Sunday, December 3, 2023

AAA: expect to sit in traffic and pay more at the pump this Thanksgiving

The price of a gallon of gasoline has been on the rise in Greater Williamsburg since Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana's oil operations. (Steve Roberts, Jr./WYDaily)
A Williamsburg gas station, seen here in August, when the price of gallon of regular fuel was $2.39. (Steve Roberts, Jr./WYDaily)

If you’re thinking of leaving Hampton Roads this afternoon to beat the Thanksgiving traffic, think again.

The worst time for Virginia drivers to get on the road before Thanksgiving is Tuesday or Wednesday between roughly 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., according to Georjeane Blumling, vice president for public affairs at AAA Tidewater Virginia.

If you do leave during the afternoon and evening rush hour today or tomorrow, just as people are getting off work, you could see delays two to three times longer than normal, according to Blumling, as well as backups at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.

“The tunnel is always the big snafu,” Blumling said.

If you can, try leaving Wednesday morning or midday Wednesday — or even Thanksgiving Day, which is the easiest time to travel, she said.

Thanksgiving is often a family celebration, and an estimated 1.3 million Virginians will drive more than 50 miles this Thanksgiving, according to a release from Tidewater AAA.

Even if they don’t get stuck in traffic, they’ll be paying more at the pump than last year.

Overall, gas prices in Virginia are higher than they were last year, but they’re trending slightly downward as the holiday weekend begins, according to a release.

The current average gas price in Hampton Roads is $2.28, which is a three-cent dip from last week.

Statewide, the average price per gallon of gas is $2.31, which is a penny less than last week but 32 cents higher than last year.

Nationally, the average gas price is $2.54, a two-cent drop from a week ago, but a 32-cent increase from 2016.

“While current prices are higher than last year, the price at the pump is not stopping Americans from hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday,” the release said.




Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

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