The Maryland Transportation Authority is expecting a very busy Memorial Day weekend and plenty of traffic and delays on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Route 50 headed to and from the beach.
That will be a welcome sight for our economy and jobs here on the Shore despite all the projected traffic headaches.
Memorial Day weekend is poised to be very busy on the Shore. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Delaware Gov. John Carney have both lifted statewide mask mandates and other COVID restrictions.
The lifting of state orders apply to both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Businesses — including restaurants and coffee shops — can still set their own mask rules for staff and customers.
But the lifting of COVID rules combined with vaccinations and declines in new cases and hospitalizations is leading more people to venture out and more looking to back to more normal pre-pandemic activities.
We saw it with the large crowds in South Carolina for Phil Mickelson’s win at the PGA Championship on Sunday. That felt like a pre-pandemic sporting event.
We hope to see crowds over Memorial Day weekend at the beaches as well as at other destinations on the Shore — including St. Michaels, Oxford, Easton and Cambridge. We, of course, hope everyone is safe.
Our restaurants, hotels and shops very much need a boost.
The expected bridge and beach traffic delays should also not be lost in the ongoing debates over a new Bay Bridge. We know bridge traffic and congestion are a headache for many local communities.
We also know how important the bridge and our tourism industry are for the economy and jobs here on the peninsula.
There will be plenty of griping about delays on the bridge and traffic congestion on Route 50 headed to and from the beach.
But the sight of visitors and their spending should be a very welcome sight across the Shore. Those dollars are hopefully a needed boost and sometimes a lifeline for restaurants, hotels and other businesses (and their workers) who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
For once, we should welcome the traffic jams and bridge delays.