Travel pro­jec­tions up for Me­mo­rial Day week­end

Record Observer - - News - By JACK SHAUM jshaum@kibay­times.com

STEVENSVILLE — Highway travel over the long Me­mo­rial Day week­end is ex­pected to be up over the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to AAA Mid-At­lantic and the Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Author­ity.

AAA Mid-At­lantic is an­tic­i­pat­ing an in­crease of 1.9 per­cent in travel by car dur­ing the pe­riod and MdTA ex­pects traf­fic at its toll fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Bay Bridge, to be up six per­cent.

Ac­cord­ing to AAA MidAt­lantic’s pro­jec­tions, 90 per­cent of the 814,300 Mary­lan­ders ex­pected to travel 50 miles or more over the long week­end, will do so by car. Seven per­cent will travel by air and three per­cent will use other modes of travel, the auto club says. The or­ga­ni­za­tion de­fines the hol­i­day travel pe­riod as run­ning from Thurs­day, May 26 to Mon­day, May 30.

MdTA, the agency that op­er­ates the Bay Bridge, is an­tic­i­pat­ing that more than 377,000 ve­hi­cles will cross the bridge in both di­rec­tions be­tween Fri­day, May 27 and Mon­day, May 30. Heavy travel is also ex­pected at the agency’s other toll fa­cil­i­ties around Mary­land.

This year’s fore­cast re­flects the high­est traf­fic vol­ume for Me­mo­rial Day week­end since the 2005 peak of 865,000 trav­el­ers, and is the se­cond year that the pro­jected to­tal num­ber of trav­el­ers has ex­ceeded 800,000, AAA Mid-At­lantic said.

“Low gas prices, a grow­ing la­bor mar­ket, and ris­ing per­sonal in­come ap­pear to be the key fac­tors in boost­ing over­all travel this year to the se­cond high­est vol­ume on record,” said Rag­ina Cooper Averella, Man­ager of Pub­lic and Gov­ern­ment Af­fairs for the auto club. The or­ga­ni­za­tion said mo­torists traveling this week­end will be pay­ing the low­est gas prices since 2005.

The MdTA rec­om­mends that per­sons driv­ing to and from the East­ern Shore us­ing the bridge plan ahead and travel dur­ing off-peak hours. The best times to use the bridge, it says, are Thurs­day and Fri­day of this week be­fore 10 a.m. and af­ter 10 p.m.; Satur­day be­fore 7 a.m. and af­ter 5 p.m.; and Sun­day and Mon­day be­fore 10 a.m. and af­ter 10 p.m.

Mo­torists can keep track of con­di­tions at the bridge by call­ing 1-877-BAYSPAN, log­ging onto bay­bridge.com to view traf­fic cam­eras; vis­it­ing face­book.com/TheMDTA and vis­it­ing twit­ter.com/ TheMDTA

Real-time cam­era im­ages of other roads, bridges, and tun­nels around the state can be found at mdta.mary­land.gov

MdTA said it will lift con­struc­tion-re­lated tem­po­rary lane clo­sures at the Bay Bridge and its other fa­cil­i­ties, from 5 a.m. Fri­day, May 27 to 12 a.m. Tues­day, May 31.

MdTA Po­lice will have ad­di­tional pa­trols at the Bay Bridge and In­ter­county Con­nec­tor on Fri­day, May 27, look­ing for im­paired driv­ers. There will also be ad­di­tional per­son­nel on duty to re­spond to in­ci­dents and dis­abled ve­hi­cles at toll fa­cil­i­ties statewide.

Mo­torists are re­minded that head­light use is manda­tory on the Bay Bridge.

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