The Phoenix Reporter and Item (http://www.phoenixvillenews.com)

Philadelphia region revs up for Thanksgiving travel


By Brian McCullough, bmccullough@21st-centurymedia.com, @wcdailylocal on Twitter

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Nothing says economic security like jammed roads around Thanksgiving.

According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, you can expect to see plenty of them this year, along with long lines at the airport.

Nationally, nearly 51 million people will travel, the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005. Locally, 600,000 will travel at least 50 miles to have their Thanksgiving dinners, a 3.5 percent increase over 2016.

The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 22 to Sunday, Nov. 26.

“This is the ninth consecutive year for Thanksgiving travel growth,” said Jana L. Tidwell, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. The survey reflects “the strong economy and labor market, which results in increasing consumer confidence. It’s telling us they’re willing to spend on travel.”

The trip will cost drivers more this year: The price of a gallon of gas in the region is $2.75, up from $2.34 a year ago, AAA reported.

In the Philadelphia region, 90 percent will travel by car and 9 percent will go by air, Tidwell said.

What are the favorite destinations for those flying?

Compared to previous years, New York City, Las Vegas and San Francisco are gaining popularity as holiday spots, according to AAA. Here’s their complete ranking of air destinations for Thanksgiving:

1. Orlando, Florida

2. Anaheim, California

3. New York City, New York

4. Honolulu, Hawaii

5. Las Vegas, Nevada

6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

7. Cancun, Mexico

8. San Francisco, California

9. Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

10. Fort Lauderdale, Florida

And for those driving in the region, there are roads to avoid.

Locally, the top ten traffic hotspots for Thanksgiving travel in and around the Philadelphia Metro area will be:

• I-295 S @ I-76/Exit 26 (Camden County, N.J.)

• I-76 E @ Belmont Avenue/Exit 338 (Montgomery County)

• I-76 W @ PA-320.Gulph Road/Exit 330 (Montgomery County)

• I-76 W @ Montgomery Drive/Exit 341 (Philadelphia County)

• I-95 S @ US-322/Exit 2/Exit3 (Delaware County)

• I-476 N @ US-1/Exit 5 (Delaware County)

• PA-309 S @ Stump Road (Montgomery County)

• US-202 N @ US-1/Baltimore Pike (Delaware County)

• I-95 N @ Aramingo Avenue/Richmond Street (Philadelphia County)

• I-476 S @ I-95 (Delaware County)

The PA Turnpike Commission, or PTC, is projecting that 3.55 million cars and trucks will travel the turnpike during the six-day period that began Tuesday and ends Sunday.

“We appreciate that family, friends, food and festivities are the focus of the Thanksgiving holiday season,” said Mark Compton, PTC CEO. “We also know that millions will be traveling our roadway to celebrate those traditions and have planned accordingly so motorists will not be detained by scheduled maintenance or construction. All lanes are slated to be open and additional safety, maintenance and state police patrols will be on hand.”

The turnpike commission recommends drivers take a break at least every two hours to increase their levels of alertness.

– To contact Business Writer Brian McCullough, call 610-235-2655 or send an email to bmccullough@21st-centurymedia.com