- Unbeliebable: White House turns Bieber petition response into immigration screed
- Obama signs law denying Iran ambassador’s visa, but says law is ‘advisory’
- Mich. judge to laughing convicted killer: ‘I hope you die in prison’
- Man charged in Kansas City-area highway shootings
- Keystone XL pipeline still on hold after State Dept. decision
- Fla. man charged with killing 16-month-old son to play Xbox undisturbed
- Drones from the deep: Pentagon develops ocean-floor attack robots
- Michigan mayor slaps back atheists’ try to erect ‘reason station’ at city hall
- PHILLIPS: Where is the conservative establishment?
- 7.5-magnitude earthquake shakes southern Mexico
Travel likely to be down over July Fourth weekend
But nearly 800,000 area residents expected to jam roads
High gas prices will mean fewer people traveling by car this Independence Day weekend, according to travel estimates released Monday, but steep charges at the pump don’t mean that highways won’t still be jammed.
AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts that 913,000 D.C.-area residents will travel this weekend — a 1.8 percent drop from last year’s figures.
About 86 percent of travelers are projected to go by car — about 3 percent fewer than the 807,000 on wheels last year. But AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesman Lon Anderson warned that “even though we’re seeing a decline, roads are going to be swamped.”
“If you add an extra 784,000 cars to highways for the holiday getaway,” he said, “you won’t have the road to yourself.”
Despite gas prices that have been falling in recent weeks, some motorists are expected to be deterred by per-gallon averages well above what they were at this time last year. According to numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average weekly price of standard gasoline last week was $3.72 per gallon, nearly $1 more than the similar time frame in 2010.
Higher gas prices haven’t always led to forecasts of fewer motorists, though.
Projections earlier this year indicated about 6,000 more drivers would hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, the traditional kickoff to summer. Gas prices in May averaged $3.93 per gallon, about $1.10 more than pre-Memorial Day numbers last year.
Mr. Anderson admitted that the irregular reaction of drivers to high gas prices surprised him.
But “the fact is, high gas prices have gotten so much publicity, and even though gas prices have been dropping pretty steadily, it’s still about 80 cents higher than last year,” he said.
Independence Day travel on a national scale is expected to drop from 40 million trips to 39 million trips, and the number of drivers across the country is projected to drop from 33.7 million to 32.8 million, according to AAA.
The number of people traveling by plane, however, has increased on the local and national levels.
AAA Mid-Atlantic predicts that more than 72,000 D.C.-area residents will take to the skies this weekend, compared with only 59,000 last year, a 22 percent increase.
Nationally, about 3 million people are expected to fly to their destination, something that Mr. Anderson said could depend on what day the holiday falls and whether travelers have more time to spend getting to and from their vacation spot.
While close to 1 million Washington-area residents are heading out of town, Mr. Anderson said that those who remain in the city can expect to be “swamped by tourists,” who are eager to take advantage of the world-class — and free — museums.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Meredith Somers is a Metro reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- No rest for the retired: Cardinal McCarrick on a mission for peace in Africa
- The sun also rises on Easter in the District
- Higher Ground: Colbert the Catholic
- Feeling taxed today? How about a prayer to St. Matthew?
- 'Matzah Factory' provides hands-on experience for learning about Passover
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Women losing coverage under Obamacare, too
- Scalia to students on high taxes: At a certain point, 'perhaps you should revolt'
- Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him
- Special Forces' suicide rates hit record levels casualties of 'hard combat'
- Feds approve powdered alcohol; 'Palcohol' available later this year
- EDITORIAL: Mark Warner running scared?
- Justice at last: 'Evil woman' outed for grabbing girl's game ball
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- CHARLES: Holder's undermining of the law deserving of contempt
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- 'Deport Bieber' petition draws no comment from White House
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.