FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 19, 2015
SUMMER 2015 TRAVEL SEASON
KICKS OFF WITH MEMORIAL DAY
More Than 1.8 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 more than 1.8 million motorists anticipated to travel MDTA roadways this holiday - plan ahead; travel off-peak; and Drive Smart. Arrive Safe. This total represents a 4% increase in traffic counts compared to last year.
MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, May 22, and Monday, May 25:
- Bay Bridge (US 50/301) - more than 360,500.
- John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) - more than 466,000.
- Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) - more than 479,500.
An additional 572,500 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 - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Friday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Saturday - before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Sunday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Memorial Day Monday - before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
· Don't Wing It. Plan Ahead!
- Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions.
- Visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for email alerts.
- Follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA and facebook.com/TheMDTA.
- Ease your travel with E-ZPass. Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll on-line and for a list of E-ZPass "On the Go" retail locations.
- Know Before You Go - call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information. To view traffic cameras on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
- For toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator.
· I-95 Now Has a Shortcut - I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) now open between White Marsh and I-895 in Baltimore.
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 from May 18 through May 31. The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles. In addition, the MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures at its facilities from 5 a.m. Friday, May 22, to 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 26.
I-95 South of Fort McHenry Tunnel: A major rehabilitation project is underway on I-95 in Baltimore City. Expect reduced lane widths, lane shifts and split traffic lanes along I-95 between the Fort McHenry Tunnel and Caton Avenue (Exit 50). Current traffic patterns and project details are available at i95bmore.com or use #i95bmore on Twitter. Motorists should consider the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) or the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) if their destinations are north or south of Baltimore.
Please be aware of the new lane striping on eastbound US 50 after the Bay Bridge toll plaza. The new line striping will guide drivers from the individual lanes in the toll plaza to the eastbound lanes across the bridge.
For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:
- Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.
- Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-use control signals.
- Devote your full attention to driving - it is illegal to text or use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
- State law requires that every passenger in a moving vehicle be secured with a seat belt or child safety restraint.
- Do not tailgate - keep a safe following distance.
- Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
- Keep your eyes on the road - do not sight-see.
- Make sure your vehicle is "road ready."
- If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
- 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.
In accordance with the State's budget-reduction plan, MDTA offices will be closed on Friday, May 22, including the
E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers and Customer Service Center. Visit ezpassmd.com or use the automated system at 1-888-321-6824 to sign up for E-ZPass, update account information or make payments via credit card. Offices will reopen on Tuesday, May 26.
For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.
The MDTA thanks motorists for their patience. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!