Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Congressman Sarbanes Announce Extension of Charm City Circulator Service to Fort McHenry

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

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Mayor Rawlings-Blake Issues a Local State of Emergency for Baltimore City In Advance of Winter Snow Storm

City leaders are urging residents to take steps now to be prepared for possible severe weather

BALTIMORE, Md. (January 21, 2016)—Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake issued a local state of emergency, effective at 4:00 pm today, as the City prepares for an upcoming snow storm. Forecasters have issued a blizzard warning starting Friday night and continuing through the weekend, with the potential for more than a foot of snow and high winds.

As a precautionary measure, City leaders are urging residents to take steps now to be prepared for the storm, as well as potential power outages. For more information on emergency preparedness, residents are encouraged to go to the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management at

The state-of-emergency declaration is intended to assist with preparation and activation of emergency planning. Currently, city operations are operating as normal. If there are any changes due to severe weather conditions, further notifications will be made.

The City's Emergency Operations Center will be activated starting at 9:00 am Friday. The City's agencies have been planninng and meeting all week to ensure Baltimore is prepared for the upcoming storm.

Emergency Operations Officials are suggesting the following:

  • Have at least three days of water on hand for each person in your home
  • Check your flashlights and battery-powered radios to make sure they have fresh batteries
  • Keep your pets indoors
  • Review your medical prescriptions to be sure that you have enough medications to last a week

Check on your neighbors – particularly the elderly and vulnerable – and see if they need any help with storm preparations   

Banner Route will provide easy and efficient service to historic landmark for Bicentennial celebrations.

Today, U.S. Congressman John P. Sarbanes joined Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and former Senator Paul S. Sarbanes to announce the Charm City Circulator will begin service to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine this summer.

The new Banner Route has been made possible through a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to the City of Baltimore. Partial funding for the grant was provided through the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program, which addresses the challenges of increasing vehicle congestion around America’s national parks and other federal lands.

“Bus service to Fort McHenry will make it much easier for Baltimore residents and visitors to enjoy this local historic treasure, while alleviating parking and traffic concerns for the surrounding neighborhood.” said Congressman Sarbanes. “The Bicentennial of the War of 1812 is an opportunity to celebrate the historic events that unfolded right in our backyard. Many refer to the War of 1812 as the ‘second war of independence.’ The heroic defense of Fort McHenry turned the tide in the war and set the stage for the spread of democracy around the world.”

“The Charm City Circulator provides citizens and visitors with a convenient and clean way to move in and around our central business district,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “The commemoration of the War of 1812 is a celebration of the spirit of our great city. It provides us with an opportunity to show tourists our beautiful City, and to remind residents of our shared history. We are grateful for all of the work that our partners in Annapolis and Washington have done to help us expand the Circulator to make this new and successful service part of our historic celebration.”

"For more than two hundred years, Fort McHenry has stood sentry at the Port of Baltimore. I'm proud to put funds in the federal checkbook to help Marylanders and all Americans to be able share in this national treasure while helping to ease traffic in Baltimore," said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“With the opening of the Charm City Circulator’s route to Ft. McHenry, the Bicentennial Celebration of the War of 1812 is truly underway in Maryland,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. “The Circulator’s Star Spangled route will help alleviate traffic congestion while providing visitors with greater access to Ft. McHenry so they can experience the entire Battle of Baltimore experience, including the birthplace of our National Anthem.”

“Visitors are the lifeblood of any national park,” said Tina Orcutt, Superintendent of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The new Banner Route of the Charm City Circulator will bring thousands of people to the Birthplace of 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' It connects two great areas of Baltimore – the Inner Harbor and Fort McHenry – in a safe, clean and environmentally-friendly way.”

Circulator service to Fort McHenry is expected to begin this June as the City begins celebrations of the War of 1812 Bicentennial. For more information about the events this summer, please visit

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