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Slow Going Before The Need For Speed: Road Closures For The Grand Prix Of Baltimore

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Downtown commuters prepare to change habits starting Monday evening. There will be road closures all week in preparation for the Grand Prix of Baltimore.

Pat Warren has more on what to expect.

When you hear the roar of the engines and the flare of the car horns, you’ll know the Grand Prix of Baltimore has met downtown traffic.

Before the racers rev their engines, an untold number of commuters will be cooling their jets in traffic created by street closings starting next week. So far, there’s little inconvenience.

“I come to work down here every day. And if anything, it’s working out smoothly,” a commuter said.

“Not a bit, not really. It’s a lot better as the years go on,” said another driver.

“It’s been pretty easy. But I imagine if it was quitting time, it would be,” another man said.

Race organizers have worked to reduce the collateral damage constructing a racetrack does to downtown traffic.

“Pratt Street’s going to be 180 miles an hour speed limit come Friday morning, so we do have to make a lot of preparations. We’ve left a lot of gaps like this one here. We’re standing on Eutaw Street,” said Tim Mayer, Grand Prix of Baltimore.

The closings start Monday. The website Gptraffic.com tells you what you need to know.

“The track area in red. The brown are the streets that are going to be the most congested. That’s Lombard Street, Martin Luther King, Russell Street and 395,” said Frank Murphy, Md. Department of Transportation.

Murphy says the closings will vary leading up to the race.

“Hopefully now that we’ve had this for two years in a row, people have kind of learned the patterns as we have and that there are ways you can avoid the congested areas,” he said.

And some aren’t bothered by it at all.

“Not at all. Not at all because I love it. I do,” a man said.

The first closing is Sharp Street at the Convention Center on Monday evening.

For a full list of road closures for the Grand Prix of Baltimore, click here.

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