Thursday, July 19, 2007

Exit 8A - I-895 North (to Baltimore)

I hate 895!!! Remember when I said I sometimes just hate Druid Hill Park? Well, I hate 895 all the time! My headache from navigating it tonight bears that out.

I decided to look for something to eat. I don't know why I thought there was an exit between the Harbor Tunnel toll plaza and the southern terminus of 895. I guess all those years I never noticed that little white strip under the off-ramp sign that says "NO EXIT BEFORE TOLL" (didn't know either? Just look at the picture). Oh, there's an exit alright - right past the toll plaza. This is the Childs Street exit. But I'll get to this in a sec.

What gave me a real headache was the traffic I got stuck in after I passed Lansdowne - nope, no off ramp - and the big swamp thereafter - nope, still no off ramp. I then saw an endless sea of brake lights. It was about 8:00 pm and there were brake lights. Endless brake lights. I did have NPR's News and Notes show to keep me company as I seethed, with only the comfort that things could be worse - I could be stuck in prison due to mandatory minimum sentencing laws (making me even angrier, albeit for the young men in the story). Not that I did anything to earn that, mind you, just putting things in perspective.

Four miles and 30 minutes later, I reach the fucking toll plaza (I think that's the best way to describe it). At least I had EZ Pass - but wait! All the EZ Pass-only lanes are closed! So I have to stay stuck behind all the tractor trailers who have to pay untold sums of cash before getting through the toll plaza. And as I mentioned earlier, you have to pay the toll just to take the only off ramp between the Beltway and the Harbor Tunnel. Rrrgh.

I finally navigated Childs St, making my way back to I-95, but not without accidentally taking a detour that took me past O'Bradys Crab House (map) and the 895 Grill and Carry-Out (map). But I was tired, I didn't feel like stopping after finally being able to move faster than 8 miles an hour. So I went home.

Mind you, four miles is not that close to the Beltway. So if you're looking for food around the southwest part of the Beltway, avoid Exit 8A, and just head for Linthicum or Lansdowne. And if you're headed south on 895, just wait till you get to the Beltway. And if you happen to have to go north on 895 - which you inevitably will at some point - just bring something to snack on. It's gonna be a looooong drive.

Places to look up later:

895 Grill and Carry-Out - 101 Chesapeake Ave
, Brooklyn, MD 21225; Phone: (410) 354-1968

O'Brady's Crab House - 3432 S. Hanover St., Brooklyn, MD 21225; Phone: (410) 355-9040

Hmmm. Are those brake lights? My, I do believe they are!


Fairfax said...

gotta get a map to figure out this one...

i left a artscape message for you after your comments.

Summer said...

they take the tunnel down to 1 lane in each direction (shared tube) every week night around 7:30-7:45ish. To do this, they stop traffic in both directions so they can set up the cones. Get stuck in that and you will indeed be there an hour just staring at brake lights. ALWAYS take 95 after 7:15 pm!!! ALWAYS!!! (I commute this route every day!)

anonymouscoworker said...

This is exactly what I was describing here.

Though you describe it quicker and with less profanity. :)

John said...

ACW: And they say we're only the 5th most congested city in America! Your entry made me laugh :D

Summer: Good advice, thanks for the tip!

Fairfax: Thanks