Rain, traffic volume pose problems for Thanksgiving travelers

The mix of wet weather and high traffic volume caused travel headaches for many this holiday weekend.
Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 10:39 PM EST
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LUDLOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The mix of wet weather and high traffic volume caused travel headaches for many this holiday weekend.

“It’s always busy this time, the Sunday following Thanksgiving, and the rain isn’t helping. It doesn’t seem like there’s been any accidents. It seems like it’s just been high volume that’s moving slowly,” said Amy Katz.

Sunday was one of the busiest days for Thanksgiving travel with more than one million drivers expected to hit the road in Massachusetts, according to AAA. With all the expected traffic, Western Mass News caught up with some local folks at the Ludlow rest stop off the Mass. Pike about their experience on the road so far, including Katz, who was passing through western Massachusetts on her way back to the Boston area.

“The last hour, it’s pretty much been not moving, but now, it’s beginning to pick up,” Katz noted.

Western Mass News is getting answers and asked AAA Northeast spokesperson Mary Maguire how this year’s traffic flow compared to projections.

“I think that the crowds on the roadways really lived up to expectations,” Maguire said.

AAA estimated that about 1.2 million Massachusetts drivers got behind the wheel this holiday weekend. According to the organization, Thanksgiving road trips are slightly up from last year – approximately 0.4-percent from last year. Maguire told us one possible reason we’re seeing the higher volume of traffic is, “I think the fact that gas prices were down significantly from the high of $5 per gallon that we all know too painfully in June, really propelled lots of people to get behind the wheel and travel.”

Sunday’s wet weather adding to many folk’s traffic woes

“The rain is definitely slowing us down. Our GPS said we should have been in Marshfield quarter after five. Now, it’s quarter after seven because of the traffic,” said Nancy Battaglia of Marshfield.

Battaglia told us even with the rain, she has few complaints about the traffic this Thanksgiving.

“Ever since we left Buffalo, nothing. It was great and the way to Buffalo was unbelievable. We left Wednesday and there was no traffic. We made record time…This is a lot better than we hit last year. Of course, there was a football game going on, but it was pretty bad,” Battaglia added.

Maguire also said she wants drivers to remember to buckle up every time they hit the road, but especially on busy travel days like Sunday. She also expected heavy traffic on Monday morning.