News
10:49 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Delmarvans Hit the Road for the Holidays

Credit Don Rush

Holiday traffic is about to begin in earnest for this Fourth of July.

Maryland

Triple AAA Mid-Atlantic expects 86 percent of Maryland travelers to go by car.

That’s a slight decline from last year.

That amounts to nearly 690-thousand hitting the road from July 3 through July 7th.

Christine Delise with AAA Mid-Atlantic says decline is in part due to a shorter holiday this year than last.

But she adds federal budget cuts and the economy are still having their effect.

"It seems we're just not seeing the economic growth to offset the impact of the sequester and the effect of the end of the payroll tax cut on families." She added, "I mean, all of those on January First are taking home slightly lower paychecks. So, it was a little bit of that as well."

Resorts like Ocean City are seeing mixed results for restaurants.

Paul Jankovich with East Coast Promotions and Research Group says,  "There are some restaurants that are doing a lot better." He points to the Crab Bag restaurant in north Ocean City." But he says there are other newer restaurants that are "just trying to make positive impact in the market again." One of those, he says, is Peekies Restaurant in north Ocean City at the Fenwick Inn.

Credit Don Rush

In addition, Jankovich says, "There are old standby's that are knocking the ball right out of the park," including Mackes, Fager and the Clarion.

Delise also says that the outlook for a gallon of gas is looking good in Maryland.

"Right now the Maryland average is at $3.46 a gallon. That's four cents lower than a week ago. Salisbury's price is a nickel lower at $3.37. We do expect those prices to remain stable through the July Fourth holiday."

Meanwhile, the Maryland Transportation Authority says it expects traffic to be heavy at the Bay Bridge.

It says that weather, permitting, two lane traffic will hopefully alleviate delays.

In getting underway the Authority says that the best time to cross the bridge is before 10 am and after 10 pm on Thursday.

Delaware

In Delaware, AAA Mid-Atlantic expects 11.7 percent of the state’s population will be on the road

That is a little more than 100-thousand.

With the popularity of Delaware’s Rehoboth and Dewey Beaches authorities say that travelers should expect traffic backs up especially along Route 13.

For the beach areas, Carol Everhart, President of the Rehoboth Beach/Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce, says that the best way to avoid beach traffic is to use the Park and Ride lot off Delaware Route 1.

Transportation Authorities recommend motorists stay off the roadways during the peak hours of 7 a.m. to 10 am and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Virginia

Bay Bridge and Tunnel
Bay Bridge and Tunnel
Credit Bay Bridge and Tunnel Website

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Temporary highway lane closures will be suspended across Virginia to help Independence Day travelers reach their holiday destinations.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says lane closures in temporary work zones will be lifted from noon Wednesday to noon Friday.

Travelers can check road conditions and traffic incidents on VDOT's travel information website, ww.511Virginia.org, or the mobile version for handheld devices, mobile511virginia.org. The service also can be accessed by telephone calling 511.

Officials are encouraging Virginians to plan for a safe trip by avoiding distractions, wearing your seat belt, obeying the speed limit and being courteous to other travelers.

Virginia State Police will boost road patrols over the Independence Day holiday.

Increased patrols begin Thursday and continue through Sunday night. It's part of the annual Operation CARE national traffic-enforcement effort.

The additional patrols are aimed at reducing crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use seat belts.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says it expects more than 1.1 million Virginians to travel during the holiday weekend. That's down 1.4 percent from 2012.

Officials say 10 percent of the crashes in Virginia during the July 4th holiday were alcohol-related.

Last year police cited more than 9,200 speeders and 2,600 reckless drivers and 900 drivers were charged for failing to buckle up. State police also investigated 719 traffic crashes.

Ten people died in traffic accidents in Virginia last year.