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Getting to Obama Event in Baltimore on Saturday

If we've made people think twice about heading into central Washington for the main inauguration events on Tuesday, they may be considering the Saturday afternoon gathering in Baltimore as their chance to see the president-elect this weekend.

These are the basics from the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Where: War Memorial Plaza, 101 N. Gay St., Baltimore, MD
Doors Open: 1 p.m.
Event Begins: 4:15 p.m.
Tickets: Open to the public. No tickets necessary.

The thing is, the plaza next to city hall is no where near big enough to accommodate the 100,000 people that planners anticipate. The planners couldn't get a more logical venue, like the stadiums where the Orioles or Ravens play. Instead, they've got this site just north of the Inner Harbor.

So the event is likely to provide a preview of some of the hassles spectators and city residents will go through on Tuesday in Washington. Streets will be jammed. And there will be long waits to get through security around the plaza.

Planning for this event could also follow a pattern we've come to associate with the Washington events: The plans could change.

Count on many street closures near the plaza and lots of traffic. Even though the site is not far from Baltimore's I-395 or from the Jones Falls Expressway, those are unlikely to be good routes on Saturday.

The Maryland Transit Administration has not yet announced any special plans for getting people to the event. There's no MARC train service scheduled for Saturday.

See this list of tips for attendees provided by The Baltimore Sun, and this story by Sun transportation reporter Michael Dresser.

Here's a map pegged to the plaza.

View Larger Map

By Robert Thomson  |  January 15, 2009; 8:07 AM ET
Categories:  Inauguration  
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