NEW YORK — Friday evenings tend to feature heavy traffic out of the city, but the Friday of the Memorial Day weekend was that much more congested for a variety of modes of transportation. The large majority of travel was by car, and that situation was summed up in one word by one driver.

“Horrible,” said Thomas Gagliardi, from behind the wheel, after pulling into the New Jersey Turnpike service area in Secaucus. “Absolutely horrible.”

He was describing traffic on New Jersey’s biggest traffic artery, but other motorists said that other highways in the New York metro area could be similarly described.

The tri-state region has the most densely packed population in the country, and it has traffic volumes to match.

One significant thing that drivers can do to reduce their time in holiday traffic, according to traffic engineer Sam Schwartz, can also conserve gas, at a time when fuel prices are at an all-time high.

“If you have a choice, take parkways over expressways: [choose] the Garden State Parkway over the New Jersey Turnpike, the Grand Central Parkway over the LIE,” and so on, he said.

The reason for the choice, Schwartz said, is that tractor-trailers aren’t permitted on parkways.

Motorist Liz Sadler said that her drive from Connecticut to points south bore that out.

“We came [on] the Palisades Parkway, and it was beautiful, from the Merritt Parkway, and it was beautiful. No traffic either of those parkways,” she said.

Then she reached the interstate and, she said, while it could have been worse, it didn’t measure up to the parkway traffic flow.

“[Interstate] 95’s okay, she said, “but my brother-in-law is a truck driver, and he said 95, try to stay off it.”

It was gummed up in both directions on Friday, in part due to the fact that people are driving into the city, as well as leaving.

In fact, of the top destinations nationwide for the weekend, according to AAA, New York is in the Top Ten, at Number Six.