Public transit best option for Opening Day, city says

Fans attending the Baltimore Orioles' home opener Friday should bring their peanuts and Cracker Jack -- and their MTA passes, the city's Department of Transportation recommends.

The Opening Day game falls on a weekday, so area garages will be packed with commuter vehicles, according to the agency. The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will also hold two performances tonight at the 1st Mariner Arena, adding further congestion.

Any ticket holders who do not also have a parking permit for stadium lots should use public transportation, such as the orange Charm City Circulator route that connects Hollins Market to Harbor East.

Parking control will enforce all posted restrictions in neighborhoods, so fans who drive should leave their cars in garages north of the stadiums, transportation officials recommend. Violators parked in neighborhoods will be subject to ticketing and towing.

The following streets will have parking restrictions:

• North side of Pratt Street from Greene to Paca streets;

• South side of Pratt Street from Emory to Paca streets;

• East side of Greene Street from Lombard Street to Washington Boulevard;

• West side of Greene Street from Lombard to Pratt streets;

• North side of Conway Street from Charles to Sharp streets;

• North side of Bayard Street from Warner to Russell streets.

The department also warned drivers to watch for pedestrians before and after the game. The following road closures will be in effect:

• Eutaw Street from Camden to Pratt streets;

• Camden Street from Paca to Howard streets;

• Washington Boulevard from Paca to Greene streets;

• The Hamburg Street bridge from Russell to Leadenhall streets.

Weather-wise, fans attending the game can leave their umbrellas at home but might want to pack a light jacket, said Nikole Listemaa, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service's office in Sterling, Va.

"There really isn't any chance of precipitation tonight," she said. "It's just going to be considerably cooler than it has been in the last couple of days."

The day should be partly to mostly sunny, with highs around 60 degrees, Listemaa said. However, winds are going to be 15 to 20 mph, with stronger gusts.

"It's going to feel a bit cooler than what it is," she said.

Overnight temperatures will drop, with lows around the mid-30s in the suburbs, and about 40 degrees in Baltimore, she said.

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