Post-Thanksgiving Travel

By: Venton D. Blandin
By: Venton D. Blandin
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November 27, 2005

Roadways were very active today and into the night, as the Sunday after Thanksgiving is usually one of the busiest travel days of the year.

AAA estimates 31 million Americans drove somewhere at least 50 miles from home this holiday weekend. In Virginia, 900,000 got behind the wheel.

With so many travelers, and less than pleasant weather across the eastern corridor, drivers were sure to hit the brakes following their turkey trip.

"Terrible. It was bumper to bumper from Washington, [D.C.] to the Richmond exit," said Carol Ann Raines, of Fluvanna County."

"From interstate 81 to interstate 64 it was so backed up," said Heather King, a motorist from Roanoke filling up with gas in Charlottesville.

"Typically, Thanksgiving and coming around into Christmas, it's a heavy travel season. Gas prices have gone down, so there are motorists on the roadways," said Trooper Kevin Frazier, of the Virginia State Police.

This time around, allowing extra time for long lines at the airports, was unnecessary. There were hardly any lines, or major delays at any U.S. airport.

Amtrak was so busy, it put an extra 60 trains in gear this week in its northeast corridor, which seemed to work just fine for the rail service.

While gas prices have dropped in recent weeks, allowing motorists to breathe a sign of relief, it's still too much in some areas.

"Up in D.C. Area, I didn't get gas, it was just way too expensive," said Raines.

It appears traveling for Thanksgiving 2005 wasn't as bad as in the past even with a wave of bargain-seeking shoppers adding to the mix.

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