Running festival to alter traffic

Many roads and bus routes in Baltimore will be affected tomorrow

October 13, 2006

Numerous roads throughout Baltimore will be closed or partially closed for tomorrow's Under Armour Running Festival - which includes a marathon that begins and ends downtown but will take runners on a tour through much of the city.

Maryland Transit Administration officials are warning that riders on 20 bus routes will be affected, as route diversions and bus stop changes are planned.

The 26.2-mile race starts at 8 a.m. at Paca and Pratt streets. Temporary lane closures will be in place from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. as runners make their way around the course that includes downtown, around Druid Hill Park, East Baltimore, Patterson Park, the waterfront along Fells Point and the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill and Fort McHenry.

In addition to the more than 60 streets on which motorists can expect delays, several more will be closed to through traffic altogether: Russell Street from Lee to Camden streets from 6 a.m. to noon.; lower level of St. Paul Street to Saratoga Street from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.; both sides of Light Street from Pratt street to Warren Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to noon; Eastbound Key Highway from 8:30 a.m. to 10:40 a.m.; westbound Key Highway from 9 a.m. to noon; and both sides of Eastern Avenue from Patterson to Linwood avenues from 10:45 a.m. to noon.

Traffic along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will be open in both directions during the race. There also may be delays along Boston Street, according to city transportation officials.

For mass transit users, the state agency is urging riders to use the Metro subway or Light Rail where they can. But in cases where the rails don't serve their destinations, MTA customers will have to cope as best they can.

The race will affect bus routes that travel though Central Baltimore: 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 35, 40, 64, 91 and 98.

The disruption will be severe on the heavily traveled No. 8 route, which will terminate at Gay and Ensor streets instead of continuing to the University of Maryland Transit Center downtown. In addition, Route No. 3 service will be interrupted between 27th Street and Argonne Drive.

The express No. 40 route, which runs from Security Square Mall to the Eastpoint Park and Ride, will take a detour through the Fort McHenry Tunnel to bypass downtown and much of East Baltimore.

The MTA is urging customers to call 410-539-5000, or 1-866-RIDE-MTA (743-3682), for information on specific routes. Details are available at www.mtamaryland.com.

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