deal w/the traffic.

  3. Yes what @Melissa says above. I simply do not understand why people insist on making that drive when you do not need to. I take the 61X into and out of Uptown every single day. Usually 45-50 minutes each way… I read, text, sleep, whatever. 61X is about to extend to Waverly. Your Providence Road nightmare is 100% self-inflicted.

  4. This literally rips off the same format and topic of your other article about South Charlotte that you always re-post.

  5. It’s been like that for 21 years. Nothing’s changed. Whatever the transportation agency does, as in widening lanes, etc. Nothing will work until South Charlotte slows down its housing availability. Charlotte is on a miserable fast track comparable to Atlanta and I am sad to see this kind of traffic overload.

  6. Ugh, I feel ya girl. I used to drive from Old Providence to the light rail, which was somewhat out of the way, though more peaceful. Now that we have small children, I’m a prisoner to the daycare drop AND providence traffic. Those who are hating on this post should be a bit kinder in terms of understanding not everyone’s life situation can be solved by public transit.

    • Yep! Completely true! For people who are juggling kids, daycare, etc, I get it… Transit is not a great option. But for the writer of this article? Not the case. Transit would be a GREAT alternative for her, and with one less car on the road it might lead to your commute getting better too! My point was she seems to be subjecting herself to needless hassle. But if people would just take the time to investigate the alternatives we might all benefit.

  7. When switching from CharlotteFive to CharlotteObserver you get these headlines
    – teen robs 9 year old’s lemonade stand
    – are there toxic chemicals in our drinking water
    – 9 year old involved in rip current that killed a dude
    – wells fargo admits error that costs hundreds of people their homes
    But yes… please tell us about your little commute that’s “the worst thing in Charlotte.”

  8. The commute is why I chose to not live in Waxhaw. The taxes are not really much cheaper than Mecklenburg so I don’t think that is even a selling point any longer. It seems to be a little silly to write an article about a crappy commute you chose to take on. You must be running low on story ideas. How about writing an article about CMS crappy schools which is why people choose to move to Waxhaw.

  9. Wow people can be pretty mean! How about an article on cyber bullying?

    And the traffic all around the area sucks! Wish they’d widen lanes to adjust to the rising population!!

  10. And Taylor – I write for a living too. Ignore all those comments from people who probably don’t write for a living. You’re article is good! Keep on keeping on and people remember to be kind to one another!


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