INRIX®, a leading provider of traffic information and driver services, released its annual Memorial Day weekend getaway traffic forecast estimating a significant increase in Los Angeles and New York traffic this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year, particularly on Friday, May 23.
The upswing in congestion is consistent with data from the INRIX Traffic Scorecard Annual Report released in March, which ranked Los Angeles as the most congested city in the U.S. Traffic increased by 8.5 percent last year wasting drivers on average 64 hours in gridlock. New York by comparison in March shows traffic congestion up 5 percent in 2013 with drivers wasting 53 hours in gridlock – 3 more hours than 2012.
Based on analysis of current traffic trends, economic trends and historical traffic patterns from previous holidays, INRIX recommends the following to drivers looking to avoid the worst delays heading out of town:
1. Depart between 10-11 a.m. on Friday. INRIX’s analysis predicts the ideal window to get out of town will be right after morning rush hour. This could be drivers’ golden opportunity to escape the worst of the holiday traffic before the late afternoon rush ensues, which will start earlier than usual on Friday.
2. Alternatively, leave by 2 p.m. or after 7 p.m. to avoid the worst delays. Rush hour on Friday afternoon is expected to be its worst between 3-5 p.m. when the average trip will take over 30 percent longer than normal. If drivers cannot leave right after the morning rush hour, ideally between 10-11 a.m., they should depart before 2 p.m. to avoid the worst traffic. Otherwise, traffic heading out of New York City should be relatively clear by 7 p.m.
Our advice? Seriously, just avoid travel altogether if you can if you live in these areas. Those that understand the L.I.E and the Los Angeles Freeway know what we’re talking about. These roads are bad enough as it is on normal days. If you have any power to stop this, leave a day or two early for wherever you’re going. Otherwise a staycation really isn’t a bad idea.
Happy Memorial Day though!
Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images