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VDOT provides historic data to help motorists plan best holiday travel times

Motorists no longer need to guess when traffic will be heaviest for Thanksgiving travel thanks to historical data provided by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) gathered over the last three years. Travel to grandmother’s house before noon on Wednesday, and you will likely beat most of the traffic sure to hit the roadways over the holiday weekend.

Motorists should keep in mind that Wednesday is a normal work day for some, and normal rush-hour traffic may be encountered. Congestion on the return trip is a bit harder to predict as motorists tend to head home anytime from Friday through Sunday. travel

However, it’s a safe bet that you’ll avoid the heaviest traffic volumes if you avoid traveling home on Sunday evening.

For the second year, VDOT is making this information available online so motorists can plan their holiday travel schedule around expected peak congestion times. VDOT has collected speed and traffic volume data via pavement sensors at 24-hour count sites since April 2003.

The most heavily congested times to travel vary by region of the state and travel direction.

car travelCongestion is measured by analyzing the average speed and traffic volume for each hour over the course of the day. A drop in speed and corresponding rise in volume indicates a period of congestion, which may be due to an incident or heavy traffic volume.

The Interstate 95 corridor between Richmond and Interstate 395, the Interstate 495 areas of Interstate 66 in Northern Virginia, the Interstate 81/Interstate 77 interchange in Wytheville, I-81 between Roanoke and Lexington, and areas of Interstate 64 saw heavy congestion (defined as a 10 mph or more speed reduction) during certain peak travel times over Thanksgiving weekends since 2003.

car travelIt is important to note that this is historical information and is not a prediction of future congestion levels. For real-time traffic and travel information, dial 511 from any phone in Virginia. Outside of the state, call (800) 578-4111. You can also check the 511 Virginia Web site here.




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