(May 25, 2021) – With the lifting of the Maryland Mask mandate and continued recovery from COVID-19, this Memorial Day weekend will be the occasion of many long-awaited family reunions, trips and vacations. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) wants everyone to enjoy this holiday weekend – and many more – and insists safety as the top priority as travelers return to the roads, rails and airports.
“After enduring a long period of the challenges and sacrifices caused by the pandemic, the people of Maryland look forward to spending time with family and friends on the beautiful beaches, mountains and parks of our state,” the secretary said. from MDOT, Greg Slater. “As we celebrate, we must work together to promote safety and make Memorial Day a time of joy and remembrance, not a tragedy. Help protect yourself, your family and traveling companions by slowing down, avoiding distractions, and making sure everyone in your vehicle uses seat belts. “
Many travelers are used to reducing traffic volumes during the pandemic, yet Maryland saw an increase in the number of road fatalities last year. With traffic set to increase over Memorial Day weekend, MDOT urges all drivers to follow these tips:
- Buckle up your belt. It’s the law. Make sure all passengers, including those in the back seat, use seat belts.
- Slow down. Obey all posted speed limits.
- Don’t drive impaired. Never drink and never drive.
- Pay attention. Avoid distractions such as cell phones. Don’t text or drive.
- Be patient. Travel during off-peak hours and allow extra time for unforeseen delays.
- Be ready. In an emergency, drivers with a cell phone can dial # 77 to reach Maryland State Police.
Travelers should remember that face masks are always needed on public transportation, including rail and bus vehicles and stations in Maryland, as well as at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Congestion on roads in Maryland is expected to begin on Friday, May 28, along routes including US 50 to Ocean City, I-70 and I-68 to western Maryland and I-95 north to Delaware. Volumes are expected to be heavy on Saturday and Sunday May 29-30, and delays are likely on Monday May 31, as travelers return home. The MDOT National Road Administration will suspend major lane closures for non-urgent road works from 5 a.m. on Friday, May 28 to 6 a.m. on Tuesday, June 1. Emergency patrols will be on duty to assist broken down vehicles and eliminate incidents. Go to roads.maryland.gov for real-time traffic information.
For those crossing the Bay Bridge, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is warning motorists to expect delays over the weekend. Significant eastbound traffic volumes are expected Thursday through Saturday, May 27-29, and higher westbound traffic volumes are expected Sunday and Monday May 30-31. Motorists should stay on US 50 on both sides of the bridge to keep local roads open to first responders and residents.
The best off-peak times to walk the Bay Bridge over the holiday weekend will be:
- Thursday, May 27 – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Friday, May 28 – before 8 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Saturday, May 29 – before 8 a.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Sunday May 30 – before 10 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Memorial Day Monday, May 31 – before 8 a.m. and after 11 p.m.
Travelers are reminded that fully electronic (cashless) toll is permanent statewide. Drivers do not stop at toll booths and tolls are collected via E-ZPass, Video toll or the new way to pay, Pay-By-Plate, which allows tolls to be automatically billed to a registered credit card. E-ZPass remains the most cost effective method, saving drivers up to 77%. Register for E-ZPass or subscribe to Pay-By-Plate at the new DriveEzMD.com website.
For 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic information, call 1-877-BAYSPAN (1-877-229-7726) or visit Baybridge.com. Travelers can also sign up to receive email / SMS alerts at https://bit.ly/2Dh9EZn. For real-time updates on major incidents on Maryland’s toll roads, follow the MDTA on twitter.com/TheMDTA.
For those traveling along I-95 in northeastern Maryland, the Maryland House (mile marker 82) and Chesapeake House (mile marker 97) travel spots are open for food, rest, and access. Wi-Fi, with indoor and outdoor seating. While face masks are no longer needed in state-owned or rented buildings, they are still recommended for people not vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, all visitors can continue to wear a face mask if they wish.
Public access to the BWI Marshall terminal remains reserved for ticketed passengers
Passenger traffic is expected to increase this weekend at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and travelers should allow themselves ample time to check-in. Air travel has increased in recent weeks and Thursday, May 20, was the busiest day for departing passengers since the start of the pandemic. In April, the Transportation Safety Administration recorded 502,153 departing passengers at BWI Marshall – a 1,312% increase from April 2020, when the global pandemic was having its greatest impact.
Federal regulations continue to require masks or masks inside terminals and commercial aircraft. The BWI terminal remains open only for ticketed passengers, badged employees and those providing assistance to passengers in need. People picking up passengers are asked to park in the garage to wait for the flight to arrive. Last month, BWI Marshall Airport reopened long-term parking. Seventy-one percent of airport food and retail concessions are now open.
The BWI Marshall Airport community is focused on safe and healthy travel. Health and safety initiatives include improved cleaning and sanitation; hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the terminal; protective barriers at security checkpoints, counters and information desks; and physical distance markers in high traffic areas. Health-related information is provided on information displays and overhead announcements. For more details, visit https://www.BWIairport.com/COVID19.
Public transport service operating on a modified schedule
MDOT Maryland Transit Administration will operate on a modified schedule on Memorial Day, May 31. CityLink and LocalLink, Light RailLink and Metro SubwayLink buses will operate on the Sunday / Holiday schedule on Memorial Day, and the commuter bus will operate Route 201, which is running – number of trips on the weekend / holiday schedule . MARC Train will not operate on Memorial Day.
MobilityLink will not operate subscription trips during Memorial Day weekend. Customers should call the MobilityLink call center – which will be open on Remembrance Day – at 410-764-8181 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to reschedule May 31 trips.
In accordance with state and federal guidelines and to protect our customers and team members, all passengers using public transportation are required to wear masks. For more details, visit mta.maryland.gov/coronavirus.