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Andrew D'Arcy
Andrew D'Arcy
Attorney • (609) 641-6200

How To Avoid Thanksgiving Traffic in NJ

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Thanksgiving is all about turkey, cranberries, football and traffic jams. A Plymouth Rock Assurance study shows that midday hours are the busiest for travel in New Jersey.  The study shows 87% of New Jersey residents traveling on Thanksgiving Day will do so between 10 am and 5 pm.  Only 9% plan to travel between 6 am and 10 am.

AAA is predicting that 43.6 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles from home this year.  Following are some New Jersey highways and spots you might want to avoid in your Thanksgiving travels.

  • New Jersey Turnpike. Everything about this road will be busy.  Try using the outer truck lanes southbound into the merge of the inner and outer roadways.  There are far fewer trucks and the outer roadway is usually best into the merge.
  • Garden State Parkway. The trouble spots will be southbound from exit 153 (Clifton) to Route 78 and exit 131 to the Driscoll Bridge.
  • Interstate 80. Trouble spots here will be at the 287 construction zone and near the Delaware Water Gap.
  • S. 1. Trouble spot at the corridor between Plainsboro and 295/95 where there are lots of shopping areas.
  • George Washington Bridge. Routes 80/95 express lanes are always heavier.
  • Outerbridge Crossing. Holiday trouble spot here will be leaving New Jersey on Routes 287 and 440.
  • Newark Liberty Airport. Make sure to coordinate pick up and drop offs – No Standing Zones will be enforced.

Driving at night is a great way to avoid traffic saving you time and stress.  If you must drive on Wednesday, leave by 2 pm or after 6 pm.  The pre-Thanksgiving rush hour will begin two hours earlier than normal in most cities.  Thanksgiving Day is the best time to travel, with the least amount of traffic out of all the days in its week.  Leaving on the actual holiday, you can avoid the hassle of traffic the day before and get where you’re going without having to leave at a strange hour or risk sitting in traffic for hours.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at DJD!