Bay State travelers hit the road, endure holiday traffic
BOSTON, Mass. (WHDH) -- Drivers hitting the roads for Thanksgiving are hoping for an easier ride than Tuesday night's; traffic was backed up for more than 40 miles at the Weston Toll Plaza on the Mass. Pike.
It's only expected to get worse as people get ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, but travelers got an early stop to avoid the delays.
Travelers at Logan Airport Wednesday were pleasantly surprised by an easier than expected start to their journey.
“I was expecting the line to be very, very long so we left a few hours earlier but it’s a pleasant surprise,” said Natalie Williams.
The surprising crowds on the roads last night may have paved the way for an easier ride Wednesday.
"I know the drill, know you have to wait, take your shoes off and all the things you have to do,” said Hilda Jamie, a traveler.
AAA projected more than 43 million Americans hit the roads and airways over the next few days.
“That's up a little less than one percent from last year but it is the fourth consecutive year of increase since we saw a steep decline back in 2008,” said Robert Darbelnet, AAA President and CEO.
Gas prices were down from the peak in September, and as a result, 90 percent of those traveling say they will go by car.
Air fares are also cheaper, down by 11 percent for the 40 top city routes.
"This is, in terms of a family event, the biggest holiday of the year. And while people are still paying attention to what they are spending, carving turkey with family and friends still trumps pinching pennies," said Darbelnet.
As of Wednesday morning, it was smooth sailing through the Weston Tolls.
Travelers, prepare to leave early, giving yourself plenty time especially for those driving. For those heading to an airport, give yourself extra time to get through traffic, and those security lines. If you have a smartphone, there are apps that let you know how long the wait is for the security line.
For those that will drive through the Allston-Brighton Tolls, thanks to Plymouth Rock Insurance, the tolls will be free between three and four in the afternoon so travelers can save a little money and some time on the roads.
Travel is expected to be heavy on Sunday.
"I think the core time will probably be later afternoon. If you can wait a little longer later in the afternoon if you can travel a little earlier in the morning for Sunday -- I think those are the best. But again, we will be providing real-time traffic, 511, our website at the DOT and obviously various media outlets," said Richard Davey, transportation secretary.