High Number Of Travelers Expected To Hit The Road This Memorial Day Weekend

May 23, 2019

Drivers this holiday weekend can expect a lot of traffic in and around Pittsburgh.

AAA predicts this will be the most traveled Memorial Day holiday since 2005, with a 4 percent increase in travel by vehicle over last year in the mid-Atlantic area.

Roads will be busiest late Thursday and Friday afternoons as commuters mix with travelers, said Jim Garrity, spokesperson for AAA’s East Central office.

“A lot of the rationale behind more Americans taking a trip is having additional disposable income to take the trip,” he said.

Drivers will hit the road at a time when gasoline prices in western Pennsylvania are among the highest they have been all year. The price jumped 30 cents over the past two months in Pittsburgh to $3.09.

“We don’t see people using that as the rationale to flat-out cancel their trips,” Garrity said.

He said families instead are choosing to eat out less frequently or use their most fuel-efficient vehicle to save money over the holiday. The price of gas right now is similar to what it was at this time last year.

People who plan to make trips this weekend can use the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Historic Holiday Traffic tool to see how traffic speeds over Memorial Day in years past compare to a normal work week.

AAA and law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania have announced increased patrols over the holiday that will continue through the summer, as police watch for intoxicated or distracted driving.