(August 31, 2022) – From the beaches of the Eastern Shore to the mountains of Western Maryland, many of the Free State’s residents and visitors will travel over the Labor Day weekend for warm-weather getaways and gatherings before the end of summer. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is reminding all travelers to close out the summer season on a high note by making safety the focus of every celebration this Labor Day weekend.
“This summer has given many Marylanders terrific memories with family and friends, and the Labor Day weekend is another opportunity to celebrate and explore the beauty of our state,” said MDOT Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. “During our travels, let’s close out the summer season right by keeping safety in mind. Slow down, buckle up, avoid distractions and be kind and thoughtful to one another.”
Those driving this weekend should travel off-peak if possible, particularly when heading to and from the Eastern Shore. MDOT State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) expects traffic volumes to increase from Thursday, September 1, through Labor Day Monday, September 5. MDOT SHA will suspend non-emergency roadwork from 5 a.m. Friday, September 2, to 9 a.m. Tuesday, September 6. 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.
Travelers also should remember some Maryland school districts are already in session, so caution and extra attention to pedestrians, bicyclists, and school buses are crucial. MDOT SHA and the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office remind 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 – every seat, every ride.
- Slow down. Observe all posted speed limits.
- Avoid distractions. Ignore your cell phone, and be alert for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
- Make a plan for a sober ride. Impaired drivers endanger the lives of themselves and others, and face arrest, jail time, fines, and legal costs. If your Labor Day celebrations involve alcohol, designate a sober driver, use public transportation or call a friend, family member, or rideshare service.
- 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.
Learn more at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.
Bay Bridge: Travel off-peak and stay on US 50
The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) anticipates more than 350,000 vehicles will cross the Bay Bridge between Friday and Labor Day Monday. Drivers should travel off-peak when heading to and from the Eastern Shore, and stay on US 50 on BOTH sides of the bridge to keep local roadways open for first responders and local residents. The best times to travel the Bay Bridge over the weekend include:
- Thursday, September 1 – before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
- Friday, September 2 – before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
- Saturday, September 3 – before 8 a.m. and after 4 p.m.
- Sunday, September 4 – before 11 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
- Labor Day Monday, September 5 – before 9 a.m. and after 10 p.m.
- Tuesday, September 6 – before 7 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
Weather and traffic volumes permitting, the MDTA will implement two-way operations to help alleviate eastbound delays at the Bay Bridge. Two-way operations are prohibited during bridge wind warnings or wind restrictions, during fog or limited visibility, and in times of precipitation or during the response to traffic incidents. 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 Twitter updates on major incidents follow @TheMDTA.
Travelers crossing the Bay Bridge or other MDTA toll facilities are reminded that all-electronic (cashless) tolling is now permanent at all Maryland toll facilities. Tolls are collected through E-ZPass, Video Tolling, and Pay-By-Plate – which allows tolls to be automatically billed to the driver’s registered credit card, with no need for a transponder or pre-paid toll deposit.
E-ZPass remains the most cost-effective way to travel toll roads in Maryland, saving drivers up to 77% compared to higher rates. E-ZPass transponders are free, and motorists can sign up at DriveEzMD.com.
As BWI Marshall Airport traffic returns, leave plenty of time for check-in, security
Travelers using BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport over the Labor Day weekend should allow themselves plenty of time for parking, airline check-in, and the TSA security checkpoints. Airport shuttle bus delays are possible due to the nationwide driver shortage.
At BWI Marshall, passenger traffic continues to recover. Departing passenger traffic in July 2022 reached 830,318 people, an increase of 7% over July 2021. On June 23, departing passenger traffic at BWI Marshall Airport reached a single-day high for pandemic-era travel with 31,436 departing passengers. The airport has reopened its Express Parking to provide an additional 1,400 spaces for customers during peak travel times. For the latest news and updates, go to https://www.bwiairport.com/ or on Twitter @BWI_Airport.
MDOT MTA services on a holiday schedule on Labor Day
For those using transit over the holiday weekend, MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) will operate services under normal schedules Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, September 2-4.
On Labor Day Monday, September 5, LocalLink buses, Light RailLink, and Metro SubwayLink will operate on the Sunday/Holiday schedule. Commuter Bus will not operate except for Bus Route 201, which will run on the Weekend/Holiday schedule. MARC Train will not operate on September 5.
?MobilityLink will operate on a holiday schedule, with all subscription rides canceled. Customers must call the MobilityLink Call Center at 410-764-8181 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to reschedule September 5 rides. For the latest news, go to https://www.mta.maryland.gov/.
MDOT MVA Branches, VEIP Stations closed Monday, September 5
MDOT MVA will close all branch offices and Vehicle Emission Inspection Program (VEIP) stations on Monday, September 5, in observance of Labor Day. MDOT MVA branch offices will reopen for normal operations by appointment on Tuesday, September 6. VEIP testing will also resume Tuesday, September 6, and does not require an appointment. For details, go to https://mva.maryland.gov/.