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Trump visit to Baltimore could cause traffic trouble with Orioles at home, thousands expected at convention

President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference in Washington on Tuesday. He plans to visit Baltimore on Thursday for a closed-door speech to Congressional Republicans, who are holding a retreat at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel in Harbor East.
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at the 2019 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference in Washington on Tuesday. He plans to visit Baltimore on Thursday for a closed-door speech to Congressional Republicans, who are holding a retreat at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel in Harbor East. (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President Donald Trump is coming to Baltimore Thursday, and he might mess up your evening commute.

The White House and city officials have not released any information about the exact timing of Trump’s visit, or which roads might be affected by his motorcade.

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The city’s Department of Transportation and the Baltimore Police Department referred requests for information to each other, with each saying the other agency would have information about road closures. Neither provided any information.

But Trump is expected to deliver a dinnertime speech to the Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives, who are holding a multi-day retreat at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel in Harbor East.

That means the presidential visit — including protesters who plan to “welcome” Trump to the city — has the potential to snarl evening rush hour traffic in what would be just the latest challenge for drivers downtown. On Monday, vehicles were gridlocked for hours after several blocks were evacuated because a van carrying a large amount of fuel was discovered in a parking garage downtown.

A protest against Trump is planned for 4 p.m. Thursday at the Christopher Columbus statue at Eastern Avenue and South President Street, about a block north of the hotel. Several local activist groups are planning the protest against “racism, white supremacy, war, bigotry and climate change,” according to organizers. It is one of a series of events planned for during the conference under the umbrella of the Baltimore Welcoming Committee.

Trump’s visit and the reaction to it coincides with two other events that will involve thousands of people: a 7:05 p.m. Orioles game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and the Natural Products Expo East conference at the Baltimore Convention Center, with more than 20,000 attendees.

A green-and-white Marine helicopter with “United States of America” lettering — like those used by the president and vice president — flew Tuesday over Port Covington in South Baltimore. The helicopter touched down and took off several times from a field along East Cromwell Street near an Under Armour building, indicating preparations for the president’s visit were underway.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a “notice to airmen” advising pilots of restrictions in the airspace over Baltimore on Thursday due to “VIP movement” between 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Two people who won’t be trying to see Trump are Democratic Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Their spokesmen said they don’t plan to attend the speech.

Baltimore Sun reporter Ian Duncan contributed to this article.

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