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A final (traffic-delayed) note from the Maryland Live! opening

When I typed the final word and hit send on my last blog post from the Maryland Live! opening last night, I was not prepared for what awaited me outside.

After 11 p.m., a line still wrapped down one side of the state’s newest casino and trailed off to the right down the back side of the Arundel Mills mall.

Walking to my car — in the parking lot across from Burlington Coat Factory — was like swimming upstream, as hundreds still power-walked toward the casino, along what would normally be a public roadway.

Out in the parking lot, desperate, would-be casino-goers played the same stalking game with people walking to their cars that I played when living on campus at my parking-deprived undergraduate alma mater.

Then there was the traffic.

Those of us trying to leave the Arundel Mills area no doubt had it easier than those who were still sitting on jammed-up Route 100’s eastbound lanes.

But it still took more than an hour to get to my East Baltimore home.

Not that any of this should have been unexpected. The State Highway Administration warned motorists of high traffic volume on both Route 100 and Route 295. Traffic is further complicated by a ramp connecting 295 to Arundel Mills Boulevard, which is closed for construction and is not expected to open until Monday.

How long will the traffic troubles last? State highways warn of heavy traffic through the weekend, but Stephen L. Martino, director of the Maryland State Lottery Agency, said the first several months of a casino’s operation tend to be particularly strong, as the curious public streams in.

We’ll see if The Cordish Cos.’ $10 million in roadway improvements will be enough.

2 comments

  1. Oh, goodness. I have to admit, I was tempted to check the scene out on Opening Night, since I don’t live too far away. Glad I was able to resist the impulse!

  2. Don’t believe the hype. There were more people outside then inside. I believe casino management should have allowed people to go inside the casino upon arrival rather than stand outside. I was very dissappointed to have stood outside for more than 30 minutes; then go inside and find rows of empty slot machines and no lines. I was there on Friday evening from 6 pm until midnight and the scene was the same. I believe this was done as a publicity stunt but it left a bad taste in my mouth. People who arrived with me were complaining about the same thing, some of us have medical problems and standing in the heat unneccessarily was punishment. No one asked or even cared whether we were elderly or bothered by the heat…it was all about the hype.