Headlines: Memorial Day Schedules, Maryland Gas Taxes, and Studying The Need For A New Bay Bridge

May 27, 2013

We round up some of the schedule changes in effect this Memorial Day. Plus: a look at why gas taxes in Maryland will be higher NEXT Memorial Day – and where they’ll go from there. Also: a look at a study on the need for a new Bay Bridge, the beginning of the summer boating season, and more.

Memorial Day Schedule Changes: Lots of schedule changes are in place on this Memorial Day holiday. Federal, state, and local government offices are closed. Courts are closed, banks are closed, and libraries are closed. Public schools are closed today as well. There's no regular trash or recycling pickup today. There's also no regular mail delivery from the post office - but express mail is still being delivered. There are no MARC trains operating today. Nearly all commuter buses aren't running -- but Bus Route 201 is, albeit on a holiday schedule. The Metro Subway and the Light Rail are on holiday schedules as well. And local MTA buses are running; they're ALSO on holiday schedules. More on the MTA's holiday schedule is available here. And when you head out today, don't forget your change -- you WILL have to feed the parking meters in most jurisdictions. The exception is Baltimore County, where today IS a parking meter holiday. The Baltimore Sun has more information on Memorial Day schedule changes here.

Bay Bridge Travel: The Bay Bridge is expected to be busy today, as people head home from their Memorial Day celebrations on the Eastern Shore. Officials say that if you want to avoid traffic jams, you should plan your travels so you hit the Bridge in off peak times – that’s before 10 this morning and after 10 tonight. For the latest details on bay traffic, check out baybridge.com or call 877-BAYSPANThe Capital Gazette reports that traffic on the Bay Bridge was backed up on the eastbound span yesterday, after a woman apparently jumped to her death from the bridge.  

Studying The Need For A New Bay Bridge: The original Bay Bridge opened in 1952, with the second span opening in 1973… and now, the MdTA is in the process of studying whether Maryland needs ANOTHER Bay Bridge. It would be expensive to build, with state estimates around 3 billion dollars… and exactly where a new span would go is unclear – that would require another study. The Baltimore Sun reports that the current study will take two years; it’ll analyze traffic growth to determine future capacity requirements, and when a new crossing should be operational in order to meet them.

Memorial Day Service For Maryland Service Members: The seven Maryland service members who have died in the line of duty over the last year are being remembered with a ceremony today. The Memorial Day ceremony takes place this morning at 10 at the Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, at the cemetery’s Circle of the Immortals. More here from the Baltimore Sun.

Summer Boating Season: The summer boating season is now underway, and the US Coast Guard and Maryland’s Natural Resources Police have ratcheted up their patrols the state’s waters this holiday weekend. The Capital Gazette reports that they’re watching for safety violations, and people operating boats while under the influence of alcohol; about half of all boating deaths involve alcohol.

Gas Taxes: Amid the increased Memorial Day travel, WYPR's Fraser Smith and Alexander Pyles of The Daily Record break down a forthcoming rise in gas taxes, which was passed in the General Assembly this year. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.

Memorial Day Weekend Violence: at least six people have been shot so far in Baltimore this Memorial Day weekend; police tell the Baltimore Sun that five people were shot on Sunday. The city also saw a fatal shooting on Saturday night.

Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles lost yesterday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays; the score was 6 to 5. The O’s kick off an interleague series with the Washington Nationals today; the game starts at 1:05 this afternoon.