For Immediate Release
MDTA Communications – 410-537-1017
MDOT MVA Communications – 410-424-3697
MDOT SHA Communications – 410-545-0303
MDOT MTA Communications – 410-767-8367
MDOT MAA/BWI Marshall Communications – 410-859-7027
Stay Alert, Be Courteous and Plan Ahead to Help Ensure Safe Holiday Travel
HANOVER, MD (June 29, 2022) – The busy summer travel season is continuing this weekend throughout Maryland and across America as families and friends gather to celebrate the Fourth of July. With heavy traffic anticipated on state highways, bridges and at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) urges everyone to embrace the spirit of civic responsibility by traveling with safety, awareness and courtesy.
“The Fourth of July is a special time because it reminds us of our freedom, our independence and our unity," MDOT Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. said. “If you're traveling this weekend, please make sure you stay alert, slow down, buckle up and allow plenty of time. Let's look out for one another, and help our friends, loved ones and neighbors enjoy a safe and festive holiday weekend."
AAA Mid-Atlantic expects more than 977, 460 Marylanders to travel this Fourth of July weekend. Despite gas prices, 90% of those travelers – nearly 880,000 – will hit the roadways, a slight increase over 2021, according to AAA. Travelers should anticipate congestion beginning Thursday, June 30, along US 50 to Ocean City, I-70 and I-68 toward Western Maryland and I-95 north toward Delaware. Volumes are expected to be heavy Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 2-4, and also Tuesday, July 5, as travelers return home.
MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will suspend major lane closures for non-emergency roadwork on major roads and interstates from 5 a.m. Thursday, June 30, through 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 5. Go to roads.maryland.gov for real-time traffic information.
The Bay Bridge and the US 50 corridor are expected to be busy throughout the weekend. For those using the Bay Bridge, motorists are reminded to stay on US 50 on both sides of the bridge to keep local roadways open for first responders and residents. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge this holiday include:
- Thursday, June 30 – before noon and after 10 p.m.
- Friday, July 1 – before 7 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Saturday, July 2 – before 7 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Sunday, July 3 – before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Monday, July 4 – before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 5 – before 6 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
Weather and traffic volumes permitting, the MDTA will use two-way operations to help alleviate eastbound delays at the bridge. As a reminder, two-way operations are prohibited during bridge wind warnings/restrictions, fog or times of precipitation. Learn more about two-way operations here.
All-electronic (cashless) tolling is now permanent statewide, with tolls collected through E-ZPass, Video Tolling or Pay-By-Plate. E-ZPass is the most cost-effective method, saving drivers up to 77%. Enroll in E-ZPass or sign up for Pay-By-Plate at DriveEzMD.com. For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit Baybridge.com. Travelers can also sign up for email/text alerts at https://bit.ly/2Dh9EZn, and follow the MDTA at twitter.com/TheMDTA.
Make sure your vehicle is road ready before traveling. If your vehicle begins to break down, exit the roadway. If that is not possible, remain inside your vehicle and call #77 for assistance. MDOT SHA and MDTA patrols will be on duty to assist disabled vehicles and clear incidents, with enhanced CHART patrols on US 50 in Annapolis and on the shore. MDOT urges all drivers to follow these tips:
- Buckle up. It's the law. Make sure all passengers are buckled up.
- Slow down. Observe all posted speed limits.
- Don't drive impaired. Never drink and drive. Designate a sober driver or use a taxi or ride service.
- Pay attention. Avoid distractions such as cellphones. Don't text and drive.
- Watch for pedestrians. At large gatherings, there may be more people walking or riding bicycles.
- Be patient. Travel during off peak hours and allow extra time for unexpected delays.
- Be prepared. In an emergency, drivers with cellphones can dial #77 for Maryland State Police.
- Move over. Motorists are required to move over when approaching an emergency, service vehicle or tow truck with red, yellow or amber flashing lights. If you can't move over, slow down.
MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office will share safety messages on social media throughout the weekend as part of its Be The Make A Plan Driver campaign, and is reminding drivers that law enforcement will be out in force to stop suspected impaired drivers. In addition to risking injury or death for themselves and others, those driving under the influence risk arrest, jail time, legal costs and fines. Learn more about the MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office's commitment to zero deaths on Maryland roadways at ZeroDeathsMD.gov and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at zerodeathsmd.
MDOT MVA is also reminding Marylanders of branch office and Vehicle Emission Inspection Program (VEIP) station closures on Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4. MDOT MVA branch offices will reopen for normal operations by appointment only Tuesday, July 5. VEIP testing will also resume Tuesday and does not require an appointment.
BWI Marshall expecting large crowds for holiday travel
For those traveling by air, passenger traffic is expected to increase this weekend at BWI Marshall Airport. Travelers should give themselves plenty of time for airline check-in and the security checkpoint process.
At BWI Marshall, passenger traffic continues to recover. July is typically the busiest month for air travel at BWI. Last Thursday, June 23, departing passenger traffic at BWI Marshall reached a new high for pandemic-era travel with 31,436 departing passengers. The airport recently reopened its Express Parking to provide an additional 1,400 spaces for customers during the peak summer travel season.-
MDOT MTA Transit operating on modified schedule
The MDOT Maryland Transit Administration will operate on a modified schedule on Monday, July 4. CityLink and LocalLink buses, Light RailLink and Metro SubwayLink will operate on the Sunday/Holiday schedule, and Commuter Bus will operate Bus Route 201 on the Weekend/Holiday schedule.
MARC Train will not operate on the Camden and Brunswick lines on July 4. The Penn Line will operate on a Sunday schedule. MobilityLink will not operate subscription rides on July 4. Customers must call the MobilityLink Call Center at 410-764-8181 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to reschedule July 4 rides.
MDOT wishes everyone traveling this holiday weekend a safe and happy Fourth of July.
Media Availability: MDTA Bay Bridge and MDTA Police officials will be available for media interviews Thursday, June 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., at 881 Oceanic Dr., Annapolis MD 21409. Officials will offer details on traffic and safety for the Fourth of July weekend. Please contact Public Information Officer Christopher Imms at 410-537-1019 or email@example.com to attend for interviews and b-roll opportunities.
MDOT Fourth of July Travel Forecast Graphics: Fourth of July weekend travel forecast graphics for the Bay Bridge and the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. regions are available at the links below for use in print and online presentations. Please credit Maryland Department of Transportation.