FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nov. 19, 2015

 

BUSY THANKSGIVING WEEK ANTICIPATED AT MARYLAND’S TOLL FACILITIES

Use I-95 Express Toll Lanes for reliable travel time

 

BALTIMORE, MD -- As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds motorists to travel during off-peak hours, stay alert and plan ahead to avoid travel delays.  Based on traffic counts from previous years, Wednesday is expected to be the heaviest travel day, with many travelers also expected to hit the roads Tuesday.

The MDTA anticipates a 1% increase in traffic volumes compared to last year’s Thanksgiving holiday period.  Between Tuesday, Nov. 24, and Sunday, Nov. 29, the MDTA expects more than 2.7 million travelers on its highways, bridges and tunnels:

·         Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) – more than 708,000 vehicles.

·         John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – nearly 669,000 vehicles.

·         William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 430,000 vehicles.

·         An additional 939,000 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 figures represent traffic volumes in both directions.

The MDTA offers the following tips to help motorists reach their destinations safely:

·         Travel during off-peak hours to avoid significant delays.  For the I-95 corridor, off-peak hours include:

  •   Tuesday and Wednesday -- before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m.
  •   Thursday through Sunday -- before 9 a.m. and after 9 p.m.

·         New Lower Toll Rates Effective July 1, 2015. Visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator.

·         Game Plan for your travels.

  • For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.  Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTATo view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.  Call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.
  • 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.
  • Makes Traffic Less Ugly. 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.

·         I-95 Now Has a Shortcut - I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) between White Marsh and I-895 in Baltimore. Visit mdta.maryland.gov for toll rates.

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority this holiday weekend.  The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity.  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. Tuesday, Nov. 24, to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 30.

For your SAFETY and the SAFETY of other motorists and emergency personnel:

·         If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.

·         Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-control signals.

·         Devote your full attention to driving – it is illegal to text and 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.

·         Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see.

·         Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.

·         Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.

·         Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.”

·         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.                                    

·         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.

·         Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.

The E-ZPass Maryland Stop-in Centers and Customer Service Center will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 26, and Friday, Nov. 27.  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 their patience.  Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!

 

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