New data from the Maryland Department of Transportation indicates that traffic on Maryland highways and roads now exceeds pre-pandemic levels in many areas.
“Holiday travel during the Fourth of July Weekend exceeding 2019 levels is an important milestone signaling our state’s strong recovery from the pandemic,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Traffic volumes are exceeding pre-pandemic levels across the state, including at the American Legion Bridge, making the need for our Traffic Relief Plan more urgent than ever.”
Highlights from the MDOT traffic data include:
- At the height of the pandemic, statewide highway travel fell by as much as 50%.
- Figures from MDOT State Highway Administration show a 0.4% increase in traffic levels on Maryland roadways for the first week of July 2021 over the first week of July 2019.
- With average daily traffic of 138,460 for the week leading into the Fourth of July weekend on the Baltimore Beltway between I-895 and US 1, this represented an increase of 5% compared to the same week in 2019.
- Traffic volume on the Capital Beltway at the American Legion Bridge exceeded pre-pandemic levels with average daily traffic of 226,851 this year, an increase of 0.26% compared to the same week in 2019.
- For the first time since March 2020, volume at Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) bridges and tolls exceeded 2019 figures.
BWI Thurgood Marshall International Airport (BWI):
- At the height of the pandemic, passenger travel at BWI Airport fell by more than 90%.
- On Friday, July 2, BWI Airport experienced its busiest day for departing passenger traffic since the start of the pandemic.
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screened 28,655 departing passengers.
Port Of Baltimore:
In May 2020, general cargo figures surpassed pre-pandemic numbers, increasing by 2% over May 2019.
With increased traffic, incidents of distracted driving are even more likely to occur. The MACo Summer Conference includes a session on this topic to help counties address this deadly problem.
Eyes on the Road: Vehicles and Vision Zero
Distracted driving is a deadly problem. And, despite robust state and local public awareness campaigns, the reality is that distracted driving is nearly impossible to enforce. Phone use from a distance is hard to spot. And, by the time an offender is pulled over, there is often no evidence of the violation, as they’ve put down their phone. On average, more than 180 people die every year in Maryland from distracted driving crashes, and more than 27,000 more are injured. The Maryland Highway Safety Office recently won an award for their public education campaign to prevent distracted driving, but what are the other tools your county can employ?
- Chrissy Nizer, Administrator, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
- Ragina Ali, Public and Government Affairs Manager, AAA Mid-Atlantic
- Jim Brown, Traffic Division Director, Montgomery County Police Department
- Mark Etzbach, Vice President of Sales North America, Acusensus
Date/Time: Friday, August 20, 2021; 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm