For Immediate Release
Contact: Maryland Transportation Authority Communications – 410-537-1017
Motor Vehicle Administration Communications – 410-768-7473
State Highway Administration Communications – 410-545-0303
Maryland Transit Administration Communications – 410-767-8367
BWI Thurgood Marshall Communications – 410-859-7027
High Travel Volumes Expected Across Maryland's Transportation Network
HANOVER, MD (June 29, 2023) – Families and friends across Maryland and throughout the region will travel this weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Whether the travel plan involves highways, bridges, transit or Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, the Maryland Department of Transportation is urging everyone to put safety first this Fourth of July.
“As we gather to celebrate our freedom and independence, we must remember that civic responsibility is essential to the American experience," said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “I urge everyone to be united in safety this Fourth of July, and help Maryland achieve the goal of zero deaths and serious injuries on our highways. Look out for one another, be courteous and attentive, wear your seat belts, take your time and travel with care to protect yourself, your family and others."
AAA Mid-Atlantic projects about 995,000 people will travel in Maryland this Fourth of July weekend, with nearly 874,000 – or about 88% – traveling by car. Those driving on Maryland roads should anticipate increased volumes beginning Friday, June 30, along routes including US 50 to Ocean City, I-70 and I-68 toward Western Maryland and I-95 north toward Delaware. Highway volumes also expected to be heavy Saturday through Tuesday, July 1-4, and delays also are likely Wednesday, July 5, as travelers return home.
With warmer weather and large gatherings expected, motorists should be extra vigilant to look for bicyclists and pedestrians on roadways and in crosswalks. For those cycling, be sure to follow rules of the road, and pedestrians should take care to be seen, cross roadways only in specified crosswalks and remain undistracted and attentive at all times.
The Bay Bridge and the US 50 corridor are expected to be busy throughout the weekend. Motorists using the Bay Bridge 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:
- Friday, June 30 – before 7 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Saturday, July 1 – before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m.
- Sunday, July 2 – before 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m.
- Monday, July 3 – before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, July 4 – before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 5 – before 6 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Weather and traffic volumes permitting, the Maryland Transportation Authority 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 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 follow the Maryland Transportation Authority at twitter.com/TheMDTA.
The State Highway Administration will suspend lane closures for non-emergency roadwork from 5 a.m. Monday, July 3 through 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 5. The agency's Coordinated Highways Action Response Team – or CHART – will have patrols on duty to assist disabled vehicles and clear incidents, and Maryland Transportation Authority also will be on patrol to help motorists in need. Go to roads.maryland.gov for real-time traffic information, make sure your vehicle is road ready, and follow these tips for safe travels:
- NEVER drive impaired. Designate a sober driver or use a taxi or ride service. Over the past five years, nearly 800 people have been killed and nearly 15,000 have been injured in Maryland in crashes involving an impaired driver.
- Pay attention. Avoid distractions such as cellphones. Don't text and drive.
- Slow down. Observe all posted speed limits.
- Be patient. Travel during off peak hours and allow extra time for unexpected delays.
- Buckle up. It's the law. Make sure all passengers are buckled as well.
- Watch for pedestrians. At large gatherings, there may be more people walking or riding bicycles.
- Move over. Maryland's Move Over law requires drivers to move over one lane for stopped vehicles displaying any type of caution signal or warning lights. If you can't move over because of traffic, slow down.
- Be prepared. Make sure your vehicle is ready for a road trip. If you have a breakdown or an emergency, move the vehicle off the roadway, if possible. If you can't, remain inside your vehicle and call #77 for assistance.
High Driving is Impaired Driving
The Motor Vehicle Administration's Highway Safety Office is reminding Marylanders that even though the recreational adult-use of cannabis is legal in Maryland beginning July 1, cannabis use in a motor vehicle by a driver or passenger remains illegal under Maryland law. Law enforcement officers can make a cannabis DUI arrest if they observe impairment. In addition to risking injury or death for themselves and others, those driving under the influence risk arrest, jail time, legal costs and fines.
The Highway Safety Office is using billboards, social media and other means to educate people that alcohol, cannabis and even prescription drugs can lead to impaired driving. More information on cannabis-impairment can be found at ZeroDeathsMD.gov/Cannabis.
Through its engagement campaign, the agency is reminding residents of the most common causes of crashes and fatalities – all of which are preventable – and how they can “Be the Driver" who saves lives by practicing safe habits:
- Be the SOBER Driver or Be the MAKE A PLAN Driver: Driving impaired is illegal and 100% preventable. If you drink, use cannabis or take prescription drugs that may impair your abilities, make a plan for a sober ride home.
- Be the FOCUSED Driver: While the most common distraction is cellphone use, distractions from other passengers, eating or adjusting the music/radio contribute to nearly 30% of roadway fatalities.
- Be the SLOW Down Driver: Increased speeds cause increased severity of crashes. Slow down to ensure you have enough time to react to situations around you.
- Be the BUCKLED UP Driver: Every trip, every occupant.
Learn more about the Highway Safety Office's commitment to zero deaths on Maryland roadways at ZeroDeathsMD.gov and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at zerodeathsmd.
BWI Marshall passenger counts on the rise; allow time for check-in, TSA process
AAA is projecting that, nationwide, nearly 51 million travelers will fly this Fourth of July weekend – a number that would exceed pre-pandemic levels. Passenger counts continue to rise at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. In May, passenger traffic at BWI Marshall was 14% higher than the same month last year, and on June 16, the airport recorded 34,984 departing passengers, its highest single-day number since the start of the pandemic.
Travelers flying from BWI Marshall Airport should give themselves plenty of time for airline check-in and the security checkpoint process. Passengers are advised to allow for additional time if using the airport's parking shuttles to access the terminal. For more details and updates, go to bwiairport.com and follow the airport on Twitter @BWI_Airport and on Facebook at facebook.com/BWIairport/
Light RailLink on holiday schedule, will operate one hour after Baltimore fireworks
The Maryland Transit Administration will operate on a modified schedule on Tuesday, July 4. CityLink and LocalLink buses, Metro SubwayLink and Light RailLink will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule, with Light RailLink operating one hour after the fireworks display at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Commuter Bus will operate Bus Route 201 only, on the Weekend/Holiday schedule.
MARC Train will operate under a Saturday schedule on July 4 on the Penn Line only. There will be no MARC service on the Brunswick or Camden lines. MobilityLink will operate on a holiday schedule. All standing rides are canceled. Customers must call the MobilityLink Call Center 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 410-764-8181 to reschedule July 4.
The Maryland Department of Transportation wishes everyone traveling this holiday weekend a safe and happy Fourth of July.
MDOT Fourth of July Holiday 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 following links: