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Navigating your way through a busy Boston evening

Posted by Nichole Davis  October 30, 2013 01:05 PM

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When Boston gets busy, we don't mess around.

Not only is some sort of baseball game happening today (I kid, I kid) ... but President Obama will be coming into town to speak about the Affordable Care Act. But hold on -- that's not all -- Drake will be performing tonight at the TD Garden. All of this, combined, should make for a crazy evening traffic-wise -- especially if the weather continues to be drizzly and messy. However, it could likely not be as bad as you would think. Let's tackle these events one by one:

President Obama

The good news is that the President is not expected to attend the World Series game. That could have made the situation that much more complicated -- especially if he were going to be rooting for Saint Louis.

The bad news is that traffic downtown is going to have to deal with some snags right in the middle of rush hour. Generally, Mr. Obama's arrival in Boston follows the same plan to get him into and out of the airport area each time he's here. The motorcade doesn't dally, so he'll be to his destination quickly. Expect closures of the Ted Williams Tunnel (at least westbound) sometime in the 3:00 hour, but only for a few minutes. Then expect rolling closures as they make their way from the Pike to Faneuil Hall, which isn't too far (likely through the O'Neill Tunnel northbound to the Government Center exit, and then on surface streets).

He's also scheduled to be at a fundraiser this evening as well -- sometime around 5:30-- at the home of his former ambassador to Spain in Weston. That, of course, means the Pike westbound will then be shut down for a rolling roadblock as he makes his way from the downtown out to the Weston tolls. He is scheduled to take off from Logan Airport sometime near the 7:00 mark, but as White House Dossier reports:

According to the Globe, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said Obama informed him that he “hopes” to leave the city by 7 pm but warned that he may be running late. The president is not known for his promptness. “We informed the White House that we have a baseball game coming up,” Menino joked.

Expect the Pike to be shut down again for a rolling roadblock between 6:30 and 7:30 heading eastbound toward the airport. That's going to be tough considering we've, for the past few weeks, seen the Pike eastbound through the Ted Williams completely jammed.

Drake concert

Drake will be performing tonight at the TD Garden. Expect significant delays downtown in the Government Center, West End and North End neighborhoods -- and if you were planning on parking around the Garden, you might want to re-think that -- details below.

World Series Game 6

All right, here's the big one -- Kenmore Square is going to be tough to navigate. The good news here (yes, there is good news) is that the game is not scheduled to begin until after rush hour. We haven't seen much Fenway traffic during rush hour over the past week or so during Game 1 or 2, so I'm not expecting to see THAT much more today ... but there's always the possibility that people will want to get there earlier to get a good spot in whatever watering hole they choose.

I expect that traffic will really start to ramp up in the 6:00 hour or so. One big piece of information that will help if you're thinking about getting out of town early: the HOV lane on the Expressway southbound is opening up early -- at 2:00. That should hopefully help ease a bit of the congestion.

State Police have informed us that they will be shutting down exits to the Kenmore area after the sixth inning of the game from Storrow Drive, Landmark Center (Park Drive), and Charlesgate East and West. If you're planning on walking over after parking elsewhere, that's not a bad idea -- but make sure you get there before the seventh inning, as there will be no access to pedestrians after that.

The MBTA is going to be extending service on all subway and bus lines around the Fenway Park area until all fans needing to depart have been able to leave. Also, there will be some changes to the commuter rail schedules:

The last trains on the Needham, Fairmount, Newburyport, Greenbush, Middleborough/Lakeville and Kingston/Plymouth lines will depart at their regularly scheduled times.

The Rockport, Fitchburg, Franklin, Haverhill, Lowell and Providence lines will be held about 45 minutes after the end of the game, but will not stay around any later than 1:00 AM. So, if you need to catch a train, make sure you make it to North or South Stations before 1:00 or else you're out of luck.

The Framingham/Worcester line's last train of the night will be leaving at the regularly scheduled time, but there will be an extra train starting at Yawkey Way which will leave about 15 minutes after the last out of the game -- so if you want to catch that, you'll have to hustle.

Here's a list of parking restrictions around the city, released earlier today. These will take effect at 4:00 this afternoon and be in effect until 2:00 Thursday morning:

Kenmore Square/Fenway:

  • Bay State Road from Beacon Street to Granby Street

  • Beacon Street from Kenmore Square to Park Drive

  • Boylston Street from Mass. Ave to Park Drive

  • Brookline Avenue from Beacon Street to Park Drive

  • Burlington Street from Brookline Avenue to the end

  • Commonwealth Avenue from Mass. Ave to the BU Bridge

  • Deerfield Street from Commonwealth Avenue to Bay State Road

  • Ipswich Street from Boylston Street at Hemenway to the Sunoco gas station

  • Jersey Street from Boylston Street to Peterborough Street

  • All of Kenmore Square

  • Kilmarnock Street from Van Ness Street to Peterborough Street

  • Lansdowne Street from Brookline Avenue to Boylston Street

  • Newbury Street from Beacon Street to Charlesgate West

  • Raleigh Street from Bay State Road to Commonwealth Avenue

  • Van Ness Street from Ipswich Street to Kilmarnock STreet

  • Yawkey Way from Boylston Street to Brookline Avenue

Northeastern area:

  • Fullerton Street from Brookline Avenue to the end

  • Overland Street from Brookline Avenue to the end

  • Peterborough Street to and from Park Drive

  • Gainsborough Street from Huntington Avenue to Hemenway Street

  • Hemenway Street from Boylston Street to Forsyth Way

  • Symphony Road from Saint Stephens Street to Hemenway Street

  • Saint Stephens Street from Westland Avenue to Forsyth Way

  • Opera Place from Huntington Avenue to Saint Stephens Street

  • Westland Avenue from Hemenway Street to Mass. Ave

  • Forsyth Street from Huntington Avenue to Hemenway Street

  • Forsyth Way from Huntington Avenue to the Fenway

Allston/Brighton:

  • Beacon Street from Chestnut Hill Avenue to Ayr Road

  • Brighton Avenue from Chester Street to Allston Street

  • Cleveland Circle by Cassidy Playground and Sutherland Road

  • Harvard Avenue from Commonwealth Avenue to Cambridge Street

Downtown:

  • Blackstone Street from Hanover Street to North Street

  • Congress Street from New Chardon Street to State Street

  • North Street from Surface Road to Congress Street

  • Union Street from North Street to Hanover Street

  • Clinton Street from North Street to Surface Road

  • State Street from Surface Road to Washington Street

  • Hanover Street from Congress Street to Surface Road

  • Causeway Street from Merrimac Street to North Washington Street

  • Canal Street from New Chardon Street to Causeway Street

  • Friend Street from New Chardon Street to Causeway Street

  • Portland Street from New Chardon Street to Causeway Street

  • Lancaster Street from Merrimac Street to Causeway Street

  • Merrimac Street from New Chardon Street to Causeway Street

  • Beverly Street from Causeway Street to North Washington Street

  • Haverhill Street from Rip Valenti Way to Causeway Street

  • Rip Valenti Way from North Washington Street to Merrimac Street

Good luck. Drive safely -- and consider public transport!

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Nichole Davis is a Boston-based traffic reporter and news anchor. She’s been seen and heard on television and radio airwaves across New England since 2003, providing commuters with all the More »

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