Thanksgiving’s impact on Baltimore in 3 bar charts and a map

Published on: November 24, 2022 6:00 AM EST|Updated on: November 28, 2022 7:58 AM EST

Maybe Baltimoreans really are more thankful on Thanksgiving, because they sure log far fewer complaints to 311 than on an average Thursday, a Baltimore Banner analysis of some Baltimore City and state open data sets found. In fact, the data shows just what you probably thought: More people are home in a tryptophan coma than outside calling 911 or getting in automobile accidents.

Both 311 and 911 calls drop in Baltimore City on Thanksgiving, though the impact is more pronounced on 311 calls. The number of 311 calls on an average Thanksgiving is 600% less than an average Thursday.

Calls to 911 dip far less: The average Thanksgiving Day sees 76% of the normal Thursday average, but the rest of Thanksgiving weekend looks more like Thanksgiving Day than 311 calls. The complaints about things like noise and litter rebound quickly and are practically back to normal by Sunday. Yet 911 calls are below average for each day in the weekend.

Believe it or not, traffic crashes are even down in Baltimore City on Thanksgiving Day, despite traditional holiday traffic. The number of crashes logged in the Maryland Statewide Vehicle Crashes database is 60% less than an average Thursday — though 2021 was higher than the average, a likely increase in travel after more significant pandemic impacts in 2021.

The drop in crashes isn’t just a Baltimore City thing, either, although the drop in the number of accidents that occurs is greatest there. It’s true in every Maryland county except one.

Prince George’s sees a slight increase in traffic crashes on Thanksgiving Day. So maybe be careful if you’re traveling there today.