Memorial Day Weekend: Best and Worst Times to Leave - NBC4 Washington

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Memorial Day Weekend: Best and Worst Times to Leave



    Memorial Day Traffic: Worst Times to Leave

    Nearly a million people in the D.C. area alone plan to travel for Memorial Day weekend. News4's Justin Finch reports on the worst times to leave. (Published Thursday, May 23, 2019)

    This Memorial Day weekend, don't let unexpected traffic slow you down on the road to vacation.

    D.C. drivers could see travel times triple after work on Thursday and Friday, as early holiday travelers mix with commuters on the roads, transportation analytics company INRIX predicts, according to AAA. And on Monday, INRIX recommends avoiding travel between 3:45 and 5:45 p.m. if possible.

    In Maryland:

    If you're traveling over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) recommends traveling during off-peak hours.

    To stay clear of traffic, plan trips on Thursday, Friday, Sunday or Monday before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m., and on Saturday before 7 a.m. or after 5 p.m.

    The MDTA will lift construction-related temporary lane closures from 5 a.m. Friday through 9 p.m. Tuesday.

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    In Virginia:

    Travelers in Virginia should try to avoid driving between noon and 6 p.m. on Friday and Monday, and during midday on Saturday and Sunday, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) says.

    Starting at noon Friday, VDOT will pause most highway work and lift a majority of lane closures on interstates and major roads to accommodate holiday travelers. These changes will stay in effect through noon on Tuesday.

    Check out an interactive map from VDOT to see historically busy times to help make travel plans. For real-time Virginia traffic information, you can download the VDOT 511 app on or call 511.

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    Before You Leave:

    Before hitting the road, AAA advises that you have your car's battery tested, look for engine coolant leaks and check the condition of your tires. Be prepared with a charger for your cellphone, a flashlight, a tool kit, water and snacks.

    The Virginia DMV is reminding drivers not to drive drunk. In 2018, there were 278 alcohol-related fatalities on roads in the commonwealth.

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