Street closures, parking restrictions and special traffic patterns have been announced for the 118th Preakness tomorrow. Motorists are advised to leave early and use buses, car pools and shuttle services to minimize delay.
Getting to Pimlico (I-695): Motorists may get to Pimlico Race Course from the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) via Park Heights Avenue (Exit 21), Reisterstown Road (Exit 20) or Liberty Road (exit 18).
Jones Falls Expressway (I-83): The access ramp from the southbound JFX to eastbound Northern Parkway will be closed Preakness Day. Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the access ramp to westbound Northern Parkway from southbound I-83 (JFX) will be closed as well; motorists will be redirected to the Cold Spring Lane exits. All other access ramps to and from the race course via Northern Parkway are open.
Lane reversals (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.): Northern Parkway -- four lanes eastbound, Preakness Way to the Jones Falls Expressway. Belvedere Avenue -- two lanes eastbound Pimlico Road to Northern Parkway.
Special traffic patterns: Mount Washington and other areas near Pimlico Race Course have different patterns.
Parking restrictions: No stopping between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Northern Parkway from Reisterstown Road to Winner Avenue (south side). Cars may not park at all on Northern Parkway (Jones Falls Expressway to Park Heights Avenue on north side and Winner Avenue to Rogers Avenue on south side). Belvedere Avenue (Park Heights Avenue to Northern Parkway on both sides). Rogers Avenue (Northern Parkway to Park Heights Avenue on both sides). Hayward Avenue (Winner Avenue to Park Heights Avenue on both sides). Winner Avenue (Northern Parkway to Hayward Avenue on both sides).
Leaving the race course: Motorists may access I-695 from Park ** Heights Avenue, Reisterstown Road, Greenspring Avenue, Liberty Road and northbound I-83.
Closures: Cylburn Avenue will be closed from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. between Northern Parkway and Greenspring Avenue. Northern Parkway will be closed to westbound traffic between Falls Road and the race course starting at 5:30 p.m.
One way (6 a.m. to 8 p.m.): Rogers Avenue is one way westbound from Woodcrest Avenue to Winner Avenue.
Enforcement: Vehicles parked in violation will be towed as follows -- vehicles parked east of Pimlico Road will be towed to Cylburn Avenue between Northern Parkway and Greenspring Avenue; vehicles parked west of Pimlico Road will be towed to Wabash Avenue north of Northern Parkway.
The run to Pimlico for the Preakness doesn't have to be by car. The Metro, light rail and MTA bus systems are gearing up to handle thousands of racing fans this Saturday who are planning to attend the Triple Crown event.
Bus Service: The Mass Transit Administration will be offering park-and-ride bus service directly to the racetrack. The park-and-ride buses will be running from parking lots at Providence Road and Beltway Exit 28, Timonium on Deereco Road, and from Poly Western High School on Cold Spring Lane. The buses begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m. Return trips start 15 minutes after the last race. The one-way cost is $2 from Providence Road and Timonium, and $1.25 from Poly Western. Six regular bus routes also service the track, the Numbers 1, 27, 44, 91, M-3, and M-5.
Light rail: Trains will be running every 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and riders can transfer at the Cold Spring station to an express bus to Pimlico. Riders can purchase a one-way ticket with a transfer for $1.35. The light rail system is particularly recommended for racing fans coming from Anne Arundel County, where four new rail stops opened last month.
Metro: Service will run from 8 a.m. to midnight with shuttle buses available from the Rogers Avenue station to Pimlico. One-way fares with transfers range from $1.95 at Owings Mills to $1.35 inside the city. MTA officials are reminding subway patrons that three stations, Reisterstown Plaza, Old Court, and State Center, close at 8 p.m. on Saturdays. People are also permitted to park at the 850-space Rogers Avenue Metro lot and take the shuttle bus.
More MTA information: 539-5000.