FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 12, 2012

Contact:         John Sales

                        410-537-1017

STAR-SPANGLED SAILABRATION TO IMPACT I-95/I-395 TRAFFIC IN BALTIMORE 
Motorists Urged To Use Alternate Routes; Know Before You Go  

BALTIMORE, MD – As the city of Baltimore gears up for the 2012 Star-Spangled Sailabration, the MD Transportation Authority (MDTA) reminds motorists to anticipate delays, plan ahead and Know Before You Go!

With an expected attendance of more than one million, the Sailabration will take place Wednesday, June 13, through Tuesday, June 19.  Throughout the week, event-related traffic may result in major delays at the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95) and along the I-95/I-395 corridor.  Commuters and event-goers heading to and from Baltimore during weekday morning and evening rush hours may experience higher than normal volumes of traffic on I-95/I-395.

An international parade of more than 40 tall ships and naval vessels will sail into Baltimore on Wednesday, June 13 and depart on Tuesday, June 19.  The heaviest traffic volumes in the area are expected on Saturday, June 16, and Sunday, June 17, for the Star-Spangled Air Show featuring the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.  Concerts and fireworks will also take place Saturday evening at the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. 

Motorists are urged to take the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895) or the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695) if their destinations are north or south of Baltimore.  Motorists heading into the city should consider alternate routes such as I-83, US 40, O’Donnell/Boston Street (Exit 57), or Caton Avenue (Exit 50) to Washington Boulevard.

Keeping traffic moving as safely and efficiently as possible is the MDTA’s priority.  The MDTA Police and Vehicle Recovery Units will have additional patrols on duty to respond quickly to incidents and disabled vehicles.  MDTA also offers the following travel tips:

  • Plan Ahead:
    • Know Before You Go - call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.  To view real-time traffic camera images on I-95/I-395 and other MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
    • Allow additional travel time.
    • For information on the Sailabration, including interactive maps and schedule of events, visit starspangled200.com.
    • The new cash toll rate for two-axle vehicles at the Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor tunnels and the Key Bridge is $3.  For information on current toll rates, visit mdta.maryland.gov and click on Toll Rate Calculator.
    • Consider public transportation – Light Rail, Metro Subway and Local Bus provide transit options.  Visit mta.maryland.gov for more information.
    • For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:
    • Do not park along highway shoulders or stop on the Key Bridge to watch the events or ships.
    • Electronic message signs will display information on travel time, delays, incidents or alternate routes.
    • 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.
    • 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 Law – When passing 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.  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 thanks motorists for their patience.