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October 19, 2017
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Memorial Day Holiday Traffic Expected to Peak on Thursday Afternoon

Washington, D.C. Thousands of getaway travelers will spill onto Washington area highways this week, heading out of town for the long Memorial Day weekend. Those in the know will think twice before hitting the road Thursday afternoon.

Traffic analysts at the Transportation Planning Board (TPB) recently examined historical traffic information on area freeways in the days leading up to Memorial Day weekend. According to the analysis, traffic is consistently worse on Thursday than on Friday, running counter to a common perception that the Friday before the holiday weekend is the worst time to travel.

In each of the last five years, Thursday afternoon saw worse traffic overall than Friday; on average it took 50 percent to 100 percent longer to reach one's destination than on a day with no traffic. Pretty consistently for the last five years, the Thursday afternoon rush has ended around 8:00 P.M., with traffic not picking up again until around 11:00 A.M. on Friday.

Click here to read the full TPB analysis.

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The Transportation Planning Board at COG is the regional transportation planning organization for the Washington region. It includes local governments, state transportation agencies, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and members of the Maryland and Virginia General Assemblies

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Release Date: May 24, 2016
Contact: Megan Goodman
Phone: (202) 962-3209


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