`Pretty quiet' holiday weekend on roads

September 05, 2006|By Liz F. Kay .. | Liz F. Kay ..,sun reporter

Travelers on the roadways on the last day of the Labor Day weekend had a relatively smooth trip, transportation officials said yesterday - possibly because rainy weather prompted many people to stay home.

There were no major backups in either direction on the Bay Bridge yesterday, said Lindsay Reilly, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Transportation Authority.

"All in all it was pretty quiet," she said. "It may be because of the weather - maybe people changed their travel plans."

The State Highway Administration suspended construction throughout Maryland for the weekend, said spokesman Chuck Gischlar. Crews were out and ready to assist motorists, he said.

Incidents were cleared up quickly when they occurred, Gischlar said.

A three-vehicle crash about 5:45 p.m. yesterday shut down two southbound lanes of Interstate 95 near the Interstate 195 exit, tying up traffic for about 45 minutes, the Maryland State Police reported.

One person was injured, but authorities did not have details on the person's condition last night.

Last year, travelers met a different roadblock: the price of fuel, which had skyrocketed because of Hurricane Katrina.

By contrast, gas prices had dropped during the past month, said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokeswoman Ragina C. Averella.

The organization had projected slightly increased traffic volumes for this year, but Averella said they conducted their survey of travelers before the weather forecast included potentially hurricane-force winds.

AAA Mid-Atlantic advised vacationers Thursday to cancel plans early to avoid cancellation penalties charged by hotels.

"The impact or fears or concerns of a tropical storm brewing probably played more into travelers' plans than did gas prices," she said.

People don't tend to travel as much on the Labor Day weekend as on other holidays, she added.

liz.kay@baltsun.com

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