Thousands attend Get Motivated seminar

Get Motivated business seminar at the RBC (Photo Jim Schumacher/WTVD)
September 8, 2010 9:19:20 AM PDT
The Get Motivated business seminar kicked off at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the RBC Center in Raleigh, causing traffic backups for morning commuters.

Some drivers say they sat in traffic for at least an hour trying to get to their destinations, and authorities say the same thing could happen this afternoon when the seminar ends at 4:45 p.m..

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With headliners like Robert Schuler and Steve Forbes, nearly 18,000 people were expected to attend. An official count has not been taken yet.

Along with those attendees are thousands of Triangle commuters caught in the traffic flow.

"It was really bad," Marin Nurse explained after learning about a coworker who was stuck in traffic Wednesday morning. "We just had a coworker say he's stuck on 440. He's in a parking lot on 440."

The traffic was reminiscent but not nearly as bad as the gridlock in 2007 -- during the last Get Motivated seminar. That incident left some commuters stuck for more than three hours.

This time around, a heavy police presence and alternate routes offered the promise of a smooth commute.

"I think the community heeded the call, listened to our warnings," RBC General Manager Dave Olsen told ABC11 Eyewitness News.

Olsen says about 5,000 participants arrived early.

Debbie Bradshaw of Raleigh was one of those who got an early start.

"We were hoping to avoid the bad traffic problems -- so hoping when we get out of here it won't be so bad either," Bradshaw said.

Others car pooled but to no avail.

Despite a bird's eye view at the Raleigh police command center, DOT and Wake emergency management was no match for the morning rush hour leaving some to wonder what options there are for large events at the RBC Center.

Can large events be held on the weekend?

"Well, certain events we can't," Olsen said. "It's a business-related event. These are business people. They come from their jobs."

Afternoon motorists should consider changing their routes in order to avoid the traffic. The seminar wraps up at 4:45 p.m.


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