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3.3 million travelers will hit Southern California roads for Thanksgiving, Automobile Club warns

By in Press Enterprise on November 17, 2017

By Jonathan Winslow

With travel times expected to more than double next week in Southern California, and Anaheim being one of the hottest national destinations for Thanksgiving, those heading out of town by car may want to leave early or plan for a long drive.

The Automobile Club of Southern California expects this to be the region’s busiest local travel season since 2007, with 3.87 million residents leaving for the holiday weekend. About 3.3 million of those travelers will be in cars.

Marie Montgomery, spokeswoman for the Automobile Club out of Costa Mesa, said traffic in the region will be at its worst on Tuesday afternoon, Nov. 21, with heavy congestion continuing into Wednesday – making leaving Monday or very early Tuesday the best bets for a smooth trip.

“If you have to leave on Tuesday, I would say do it either really early or maybe just after the rush hour has ended. Tuesday evening is just not going to be good,” Montgomery said. “If it gets to you, pull off the freeway and sit at a restaurant for a little while – it’s going to take up to two and a half times longer than it normally would, depending on where you’re going.”

The worst traffic hot spot will be the southbound 5 freeway at Valley View Avenue in La Mirada, where ongoing construction has primed the area for heavy congestion, Montgomery said.

The Automobile Club’s forecast also reports this as the most expensive Thanksgiving to fill up at the pump since 2013, when gas prices were above $3.60 a gallon. This year, prices are expected to average $3.20 a gallon through the holiday weekend.

Going by a survey of the Automobile Club’s AAA Travel agents, Anaheim ranks as the third most popular destination for Southern Californians this season, trailing only behind San Francisco and San Diego. The […]    

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