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Pre-Thanksgiving traffic outlook: Busier than last year

Posted: 8:03 AM, Nov 23, 2016
Updated: 2016-11-23 09:04:07-05
BALTIMORE (AP) - The Maryland Transportation Authority is advising Thanksgiving travelers to leave either before dawn or late at night to avoid congestion.
 
The agency says Wednesday will be the busiest day of a long weekend that will put 2.7 million travelers on the state's highways. That's up 1 percent from last year's Thanksgiving holiday period traffic volume.
 
The authority says nearly a quarter of those drivers will likely take Interstate 95.
Here's fair warning for those traveling through Harford County, northeast of Baltimore: Maryland State Police say they're planning saturation patrols all weekend to watch for drunken drivers.
 
All lane closures have been suspended from Wednesday, Nov. 23 to Monday, Nov. 28 at 9 a.m.
 
The Maryland Department of Transportation issued travel tips to keep drivers safe during their holiday travels.
  • If your vehicle becomes disabled, remove the vehicle as far as possible from the travel lanes.
  • Call #77 or 911 in an emergency when able to safely make the call.
  • Check over your vehicle's tires and fluids. Pack supplies and an emergency kit. Have a backup plan for an alternate route.
  • Maryland's CHART website  includes access to hundreds of cameras, weather information, real-time lane closures and more.

If flying, follow these tips:

  • Be in the airport two hours ahead of scheduled departure.
  • Check TSA's website  for what you can/can't bring through checkpoints.
  • Local motorists picking up arriving family members or friends should either park in the Hourly Garage or use the upper level / departures roadway to avoid possible congestion along the arrivals roadway.
  • Put a small shovel in your car's trunk, in case you return from your 80 degrees in the Caribbean to find ice or snow on your car.
  • Also, pack a winter jacket, gloves, long pants and a sweater! Remember it's not going to be 80 and sunny here when you return!

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