BALTIMORE (WJZ) — With crews still working to fix the issues stemmed from a broken water main last week, downtown traffic is promised to be extremely slow and all-around terrible with Artscape and the Orioles home series happening all weekend.

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation is advising drivers that heavy traffic volumes are expected specifically Wednesday as baseball fans head downtown for the Orioles home game at Camden Yards.

Lanes at Pratt and Howard have been closed since last Monday and traffic around the city has been a headache ever since.

“It’s horrible,” John Garret, of Baltimore, said. “It takes at least an hour to get just to downtown.”

Organizers said that they are not letting road-blocks — or the heatwave — slow them down.

“We’re not concerned, we are prepared,” Kathy Hornig, of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, said. “We’ve brought some additional resources to help beat the heat and to make sure that festival-goers have a safe and pleasant experience.

Heavy traffic is expected between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. downtown.

“We’re trying to do the best we can to manage the special events and to get this moving forward while being safe,” David McMillian, of the Office of Emergency Management, said.

Commuters are encouraged to use alternative modes of transportation such as MTA buses, Light Rail, the Metro subway system or Charm City circulator to access the downtown area.

The Hippodrome Theatre is also reminding attendees to expect traffic to be slow in and around areas impacted by Artscape.They also recommend drivers use routes that avoid the festival completely.

“Please be sure to allow extra time to arrive for HAMILTON as the show starts promptly at the time on your ticket. Latecomers will be subject to a seating hold. We look forward to seeing you soon!” said Zach Schoner, ticketing manager.

Street closures will be in effect for Artscape 2019 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 19-21.

The following streets will be closed at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, July 15, 2019 through 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, 2019:

  • Cathedral Street between Mount Royal Avenue and Preston Street (Local traffic to the Cathedral Street Garage will be maintained. A temporary two-way traffic pattern will be implemented along this portion of Cathedral Street for garage access)
  • Royal Avenue between Dolphin and St. Paul Streets. The exit ramp from the Jones Falls Expressway to Mount Royal Avenue will also be closed (Local traffic along Mt. Royal Avenue from North Avenue to Dolphin Street will be maintained)
  • Oliver Street between Mt. Royal and Maryland Avenues (Local traffic to the Fitzgerald Garage will be maintained)
  • Preston Street between Cathedral and N. Howard Streets
  • Preston Street between Maryland Avenue and Cathedral Street (Local traffic to the Symphony Center Garage will be maintained)

The following streets will be closed at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 through 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23, 2019:

  • Charles Street between Preston Street and North Avenue. The I-83 ENTRANCE RAMP WILL ALSO CLOSE AT THIS TIME; however, a special traffic chute will be implemented intermittently along Penn Drive for access to the I-83 ramp (see below). Local access will be maintained along Charles Street between Biddle and Preston Streets.
  • Lafayette Avenue between Maryland Avenue and St. Paul Street (Local access to the gas station and Schuler School will be maintained)
  • Lanvale Street between Maryland Avenue and Lovegrove Street (access to the Amtrak parking lot will be maintained)

Special Penn Drive Traffic Chute:
Once Charles Street closes, a special traffic chute will be created using traffic cones during non-festival hours to allow vehicles from Penn Drive to gain access to the I-83 ramp. Right turns onto Charles Street will still be restricted during these times. The special Penn Drive traffic chute will be open:

  • Wednesday, July 17 from 12:00 a.m. to Friday, July 19 at 8:00 a.m.
  • Saturday, July 20 from 12:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Sunday, July 21 from 12:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Monday, July 22 from 12:00 a.m. to Tuesday, July 23 at 4:00 p.m.

The following streets will be closed at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 19, 2019 through 6:00 a.m. on Monday, July 22, 2019

  • Maryland Avenue between Preston Street and North Avenue, including the bike lane (Local traffic to the Fitzgerald Garage will be maintained. A temporary two-way traffic pattern will be implemented along Maryland Avenue from Oliver Street to North Avenue for garage access)
  • Falls Road between Lafayette and Maryland Avenues (A temporary two-way traffic pattern will be implemented along the 100 block of W. Lafayette Avenue to allow access to city yards and local businesses)
  • North Avenue curb lane between Charles and St. Paul Streets
  • Park Avenue/Biddle Street between Howard and Cathedral Streets (behind the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. A temporary two-way traffic pattern will be implemented along Park Avenue for access to the Symphony Center Garage)

Special Traffic Pattern along Maryland Avenue for Sunday morning church services:

On Sunday, July 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., Maryland Avenue will become a two-way traffic pattern from Preston Street to Mt. Royal Avenue for morning church services.

People trying to get to the church should follow St. Paul Street to Preston Street and then turn the opposite way onto Maryland Avenue to the parking lot.

Artscape patrons and those going downtown are encouraged to use public transportation including mass transit, park and ride facilities and the Charm City Circulator.

Artscape patrons can catch the Metro SubwayLink to the State Center Station, which is only two blocks away from the festivities.

The MDOT MTA Light RailLink Service has been temporarily suspended between the North Avenue and Camden Yards stations because of safety concerns.

A shuttle bus bridge will be running between those stations to accommodate light rail passengers at that time.

You can also visit the following websites for more information:

Artscape:  http://www.artscape.org/

Baltimore City road closures:  transportation.baltimorecity.gov  

Light Rail and mass transit options:  mta.maryland.gov.

Ava-joye Burnett

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