FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 23, 2017
SUMMER 2017 TRAVEL SEASON
KICKS OFF WITH MEMORIAL DAY
Nearly 1.9 Million Motorists Anticipated To Travel Maryland's Toll Facilities
BALTIMORE, MD - As the unofficial start to summer approaches, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds the nearly 1.9 million motorists anticipated to travel MDTA roadways this holiday to plan ahead, travel off-peak and put safety first. This total represents a 2.5% increase in traffic counts compared to last year.
MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, May 26, and Monday, May 29:
- Bay Bridge (US 50/301) - more than 356,000.
- John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) - more than 476,000.
- Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) - more than 474,000.
An additional 593,000 vehicles are projected to travel the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695), the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895), the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40) and the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301) combined. All totals represent traffic in both directions.
The MDTA offers the following travel tips for this holiday weekend and throughout the summer months:
· Travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this weekend include:
- Thursday/Friday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Saturday - before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Sunday/Monday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
· Avoid the Flock!
- For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA. To view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
- Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions. Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras and to sign up for email alerts.
- Get there faster with E-ZPass! Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass "On the Go" retail locations.
- Need to rest or fuel up? Stop by the Maryland or Chesapeake House travel plazas along I-95 in northeast Maryland.
- Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 and I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) in Baltimore during your holiday travels. Visit mdta.maryland.gov for toll rates.
Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA's priority. The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity. Officers will step up seatbelt enforcement during the Click It or Ticket Campaign through June 4. Additional MDTA Police patrols will be on the lookout for impaired drivers at Maryland toll facilities throughout the holiday weekend. Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.
The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles during the holiday weekend. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, May 26, to 10 p.m. Tuesday, May 30.
- I-95 improvement project north of the Fort McHenry Tunnel is underway. Current traffic pattern features no left shoulder and only a small right shoulder on northbound I-95. All lanes are open in both directions.
- I-895 Patapsco River Flats bridge deck and superstructure replacement continues. Current traffic pattern features two-way traffic (one adjacent lane in each direction) 24/7 on I-895 across the Patapsco Flats bridge near Baltimore/Washington Parkway. Motorists should consider I-95 as an alternate route.
For your SAFETY and the SAFETY of other motorists and emergency personnel:
· Devote your full attention to driving - it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
· Buckle Up! Every Seat. Every Time.
· State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency vehicle or tow truck using visual signals. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
· Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.
· Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
· Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.
· Keep your eyes on the road - do not sight-see.
· Do not tailgate - keep a safe following distance.
· Make sure your vehicle is "road ready."
· If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
· When contacting a dispatch center, motorists should be prepared to provide:
- The location of the emergency;
- A call-back telephone number; and
- Details of the incident/disabled vehicle or other circumstances.
The E-ZPass Maryland Customer Service Centers will be closed on Monday, May 29. Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824.
For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.
The MDTA thanks motorists for partnering with us. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!