Planning to Travel this Independence Day? Prepare for Worse-Than-Usual Traffic

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Seattle isn’t unfamiliar with teeming streets or congested roadways, but according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), Independence Day travel is going to make traffic around the Emerald City especially bad.

AAA projected that this year, 46.9 million Americans will leave their homes and travel up to 50 miles or more as the Fourth of July draws near, an increase of more than 5 percent from last year and a record-breaking high since the association started keeping track 18 years ago.

It named Seattle as the third most popular destination for domestic travel, and said those planning to drive around the area can expect traffic to be pretty terrible.

In its prediction, AAA cited INRIX, a global transportation analytics company that collaborated with the association in making the projection, as expecting travel times in Seattle to be 1.8 times longer than normal on Tuesday, July 3.

The estimated worst time to travel that day is 3 to 6 p.m.

“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” said Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing.

AAA also conducted an analysis on gas prices, saying that locally, prices have steadied, with Washington’s average sitting at $3.45, 62 cents higher than it was this time last year.

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