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NEWS RELEASE



INAUGURATION TRAFFIC ALERT - SHA WILL ACTIVATE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER TO MONITOR TRAFFIC CONDITIONS

Inauguration Attendees Should Plan Ahead and Take Transit Delays Expected in Region for Presidential Inauguration on January 21
              
(January 14, 2013) – As part of its regional partnership with neighboring Departments of Transportation, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) will activate its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Monday, January 21 to oversee traffic operations related to Inauguration Day.  Traffic management and emergency response personnel will closely monitor highway conditions and respond as needed using hundreds of devices positioned throughout the state including closed-circuit television cameras, dynamic message signs, highway advisory radio and traffic detectors. 

While Monday, January 21 is a State and Federal holiday to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and traffic is generally lighter during the morning and evening rush hours, Inauguration Day traffic is anticipated to be heaviest in the DC region between 8 a.m. and noon.

“The best way to get into the Nation’s Capital for the Inauguration is transit,” said State Highway Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “Planning your travel in advance and having a backup plan will prevent wasting time in traffic, searching for parking or missing the events altogether.”

SHA encourages motorists to carpool, use park and rides (link here http://tinyurl.com/aoavdxr) and arrive early if parking or using the Washington Metro system.  For more information about MTA options in Maryland go to www.mta.maryland.gov.  For more information about Washington DC road closures go to www.ddot.dc.gov/DC/DDOT and for more information about the DC Metro, go to www.wmata.com.
 
With access to nearly 300 additional cameras and more than 40 additional Dynamic Message Signs, SHA will monitor and respond to incidents along SHA’s network of roads across the state.  Real time traffic information is available at www.MD511.org or by calling 511 or 1-855-GO511MD. 

SHA has a few reminders for those planning to travel for the Presidential Inauguration on January 21:

• For those traveling through Maryland but not planning to attend inaugural activities in the Washington, DC area, the best advice is to avoid the Washington, D.C. area.
 
• To assist those traveling into Maryland, SHA will keep state-maintained roads leading into Washington open to serve the residents and businesses along these corridors. 
 
• Although signal technicians will monitor traffic in the region and adjust accordingly to keep traffic flowing safely, delays are expected in the region.
 
• SHA and Maryland State Police may, in extreme situations, temporarily close ramps from primary interstate roads onto secondary roads if traffic backs up onto freeways. 
 
• The Maryland State Police will tow any abandoned or illegally parked vehicles along state and interstate routes.
 
• SHA will have extra State Farm Safety patrols along I-95, I-495, I-270 and other major roads to assist stranded motorists.
 
• Maryland’s High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (HOV) along I-270 and US 50 will be open to all traffic and occupancy requirements lifted.
 
• Get the latest traffic and commuter information by calling 5-1-1 or logging on to www.MD511.org.
 
• STAY ALERT and BE PATIENT!  Be prepared for stopped traffic and obey the instructions of area law enforcement and emergency responders.
 
• Watch for pedestrians and cyclists, especially those crossing at busy intersections and near interstate exit and entrance ramps. 
       
SHA is working with other agencies in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the federal government to ensure traveler safety along Maryland highways and to provide up-to-the-minute information for motorists, especially those who may be unfamiliar with the region.  Local motorists are encouraged to log onto www.roads.maryland.gov and click the CHART icon for the latest traffic conditions and access live traffic cameras.  

Maryland now features FREE 511 traveler information!  Call 511 or 1-855-GOMD511 or visit: www.md511.org  for current travel information. Sign up to personalize travel route information through MY511 on the Web site. Remember to use 511 safely - Maryland law restricts hand-held mobile phone use and texting while driving. 

SHA makes it easy to get safety tips and information through Twitter @MDSHA and on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/MarylandStateHighwayAdministration.

      
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Click here to visit SHA on Facebook!  Click here to follow SHA on Twitter!  Click here to follow SHA on Pinterest!  Click here to view SHA's Channel on YouTube!  Click here to view MD 511
 
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Maryland Department of Transportation

 

707 North Calvert Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202