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Where Will Memorial Day Traffic Be the Worst?

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A guide to the areas where Memorial Day traffic will result in the highest on-road congestion

Best Road Trip Destinations: Washington, D.C.
Expect a lot of traffic in the nation’s capital this weekend

As previously reported, AAA predicts that some 43 million Americans will embark on a vacation the Memorial Day holiday. 37.6 million of them plan to travel by car.

This will unsurprisingly lead to an increase in traffic throughout cities across the U.S. Fortunately, AAA has assembled a guide detailing which cities will be hit by the worst traffic and when.

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As it turns out, some of the worst of the traffic likely occurred on the Thursday and Friday before Memorial Day. During this time, both holiday travelers and regular commuters were forced to share the road.

Additionally, Monday will see heavier traffic than usual. Most vacationers will be making their way back home during Memorial Day itself.

Both Boston and Washington, D.C. will experience traffic that is three times as heavy during Memorial Day during the hours between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. As for cities that experienced heaver congestion on Thursday, May 23, New York City’s traffic was predicted to have doubled its usual level between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Atlanta’s traffic reportedly doubled between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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Higher gas prices also won’t deter vacationers from hitting the road for the long weekend. During the past two months, gas prices have increased by more than $0.30 nationwide.

Travelers will find other ways to keep their vacation expenses down in lieu of the higher gas prices.

“When gas prices are expensive, travelers may shorten the distance of a road trip, eat out less or look for free activities,” said AAA gas price expert Jeanette Casselano.

Still, gas prices are around the same level that they were during Memorial Day weekend last year, so expect similar levels of road activity this year. 

Source: AAA