Drivers warned to expect delays downtown today


Baltimore transportation officials are warning motorists to expect significant delays downtown today when, in addition to large crowds coming to see fireworks, the Shriners will be putting on an afternoon parade that will force street closings.

The parade is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at Camden Yards. It will go north on Paca Street, east on Pratt Street and disband at Market Place. The parade is expected to last five hours; periodic breaks will allow traffic and pedestrians to cross Pratt Street at selected intersections.

Pratt Street will be closed between Paca and President streets from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Also, two lanes of northbound Russell Street from Lee Street to Pratt Street will be closed during this time. Parking will be restricted along Baltimore Street from Howard Street to Paca Street and from Hopkins Place to Light Street from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Baltimore's Department of Transportation is urging drivers to seek alternate routes. It also recommends that people coming to the Inner Harbor for the parade, the fireworks or the day's other activities plan to arrive early and stay late.

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