Ahh, Thanksgiving eve. While many will be prepping Thursday’s meal or picking up its final staples, many more are expected to be hitting the road, making Wednesday one of the busiest travel days of the year across the country.
And you know what that means, New Yorkers: Gridlock getting in, out and through the five boroughs.
But there might be hope on the horizon, Crain’s reported. Analysis done by Seattle-based transportation data firm INRIX predicts what time of day is best — read: the least stressful — to hit the road.
According to the report, which looked at past travel patterns and anonymous speed data from phones, cars, trucks and more, travel time is expected to spike Wednesday around 4 p.m., and travelers should anticipate a 56 percent jump in congestion. Those leaving Manhattan can experience a 74 percent rise, the most of any borough.
“These are residual jams from the people who left at 1 and 2 o’clock,” Sam Schwartz, a former New York City traffic commissioner known for coining the term “gridlock,” told Crain’s. “The result is that every route that escapes the city will be on overload.”
If you haven’t left Manhattan yet, there’s no need to fret. In fact, you might even want to avoid the lumpy pullout couch that might be in your future and stay in your own bed tonight (if your relatives allow it, of course).
“There is a best time to travel, and that’s Thursday morning,” Schwartz said. “Stay away from the parade, and you will zoom past the traffic.”
Just be mindful that if you all opt to follow Schwartz’s advice, that could cause congestion, too. Good luck — and happy Thanksgiving.