Drivers get penalty kick as soccer comes to city
The Friday evening rush hour is expected to be an ordeal for motorists attempting to escape downtown as big-time soccer comes to M&T Bank Stadium.
The Maryland Transportation Authority warned that a sellout crowd of 72,000 is expected to attend the World Football Challenge - not the kind of football the Ravens play. The parking lots open at 4 p.m. and the stadium gates at 6:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. event -- perfectly times to tie traffic on Interstate 395, parts Interstate 95 and Russell Street into knots.
The authority, predicting congestion, is urging motorists who aren't going to the game to use alternate routes -- not that there are many good choices for folks attempting to head south on Interstate 95 or Russell Street. (Getting There readers can share my backdoor route of U.S. 40 west to Hilton Street south, to Wilkens Street west to Caton Avenue south and then connecting with southbound I-95.)
The authority also notes that it would be a good day to use light rail to get into and out of downtown. That's not a bad recommendation. If you're not familiar with the light rail system, and you live south of town, try parking at North Linthicum and catching a train from there. It's right off the Beltway at Camp Meade Road, and it's well-signed.
Of course, leaving work about 3 p.m. on a Friday is not at all uncommon -- as I've found from calling many government offices at that time.