Talking Thanksgiving travel, 2009 edition
Each November, I pull together the most recent information from highway departments and from travelers into blog and newspaper advice for the holiday getaway. One of the questions that came in during our Monday online chat got me started on this year's edition.
Silver Spring, Md.: "Too soon to ask about Thanksgiving?
I'm headed, as always, for the Penn. Turnpike. Top of the Beltway to 270 to 70 to Breezewood. But here's the thing: 70 is a bear all the way to Hagerstown on getaway days. Don't know what the big deal is about Hagerstown (I used to think it was the Premium Outlets, but the traffic issue persists even when they must be closed), but there it is. So when, do you think, is the best time to split? It's a question of +/- going to work on Wednesday; if I do, I'll be set free a little early, in the 3 p.m. sort of area ... which will get me hung up in the worst traffic and my six-hour drive will take nine hours. If I don't go to work on Wednesday, I could leave Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning; which is better?
"Or, if you and the gang know a better (faster, and still safe in the winter) way to get to Cleveland, I'm all ears."
It's definitely not too soon to get talking. Travelers, please send me your thoughts and tell me about your experiences on this basic getaway issue. Post your comments here on the blog, or send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And that's whether you know, or need to know about traveling north, south, east, west from the Washington area.
My thoughts on Silver Spring's question: I'd take Wednesday off and leave Tuesday evening, if the weather is good. Even if you leave early on Wednesday, you're still going to run into somebody's rush hour on a long distance trip, plus you'll pick up some holiday traffic.
Still, I wouldn't expect to breeze through on Tuesday night. Those of us who cover transportation for The Post have noticed that traffic on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving has been getting heavier
Silver Spring wasn't asking about this, but is anyone into Breezewood avoidance? Any suggestions on that?
November 3, 2009; 11:52 AM ET
Categories: Getaway , holiday travel | Tags: Dr. Gridlock
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