INRIX Thanksgiving Traffic Forecast Predicts Trips in Major Cities Will Take a Third Longer Wednesday Afternoon Low Gas Prices Counteract Cloudy Economic Outlook to Drive Increased Traffic Congestion Over Thanksgiving

KIRKLAND, Wash., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans preparing to drive on Wednesday in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday can expect trips out of town to take a third longer on average due to increased traffic congestion.

According to INRIX, a leading global provider of traffic information and driver services, travellers in cities with healthy economies like San Francisco, Philadelphia and Boston will experience the worst traffic compared to the national average.  However, travellers in areas of the country where economies are still struggling can expect to see less traffic congestion over the Thanksgiving holiday.  

"The national economic fire from the spring and summer has cooled off," said Jim Bak, INRIX Analyst. "Thanksgiving travel would have been relatively flat compared to last year if not for low gas prices which encourage travellers to drive rather than fly."

The Wednesday pre-Thanksgiving rush hour should begin two hours earlier than a typical Wednesday in most cities. Rush hour should peak between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the bigger cities and 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the smaller cities. Traffic should drop off quickly after 6 p.m.  On the West coast, traffic congestion is expected to build as early as 1 p.m. but on the East coast and in the Midwest, traffic is expected to build starting at 3 p.m.

Added Bak, "Our advice to drivers wanting avoid the worst traffic is to leave before 1p.m. or after 6 p.m. on Wednesday.  If it's possible to wait to leave Thanksgiving morning, roads will be free and clear as long as you're not living in New York and planning to drive into Manhattan ahead of the parade."

According to OPIS/Gas Buddy, the national per-gallon pump price is down nearly 25 cents from November 2012.  Overall, INRIX analysis showed Thanksgiving traffic congestion will be up 3 percent nationally. 

Top 10 Busiest Cities for Thanksgiving Traffic
Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco top this year's list of worst traffic cities with trips out of town taking from 30-50 percent longer than a typical Wednesday afternoon.  The chart below shows the peak congestion period and extent of delays for the 10 worst cities.

Rank

Metropolitan Area

2013 Peak Time: Wednesday

Amount of extra time the average trip will take drivers (percent)



Percent change from 2012

1

Los Angeles

3PM-5PM

48

Up 7%

2

Seattle

3PM-4PM

47

Up 1%

3

Portland OR

3PM-4PM

46

Down 12% (weather event caused extra delay in 2012)

4

New York*

3PM-5PM

44

Up 17% (Superstorm Sandy lowered delays due to traffic dramatically in 2012)

5

San Francisco

3PM-4PM

36

Up 7%

6

Washington DC

2PM-4PM

33

Down 9%

7

Philadelphia

3PM-4PM

26

Up 2%

8

Chicago

3PM-4PM

24

Up 3%

9

Miami

3.30PM-5.30PM

23

Up 3%

10

Boston

2.30PM-4.30PM

23

Up 7%

*Large shifts in congestion in New York and Portland compared to last year are attributed to the impacts of weather events in those areas.

The above chart shows, for example, the average trip in Los Angeles on the day before Thanksgiving is predicted to take drivers 48 percent longer than usual (Delay Factor). "Los Angeles is simply the worst place to be on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving," said Bak. "They'll experience steady traffic all day." Nationally, drivers can expect the average trip to take a third longer than a typical Wednesday afternoon."

Busiest Airport Routes
In addition to the busiest cities for Thanksgiving traffic, INRIX also identified the busiest routes to and from major airports nationwide. Travelers who can't avoid peak travel times should factor the extra time into their trip. For example, travelers headed to Houston Bush International Airport via US-59 should allow an extra 30 minutes of travel time to get to the airport between 4-6 PM. Travelers headed to SeaTac Airport should plan an extra 35 minutes from downtown Seattle.

Drivers who want to avoid the worst congestion should travel outside these peak hours.

Metro Area

Airport Route

Distance (miles)

Travel Time w/o Traffic

Peak Hours

Peak travel time

Houston Bush

Downtown to Intercontinental Airport via US-59 N

15.6 miles

19.5 min

4-6PM

49 min

SeaTac

Downtown to Sea-Tac International Airport via I-5 South

15.1 miles

18.9 min

2-4PM

47 min

New York JFK

Hunters Point to JFK via Long Island Expressway E

11.1 miles

13.9 min

4-6PM

43 min

Chicago O'Hare

Downtown to O Hare Airport via Kennedy Expressway W

8.2 miles

10.25 min

5-7PM

36 min

Denver

Downtown to DIA via I-70 E and Pena Blvd

19.7 miles

24.6 min

4-6PM

35 min

LAX

Downtown to LAX via I-110 S

17.3 miles

21.6 min

7-8AM

34 min

Dallas-Ft Worth

Downtown to DFW Airport via TX-183 W

13.9 miles

17.4 min

3-5PM

30 min

Miami

Downtown to Miami Airport via Dolphin Expressway W

4.3 miles

5.4 min

4-6PM

27 min

Las Vegas

Las Vegas Strip to Airport via I-15 S

8.2 miles

10.1 min

3-5PM

20 min

Phoenix

Phoenix to Sky Harbor Airport via I-10 E

6.5 miles

8.2 min

3-5PM

18 min

San Francisco

Downtown to San Francisco Airport via US-101 S

9.3 miles

11.6 min

3.30-5.30PM

13 min

Atlanta

Downtown to Hartsfield Atlanta Airport via I-75 S

8.2 miles

10.25 min

5-6PM

11 min

Black Friday Forecast 
INRIX also analysed traffic levels around America's Busiest Shopping Centers over the last three years to predict what drivers can expect travelling around these areas on Black Friday.  INRIX analysis forecasts traffic congestion will peak between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. advising shoppers to head out early to avoid the worst traffic delays and hassles finding parking at the mall.   

The following table tracks the Top 10 Busiest U.S. Shopping Centers, the peak congestion hour and the percentage change over 2012.

Top 10 Busiest U.S. Shopping Centers

Amount of Delay (Percent)

Amount of Delay at Peak Traffic Hours (Percent)

Peak Traffic Hours

Roosevelt Field

Garden City, NY

115

133

2-4PM

Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance, CA

105

120

12-2PM

Sawgrass Mills

Sunrise, FL

66

79

12-2PM

Westfield Garden State Plaza, Paramus, NJ

43

65

2-4PM

Palisades Center

West Nyack, NY

64

74

3-5PM

Tysons Corner Center, Mclean, VA

63

77

1-3PM

The Galleria

Houston, TX

41

62

2-4PM

Woodfield Mall

Schaumburg, IL

41

56

3-4PM

King of Prussia Mall

King of Prussia, PA

16

21

1-3PM

Mall of America

Minneapolis, MN

2

6

11-1PM

For travellers wishing to stay up to date on the latest traffic conditions during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, the INRIX Traffic app provides free, up-to-the-minute insight into current traffic conditions as well as traffic forecasts for all highways, city streets and other heavily travelled local roads nationwide. The INRIX Traffic App is available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone and Windows 8. To learn more about INRIX Traffic as well as download the app, visit www.inrixtraffic.com.

Traffic Forecast Methodology
INRIX analyzed the Thanksgiving holiday periods in 2010, 2011 and 2012, traffic trends from major national holiday weekends in 2013 and current traffic trends to predict what drivers might expect over the upcoming Thanksgiving getaway and holiday weekend. In measuring the shifts in traffic congestion over these holiday periods, INRIX uses a common measure for congestion called the Travel Time Index referred to in our research as a percentage representing the amount of delay drivers can expect on these days due to traffic.

About INRIX
INRIX is one of the fastest growing big data technology companies in the world. The company leverages crowd-sourced data and sophisticated analytics to reduce the individual, economic and environmental toll of traffic congestion. Through cutting-edge data intelligence and predictive traffic technologies, INRIX helps leading automakers, fleets, governments and news organizations make it easier for drivers to navigate their world. Our vision is simple—to solve traffic, empower drivers, inform planning and enhance commerce. 

Whether through an in-car or smartphone navigation application, a local newscast or our INRIX Traffic app, our up-to-the-minute traffic information and other driver services help more than 150 million drivers save time, fuel and frustration.  INRIX delivers traffic and driving-related insight, as well as sophisticated analytical tools and services across six industries covering four million miles of road in 37 countries.  For more information visit us at www.INRIX.com.

SOURCE INRIX



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http://www.inrix.com
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