Fourth of July

Here are the worst times to drive this Fourth of July weekend

"We’re expecting record-breaking levels of car travel this July Fourth."

Heavy traffic on 93 southbound approaching Boston on July 3, 2014. Wendy Maeda / The Boston Globe

AAA is expecting “record-breaking” levels of motorists this Fourth of July weekend, with the worst traffic in Boston and San Francisco.

Traffic volumes over the holiday weekend are expected to increase about 15 percent nationwide, with major metro areas seeing double that and Boston and San Francisco seeing nearly three-times the traffic delays, AAA announced on Tuesday. Boston is the ninth most popular Fourth of July destination in the U.S., based on AAA advance air and tour bookings for July 1-5.

Travel will reach near pre-pandemic levels Fourth of July weekend, with 47.7 million travelers and 43.6 million Americans taking to the roads, according to AAA. Though gas prices are the highest since 2014, with a national average above $3 per gallon, it is not discouraging travelers, AAA noted.


“Higher gas prices won’t deter road trippers this summer. In fact, we’re expecting record-breaking levels of car travel this July Fourth,” said Jeanette C. McGee, AAA spokesperson, in a statement.

“Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst for INRIX, which teamed up with AAA to provide transportation analytics, in a statement. “Our advice is to avoid traveling on Thursday and Friday afternoon, along with Monday mid-day.”

In Boston, the worst corridor for motorists will be I-95 south, MA-10 to Sanford Road, according to INRIX, which will see a 330 percent increase over normal traffic levels with a peak on Monday from 3 to 5 p.m.

The worst time for car travel over the holiday weekend will be between 3 and 5 p.m. on Thursday, 4 and 5 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday, and 4 and 5 p.m. on Monday, according to INRIX.

Road trippers will do best if they travel after 7 p.m. on Thursday, before noon on Friday, after 2 p.m on Saturday, and before 1 p.m. on Monday, according to INRIX.

MassDOT did not respond to requests for comment.


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