Massachusetts: AAA Warns Potential Record-Breaking July 4th Traffic
The Fourth of July always represents a celebratory time: fireworks, cook-outs, boats, and summertime. However, according to AAA‘s travel preview, travelers should prepare for potential record-breaking traffic numbers this July 4th weekend in Massachusetts.
“AAA projects 50.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home this Independence Day weekend, setting a new record for the holiday,” they state. The previous record-setting 4th of July travel was pre-pandemic in 2019. That weekend saw 49 million travelers.
Of the 50.7 million Americans projected to travel, AAA estimates that 43.2 million will travel by car. They also point out that a key component here could be the fact that gas prices have lowered. Last year at this time, the average was $4.80 per gallon. Whereas this year, the national average is about $3.55.
What Does This Mean For Boston?
AAA detailed their holiday traffic expectations for many of the major markets in the country. For Boston, they believe peak congestion will be around 11 am this Friday (June 30), along the route of Boston to Hyannis, Cape Cod. This typical 70-mile drive averages about an hour and 50 minutes door-to-door. Under the 2023 holiday projection, it is expected this route next week will take two hours and twenty-four minutes on average.
You can find AAA’s forecast on the best and worst times to travel by car from Thursday, June 29 to Wednesday, July 5th, about halfway down the page here. In short, on July 4th the best time to drive is before 11 am or after 6 pm. The worst times will be from 12-3 pm.
Other Travel Tips
“Travel demand has been steadily increasing since 2020, and this summer is poised to be one for the record books,” AAA concludes.Leaving for car trips in the early morning or after 6 pm will help travelers avoid heavy congestion.
Furthermore, carpooling, walking where applicable, and leveraging all travel apps available will help you follow local traffic patterns and seek alternate routes, so that you don’t spend your July 4th stuck in the potentially record-breaking Massachusetts traffic.