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Prepped for traffic tie-ups


Police brace for holiday, shopping traffic



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Planning ahead to avoid heaviest travel times can help motorists limit the number of red taillights they have to stare into during holiday drives, police advise. (click for larger version)
November 25, 2010
Prepare to glimpse a slowly moving wave of brake lights through your front windshield at least a few times this upcoming weekend.

Wednesday marked the beginning of the busiest travel week of the year, and Massachusetts State Police are reminding motorists to stay sober and drive safely.

AAA estimates that 42.2 million travelers will clog American roads and highways this Thanksgiving weekend, an 11-percent increase over Thanksgiving travel in 2009. The actual number of travelers may exceed AAA projections, as many people are averse to flying due to frequent delays, terrorism concerns, and looming threats of passenger strikes over full-body scans at airports. Wednesday's evacuation of a Logan Airport cargo terminal represented the type of airport hassles that have occurred with increasing regularity in recent years.

Unfortunately, since more people are deciding to forego aviation annoyances, the skies will open up while the roads become packed.

This means drivers in central Massachusetts should leave early if they plan to use the state's major highways.

According to State Police Lt. David Wilson, the Mass Pike, Interstate 84, and Route 20 are all expected to be jammed with heavy traffic this weekend — to and from both holiday destinations and stores. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes when possible, especially on Sunday, the busiest travel day of the year.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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