State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Another holiday tradition: Thanksgiving traffic

Written by Mary Wilson, Former Capitol Bureau Chief | Nov 20, 2012 11:43 PM

You can run from the congestion, but you can’t hide. So say the folks at AAA Mid-Atlantic. Millions of people are expected to hit the roads cross the country over the next few days during the Thanksgiving holiday and some Black Friday shopping.

“Many people in Pennsylvania have relatives and family who are less than 50 miles away so of course there’ll be a lot of local travel on the roads as well as shopping travel,” said Jenny Robinson, a AAA spokeswoman.

That’s right: abandon hope, all ye who enter here. Robinson says there’s no sure way to avoid traffic.

“We’re noticing the travel really happens kind of all day,” said Robinson, “but if you can leave especially early or late, if you’re willing to travel late in the day, the volume usually drops.”

And don’t expect to be consoled with a peaceful return trip. Sunday is expected to bring the biggest traffic rush as people head back home, and it can’t be avoided simply by waiting a day. Routes also tend to be clogged on Monday, the first day of rifle deer season in Pennsylvania.

Robinson’s suggestion for minimal traffic on the way back home? Cut your trip short and leave on Saturday.

Other AAA suggestions for less stressful travel:

  • Do a more comprehensive-than-usual check of your vehicle before heading out for the holiday. Check tire pressure, window wiper blades, and the car battery.
  • Don’t try to drive for long stretches of time. Stop every few hours so you’ll stay alert on the road.
  • Plan those break times into your trip, so you’re not tempted to skip rest stops simply when you’re rushed.

Published in State House Sound Bites

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