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MDOT URGES TRAVELERS TO MAKE SAFETY
THE TOP PRIORITY THIS LABOR DAY WEEKEND
Slow Down and Allow Extra Travel Time; Stay Vigilant with COVID-19 Precautions
HANOVER, MD (September 3, 2020) – Labor Day traditionally closes out the official summer vacation season, with many families traveling for getaways and gatherings with friends and loved ones. Whether you are heading over the Bay Bridge, toward Western Maryland or anywhere in between, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) urges all travelers to focus on safety, remembering not only the rules of the road but also precautions that are helping Maryland recover from the COVID-19 emergency.
“We know many Maryland families will travel over the Labor Day weekend to enjoy time with friends and relatives. If we all make safety our top priority, we can ensure the summer season ends on a high note for everyone," said Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater. “That safety focus includes remaining vigilant as Maryland recovers from the impact of COVID-19."
This week Governor Larry Hogan announced Maryland could begin moving into Stage Three of the “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery," allowing additional gradual reopenings. As health and safety protocols remain in effect, MDOT is reminding travelers to wear a mask or face covering and practice social distancing when in public.
MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) expects traffic volumes to increase in Maryland from Thursday, September 3, through Labor Day Monday, September 7. Motorists should travel off-peak if possible, particularly when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. MDOT SHA emergency patrols will be on duty across the state to assist disabled vehicles and clear incidents. Go to roads.maryland.gov for real-time traffic conditions and other information.
MDOT SHA reminds motorists to follow these rules for safe travels over the holiday weekend and always:
- Buckle up. It's the law. Make sure all passengers are using seat belts.
- Slow down. Observe all posted speed limits.
- Travel off-peak. Allow extra time for unexpected delays.
- Avoid distractions. Ignore your cell phone, and be alert for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Don't drive impaired. Impaired drivers endanger the lives of themselves and others, and may face arrest, jail time, fines and legal costs. Designate a sober driver or use a taxi or ride service if needed.
- Be prepared. In an emergency, dial #77 to reach Maryland State Police.
- Move over when approaching an emergency, service or utility vehicle or tow truck with flashing lights. If you can't move over, slow down.
Bay Bridge: Travel off-peak and save your cash for the boardwalk
Travelers crossing the Bay Bridge or other Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) toll facilities over the long weekend are reminded there's no stopping to pay tolls. All-electronic (cashless) tolling, which was put in place statewide in response to COVID-19, is now permanent at every Maryland toll facility. At the Bay Bridge, tolls are recorded via a new gantry on Kent Island.
Drivers are encouraged to use an E-ZPass. Transponders are free, and motorists can sign up at ezpassmd.com. Bay Bridge passenger-vehicle drivers without E-ZPass will be mailed a Notice of Toll Due for the temporary video toll rate of $4 (standard video toll rate is $6).
The MDTA recommends traveling off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge over the Labor Day weekend include:
- Thursday, September 3 – before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
- Friday, September 4 – before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
- Saturday, September 5 – before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m.
- Sunday, September 6 – before 8 a.m. and after 11 p.m.
- Labor Day Monday, September 7 – before 10 a.m. and after 11 p.m.
Weather and traffic volumes permitting, the MDTA will implement two-way operations on the Bay Bridge to help alleviate eastbound delays. Motorists MUST pay attention and adhere to overhead lane signals. For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit Baybridge.com to view real-time traffic cameras. For real-time updates on major incidents follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA.
Local Bus, Metro and Light Rail operating on Sunday schedule on Labor Day
For those using transit over the holiday weekend, MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) will operate services under normal schedules on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 4-6.
On Monday, September 7, MDOT MTA will operate Local Bus, Light Rail and Metro Subway on a Sunday schedule. MARC Train will not operate service on the Penn, Camden or Brunswick lines, and Commuter Bus will only operate service on Route 201 with odd numbered trips following a weekend/holiday schedule.
For a list of MDOT MTA services, go to mta.maryland.gov/coronavirus. MDOT MTA reminds customers that face coverings remain a requirement when using transit.
BWI Marshall Airport terminal remains open to passengers, employees only
MDOT Maryland Aviation Administration (MDOT MAA) is reminding travelers that under COVID-19 provisions, the terminal at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport remains closed except for ticketed passengers, badged employees and those providing assistance to passengers in need. Those picking up passengers are asked to use the Cell Phone Lot or park in the Hourly Garage to await the flight arrival. Holiday travelers are encouraged to arrive early and allow plenty of time for baggage and security checkpoints.
With some growth in recent passenger traffic during the COVID-19 recovery, about 52% of food and retail outlets at BWI Marshall are now open. Passengers and employees are required to wear face coverings. Face coverings are available for purchase at some airport stores and from several vending machines in the terminal and rental car facility. BWI Marshall and its airline partners can also provide face coverings if needed.
The airport continues to utilize enhanced cleaning and advanced technologies to help ensure a safe, healthy airport for customers and employees. Protective shields are in place at document checking stations, ticket counters and information desks. The airport provides hand sanitizer stations throughout the terminal.
For airport parking, the Long Term Lots A and B remain closed, along with the Express Lot and Valet Parking. The Daily Garage is open at a reduced rate of $8 per day, which is the regular long-term rate. The Hourly Garage is open with a reduced rate of $12 per day.
MDOT wishes everyone a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. For more information on MDOT's COVID-19 response, go to mdot.maryland.gov/coronavirus. The site includes links to information on highways, transit, BWI Marshall Airport, the Port of Baltimore, MDOT MVA and other resources.