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Baltimore 101
A collection of basic facts and FAQ of Baltimore
about Baltimore

Basic Facts

  • Baltimore City Population

    641,900

  • Baltimore Metro Area Population

    2,178,000

  • Mayor

    Sheila Dixon

  • Date Founded

    1729

  • Elevation

    30 feet

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Getting Around

  • What are the major highways in Baltimore?

    Baltimore is encircled by the I-695 beltway, with I-95 running through the city from the Southwest corner to the Northeast. Additionally I-83 begins just East of downtown and travels directly North.

  • What public transportation options are available?

    Baltimore's public transportation is managed by the Maryland Transit Administration which operates numerous bus lines, a light rail service that runs on a North - South axis, and a subway line which runs from West to East. Single fare, day, weekly, and monthly passes can be purchased.

  • What airports and train stations serve the city?

    Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, located just Southwest from the city is the region's primary domestic and international airport.

    Penn station located in the heart of the city on Charles street is the city's major train station. It serves as a major hub for Amtrak with trains arriving frequently.

  • What are the times considered rush hour?

    As is the case in most large American cities, congested highways occur primarily during the work week, M-F, from 7:30am - 9:30am and again from 4:30pm - 6:00pm.

    Generally speaking, it is best to avoid major thrufares leading into the city in the morning and vice versa in the evening.

  • Where can I find traffic reports?

    Most local Baltimore radio stations frequently update traffic conditions during rush hours. In addition to radio reports, the State of Maryland operates several live traffic cameras that can be viewed online at www.chart.state.md.us/TravInfo/trafficCams.asp

  • Taxi Service

    In downtown areas cabs can be hailed from the street without too much difficulty. In addition there is a taxi stand on Pratt Street in front of The Gallery and across the street from the Harborplace Pratt Street Pavillion.

  • Water Taxi Service

    A water taxi service is privately run for transportation between neighborhoods encircling the inner harbor. It is a convienient and scenic way to get around Baltimore in the warmer months.See Ed Kane's Water Taxi site for additional info.

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Climate

  • Average Winter Climate

    Baltimore experiences cool and damp winters. Temperatures range from the 50's to the 20's. There are usually 2-3 snowfalls per year.

  • Average Summer Climate

    Temperatures range from the 70's to the mid 90's from May through September. The hottest days can reach close to 100 degrees. High humidity levels are an important weather factor during the summer months, which will raise the heat index to above 100 during heat waves.

  • Rainfall

    Baltimore's temperate climate produces about 3-4 inches of rain per month. The rainiest months of the year are March, July, and August. Severe thunder storms ar common in the summer which are typically isolated and brief.

  • Natural Disasters

    Baltimore has relatively low risk from major disasters such as tornadoes, earthquakes, wild fires, hurricanes, and mud slides. Hurricanes are the largest threat, however they are typically severly downgraded by the time the storms reach Maryland.

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Dining

  • What are Baltimore's regional dishes?

    Baltimore is particularly known for blue crabs. They are usually steamed and seasoned with Old Bay to be picked while eaten. Other preparations include, crab dip, Maryland crab soup, and the favored crab cake.

  • How do I eat a steamed crab?

    Preferably with good friends and cold beer. Check out southbaltimore.com for a great tutorial on how to pick steamed crabs.

  • Will eating a raw oyster put hair on my chest?

    Yes.

  • What neighborhoods or districts are known for great restaurants?

    Baltimore has several areas around town where one can find a great meal. Notable areas include Little Italy, the Inner Harbor, Inner Harbor East, Federal Hill, Mount Vernon, and Canton. Please see our dining and nightlife guide for detailed information.

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Local Media

  • What channels are the local stations and which networks do they carry?

    Baltimore's TV major stations are WMAR(ABC ch 2), WBAL-TV(NBC ch 11), WJZ(ABC ch 13), and WBFF (FOX ch 45).

  • Print Media

    Baltimore's major daily newspaper is The Baltimore Sun. Additional and alternative newspapers published on a regular basis include The City Paper, The Daily Record, The Afro American, the Baltimore Business Journal, and the Baltimore Examiner.

  • Local Radio Stations

    WBAL 1090 AM is the largest local news / talk radio station in the region. WYPR 88.1 FM is the area's NPR affiliate. Popular music in a variety of programming selections can be found on several FM stations including a few Washington DC broadcasts.

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Local Government

  • What are Baltimore tax rates?

    Like most places in the country there are a variety of ways that both the State and Local Government fund their operations. Notable 2007 tax rates that affect Baltimore visitors and residents include:

    • MD State Sales Tax Rate: 5%
    • MD State Income Tax Rate: 4.75%
    • Baltimore City Local Income Tax Rate: 3.05%
    • Baltimore City Hotel Tax Rate: 7.5%
    • Baltimore City Real Property Tax Rate: 2.288%
  • Where is city hall?

    City hall is located downtown at 100 Holliday Street.

  • Who is the current Mayor of Baltimore?

    Sheila Dixon succeeded as mayor of Baltimore from her position of city council president in January 2007 after the elected mayor of Baltimore, Martin O'Malley, became Govenor of the State of Maryland. Sheila Dixon is expected to run for a full term as Mayor in the 2008 elections. She is the first female mayor of Baltimore.

  • What is the city government's website?

    www.ci.baltimore.md.us

  • Oh no! I got a parking ticket where do I pay for it.

    You can pay your parking fines via the postal service, online, or in person in the building next to city hall.

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Important Phone Numbers

  • Cab Service

    Checker Cab: (410) 685-1212

  • Baltimore City Police Department

    311 for non emergencies, 911 for emergencies

  • Baltimore Hospitals

    Johns Hopkins: (410) 955-5000, University of Maryland: (410) 328-6971, Bayview: (410) 550-0100, Mercy: (410) 332-9000

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Misc

  • What banks are common in Baltimore?

    Baltimore's most common bank franchises include Bank of America, Wachovia, M&T Bank, and Provident. Their branches and ATMs can be found all over town.

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