Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Kevin answers the question- What's it like to drive into downtown Balto. in the morning rush?

We know some people will be staying with friends in areas outside the city. Those of us who are locals will also be commuting in so I asked Kevin V. what it's like to commute in weekday mornings:

It takes me about an hour to walk out my front door (in Silver Spring (Maryland DC Suburb - ed.)), get in the car, drive to the parking garage on Baltimore and Russell streets (the latter is what 395 becomes when one gets in town), get out of the car, walk downstairs, walk to work, take the elevator to my floor, and walk into the library. I leave at about 8 AM. with a 10 minute variance, and still get in about the same time. Allowing for changes in route this should be quite similar if I were to walk to the conference site. At lunch it takes about 15 minutes to make the trip door to door on foot. Coming from the North, one is better advised to take 83 in. 95 can be quite congested from the tunnel. The Marc train from DC will stop at Camden yards, from which it is about 20 minutes walk to the site. I don't usually stop anywhere since the distance to a train station nearly equals getting to town. Add the flexibility of departure and an 'early bird' parking rate and, alas it becomes competitive with the more environmentally responsible alternative. That said, it is a wise idea not to try to get too close to the inner harbor. Traffic in the morning is extremely heavy and the drivers become quite aggressive as one gets closer. The other bit that is worth noting is that parking in Baltimore is a challenge any time. In their infinite wisdom parking close to the inner harbor is limited and expensive. Move into town a couple blocks and life is much easier in this respect. This is for the early morning hours. IF one comes in after about 10 AM it is much easier sailing and takes about 45 minutes v. the hour mentioned earlier. Going out: The Lombard to 395 route is heavy during the 'rush hour' which is 4:30 to 6 pm. One can go a little further west on Lombard and take Greene street out at about twice the rate. The Camden yards commuter train has limited scheduling. The train that runs from Penn station in Baltimore runs more frequently, but one needs to get up there. A difficult trade-off. The B-W parkway can work sometimes. It is a two lane highway and bunches inside the Baltimore beltway, but could be a reasonable alternative.

Hope that helps.

Kevin

It does help! Thanks, Kevin. BTW- the B-W parkway (aka 295) is the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. It's a two lane limited access highway with no trucks allow on most parts. I've marked the train stations on the Wayfaring Map (points 26 & 27).

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