Concert: Rolling at rush hour

October 23, 1997|By Candus Thomson | Candus Thomson,SUN STAFF Sun pop music critic J.D. Considine contributed to this article.

Adding 50,000 Rolling Stones fans to a rush hour rated the second worst in the nation is an idea whose time has come.

State transportation officials and police say there's a right way and a wrong way to get from the Baltimore area to Jack Kent Cooke Stadium tonight.

Whatever you do, don't take Exit 17B (Route 202 west) off the Washington Beltway.

"It's the first exit people from the north will come to, and their natural urge will be to use it," says State Police Lt. Suzanne Jordan. "If it starts backing up onto the Beltway, we will shut the ramp down and force people to use other alternatives."

Although show time is set for 8 p.m., when opening act Sheryl Crow takes the stage, stadium officials hope to ease the pre-concert crush by opening parking lots at 5 p.m. The stadium itself will admit ticket holders starting at 6: 30 p.m.

Spokesman Mike McCall expects at least a few of the expected 52,000-54,000 fans to have tailgate parties before the show.

Though the stadium is next to USAirways Arena, don't plan to park in arena lots. The Washington International Equestrian Show is being held at the arena this week.

To ensure you are inside the stadium when the Stones step on stage and not stewing in traffic, state officials suggest:

* Use Exits 16 (Stadium Drive) and 15A and B (Central Avenue). Signs will be posted at ramps marking the routes to the stadium.

* Try the commuter lots at the Landover, Brightseat and Addison Road Metro stations and take shuttle buses to the concert.

* Tune your radio to 1290 AM for State Highway Administration traffic updates.

* Obey the directions on the variable message signs.

* Have exact change ($10) ready at the parking lot, which has room for 23,000 cars.

* Drive by scalpers on Landover Road. Stopping will gum up traffic, and police are targeting that corridor.

* Don't count on using your cell phone. It is likely that channels will be jammed.

Pub Date: 10/23/97

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