Memorial Day weekend: What you need to know before traveling

Local News

NEW YORK — Some Memorial Day motorists got an early start on their weekend plans.

AAA is expecting travel for this weekend to jump more than 60% from last year.

Robert Sinclair, spokesperson for AAA Northeast, shared tips on how to help people avoid some of the traffic hotspots.

Gas prices

Higher gas prices are not stopping people from hitting the road this year. According to Sinclair, about 34 million people are expected to travel between Thursday and Monday.

Though the number is a jump form last year, it’s not as high as the number of people traveling pre-pandemic. 

In 2019, about 42 million hit the roads during Memorial Day weekend — the second highest number of all time.

“We’re not quite there. We’re getting back,” Sinclair said.

Best and worst times to leave

When are the best times to leave? Sinclair said the best time to leave is the early morning hours. If you haven’t left, consider leaving Saturday early morning before the sun comes up.

Friday afternoon between 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. is considered “really bad.”

Worst delays in the area

While many people are ditching their MetroCards or train passes, more traffic has been reported across many tri-state area roads.

Sinclair said to expect more delays and traffic on roads considered “usual suspects,” including the Long Island Expressway, Cross Bronx Expressway, and the I-95 in Connecticut.

Weekend weather

Will the weather put a damper on weekend plans? Likely not. Sinclair said people need to be careful of slippery conditions and use windshield wipers when driving in the rain. 

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