ATLANTA — The start of summer travel kicked off Thursday as families hit the road to beat the Memorial Day traffic rush.
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), the busiest time for drivers is Friday afternoon. Traffic for Saturday will be moderate, and it’s expected to be light on Sunday and Monday.
One traveler, Vanessa Jouber, said it normally takes nearly an hour to get home, but that time had increased Thursday afternoon.
“Typically, it takes about 45 minutes to get home, and I just looked at my GPS, and it’s going to be an hour and 20 minutes,” said Jouber.
Another reason traffic will be heavy this holiday weekend? Lower gas prices as compared to last year.
“I live in Henry County, so when I was leaving, gas was $2.99,” said Zach Deckner who is traveling from the southern suburbs.
Doug Turnbull from the 95.5 WSB Triple Team Traffic Team said traffic started to intensify on Thursday.
“We were dealing with a handful today, and the Friday ride is really going to start bubbling up,” he said.
Turnbull recommends if you haven’t left already, the early and overnight hours may be the best way to avoid traffic.
“Hitting the road at 10 a.m. on a Friday, you are not getting a head start. You either want to leave really early Friday or really late, or just early on Saturday.”
Meanwhile, for those staying at home, the best days to venture out of the house and around metro Atlanta will be Saturday and Sunday.
“I plan on staying home; I don’t want to get into this any more than I have to,” said Jouber.
It may be an uphill battle for the next two days, but drivers will likely have a smoother ride when they return.
“Even Monday, that’s technically the end of the weekend. There are so many different lengths of vacations. That Monday is not going to be near of a bear returning as Thursday and Friday,” said Turnbull.
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