FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 21, 2012 

Contact: John Sales
410-537-1017

SUMMER 2012 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 holiday’s traffic projections are consistent with last year’s traffic volumes.

MDTA officials anticipate the following number of vehicles to travel its toll facilities between Friday, May 25, and Monday, May 28:

  • William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301) – more than 358,000.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95) – more than 435,500.
  • Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95, I-395) – more than 478,500.

An additional 543,000 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 beach destinations. 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 www.baybridge.com to view live traffic cameras at the Bay Bridge and to sign up for traffic and email alerts.
    • Visit facebook.com/spike&otis or follow TheMDTA on Twitter.
    • 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.
    • For information on current toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator. The new cash toll rate for two-axle vehicles at the Bay Bridge is $4.
  • Now that it’s open between I-270/I-370 to I-95, consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 in your travel route to the Eastern Shore.
  • Drive Smart. Arrive Safe. For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:
    • 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. 
    • Keep a safe following distance to avoid rear-end collisions.
    • Do not change lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
    • Keep your eyes on the road – do not sight-see. Please note that the scaffolding around the westbound Bay Bridge towers is for an ongoing painting project. 
    • Make sure your vehicle is “road ready”-- one disabled vehicle can cause extensive backups. 
    • If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance. 
    • Move-over - When passing by an emergency situation, drivers should move to a lane away from the incident, if possible, for your safety and the safety of emergency personnel. If you are unable to move over, slow down. 

The MDTA Police will remain vigilant and target aggressive and impaired drivers, seatbelt violators and criminal activity this holiday weekend. Citizens may report suspicious or unusual activity by calling
1-800-429-TIPS (8477). The TIPS hotline is staffed 24/7 by members of the Maryland Joint Terrorism Task Force, which includes MDTA Police.

The MDTA is committed to safe and convenient travel and will lift construction-related temporary lane closures from Friday, May 25, at 5 a.m. through Tuesday, May 29, at 9 a.m. MDTA’s Vehicle Recovery Units will be available to assist motorists whose vehicles break down. Variable message signs will display traffic information including travel time, delays and detour routes.

In accordance with the State’s budget-reduction plan, MDTA offices will be closed on Friday, May 25, 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 29.