Your Guide to Thanksgiving Travel

The Thanksgiving travel rush is in full swing, and AAA predicts more than 2 million New Englanders will hit the roads, rails and skies this holiday weekend.

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is monitoring traffic, with highway signs reminding people to think about traveling early. Major highways, including the Massachusetts Turnpike, were gridlocked during peak times last year.

--> CLICK HERE FOR OUR INTERACTIVE TRAFFIC MAP <-- cited the Mass Pike east at Boston University Bridge to Oak Street as one of the 10 worst traffic spots in the country for Thanksgiving.

According to Google, the best time to leave Boston before Thanksgiving was overnight Wednesday. The worst time will be around 3 p.m. Wednesday. 

AAA says you can expect 2-1/2 times the normal delays. More than one million people in Boston are expected to hit the roads, they say.

The Interstate 93 HOV lane between Boston and Quincy is open Wednesday from 2 to 8 p.m. to help keep the extra traffic moving. Construction workers took a break on highway projects starting Wednesday at noon. 

"During the holiday season, millions of people will travel across the Commonwealth to be with loved ones, and we are making it a priority to keep the roads safe," Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said. "We encourage everyone to travel safely and limit dangerous behaviors like distracted or impaired driving."

Many people across the region began plotting their course of travel early.

"In past years, I left on Wednesday to pick up my mom in southern Rhode Island and it’s always been crazy," Melrose resident Kate House said. "So I thought I’d get ahead of it, lose a little bit of time on Tuesday, but at least we’ll have it out of the way."

About 28.5 million people across the country will be flying over the weekend.

Michael McCarthy, a TSA spokesperson, recommends getting to the airport an hour earlier than normal and to contact them if you have questions about what you can bring in your carry on.

Delays were minimal at Boston's Logan Airport on Wednesday morning.

Elisa Maloney, whose family is flying to Chicago for the holiday, said there were few issues Wednesday.

"Not even getting to the airport," she said. "There's like no traffic, which is like, amazing."

Some people who were making their way out of Logan said leaving early had its advantages.
"I dunno, it's moving pretty fast," said Boston's John Paul Berexa of the security line. "Maybe the TSA finally got their act together."
"My husband likes to make sure we're early," added Diane Nargassans who was traveling to Texas.

"It's remarkably sparse today," added Craig Maloney. "So we're happy."

Still, Massport and the TSA say millions will board planes on Wednesday.

"Allow yourself extra time," the TSA's McCarthy said. "That way you get through the screening process... you'd rather have extra time at your gate than cut it close."

The MBTA said riders should regularly check in on the status of their train or bus for potential delays over the holiday.

Last year, AAA said they expected more than 48 million Americans to drive or fly somewhere for Thanksgiving.

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