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High Holiday Travel Numbers Predicted

by Katie Pyzyk December 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm 3,886 13 Comments

Amidst the mad scramble to buy last minute presents or make New Year’s Eve plans, local residents have apparently been making a lot of travel plans. In fact, AAA predicts the region will experience “the greatest exodus from the Washington metro area in the 21st Century.”

More than 41 percent of local residents report travel plans of 50 miles or more during the holiday travel period from Saturday, December 22, 2012 to Tuesday, January 1, 2013. That’s a 2.3 percent increase over last year.

“During Christmas and New Year’s we will experience the highest travel volume this decade, especially by the roadways, the railways, and the waterways,” said John B. Townsend II, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Manager of Public and Government Affairs. “The one exception is the airways, and this year, even that is making a comeback.”

90 percent of the travelers, or more than 2 million people, are expected to make their treks via automobile. About 130,000 people will fly out of D.C. area airports, which is about 5 percent higher than last Christmas.

AAA gives some credit for the travel boost to residents’ increased financial stability, along with lower gas and airfare prices.

  • Larry David’s weatherman

    Just a service announcement. The I-95 South will be closed on the morning of Saturday the 22nd. So plan accordingly.

    • Andy


  • Alex

    I don’t see any announcements regarding this closure. It was closed last Saturday very briefly during off peak hours:


    I call shenanigans.

    • Andy

      Thanks for the update. I think it’s a false alarm too. I couldn’t find anything online about it. Also, for Larry David’s weatherman — you must be from out west. Here it’s just “I-95,” not “the I-95.”

      • sam

        He’s referring to an episode where Larry Davids weatherman friend would call for rain on the air so that he could have the golf course all to himself.

  • Hokie

    Snow on the ground! I wouldn’t mind a good snow this year. Last winter was definitely nice to not be freezing cold- but it’s been almost 3 years since any snow accumulation worth talking about.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    But we’re all supposed to take Metro home for Christmas

    • MC 703

      That makes zero sense. Please elaborate.

    • Not Me

      Quite flummoxing.

    • nom de guerre

      I though we were all supposed to ride our bikes home for Christmas.

  • Choomgang

    I love the high holidays.

  • Alex

    I for one hope to use the Street Car for all my future holiday travel.

  • Donaldson Run

    It’s better by boat


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