Boston’s Thanksgiving Traffic Is Bad — and It’s Even Worse on Tuesday

The best time to drive in Boston Thanksgiving week is on Turkey Day, says Google Maps.
The best time to drive in Boston Thanksgiving week is on Turkey Day, says Google Maps. –Google Maps

Attention, Boston! If you plan to drive on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week, think again.

Tuesday’s traffic will be even more miserable than Wednesday’s traffic, according to Google Maps, which examined the last two years’ Thanksgiving traffic trends in 21 cities across America. And what do you know: Boston was the only city where traffic was the worst on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week. This city must have some pretty forgiving bosses.

To be fair, those bosses probably know that driving from Point A to Point B around here is rough going. Here’s something to be thankful for — the city’s normally clogged roads can’t get much worse during the holidays! “Boston’s Thanksgiving traffic is not much worse than its normal traffic,’’ says Google Maps. And on top of that, the city’s Thanksgiving week traffic decreased between 2012 and 2013.

Mass Pike traffic on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving last year. —Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe

So here is what we propose: Get your GPS fired up on Turkey Day, when traffic will be “a breeze,’’ according to Google Maps. If your goal is to hit the traffic jackpot, stay off the road between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. And even if you’re out of a key ingredient, try to avoid convenience stores — the No. 1 trending destination on Thanksgiving Day.

While plotting your escape — ahem, departure from your family — over the weekend, resist the urge to “get a jump on traffic’’ by leaving Saturday. Bad idea: Traffic will be 20 percent worse on Saturday compared with Sunday. So settle in for one more mojito and another epic story from Great Aunt Mary.

If you planned to leave Wednesday all along and are shaking your head at those silly Tuesday drivers, know this: Your smug smile will be wiped clean if you get on the road between 3 and 4 p.m. — the worst possible hour to drive on Thanksgiving eve.

Leave before 1 p.m. or after 5 p.m., or suffer the consequences.

Happy driving and Happy Thanksgiving!

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