The Best Thanksgiving Traffic Tips (and Gripes) From Our Readers

“I’d recommend the Tappan Zee over the GW for any trip south of NYC,’’ recommends reader JoeSmith411.
“I’d recommend the Tappan Zee over the GW for any trip south of NYC,’’ recommends reader JoeSmith411. –Seth Wenig/AP

When we published a story about Tuesday being the worst Thanksgiving traffic day in Boston, it perhaps unsurprisingly, caught the attention of legions of Boston.com readers, who took to our comments section to share their own Thanksgiving traffic tips—and, of course, their gripes.

We’ve collected the best of them below. Please enjoy, and feel free to disagree (vehemently) in the comments.

Tip: Leave in the middle of the night

Courtesy of OhLemmiwinks:

I have about a 6 hour drive and make it a point to get up around 3:00AM thanksgiving morning to do the drive. It’s peaceful, quiet, and smooth sailing. I make dinner and go to bed early the night before while everyone is beeping and going 4MPH.

Gripe: High school football-game traffic adds to the chaos

Courtesy of GrabberOrange:

We’ve been fortunate for the past five years since I’ve been with my fiance going to her family up Rt95 from South Shore to North. What we DID find to be an issue was the bumper to bumper traffic from Thanksgiving Day high school football games. Seriously?! With all those folks gabbing about Black Friday taking time away from the family end up dragging Billy to the game and making people who have absolutely NO interest in sports late for their family get together. Her and I agreed to steer our children away from football solely based on that hellish traffic.

Tip: Take the longer route for less congestion

Courtesy of PBear1029:

A good way to get around some of the Pike traffic if you are heading south is to take I-95 all the way down through RI, CT, etc. which is what I do when I visit my family for Thanksgiving in CT. It may be a bit longer distance-wise, but there’s far less congestion going that way.

Gripe: ‘Amateur Hour holiday drivers’ suck

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Courtesy of TimeForAConCon:

Dear Amateur Hour holiday drivers: If you are: a) not used to driving in heavy traffic b) paying more attention to your cell phone than driving c) can see a significant amount of pavement in front of your car d) see a mile of traffic backed up behind you, and what appears to be a pack of hungry wolves trying to pass you any way they can. Please, kindly stay to the right. The rest of us who drive in this mess every day, pay attention to driving and don’t leave 10 car lengths open have places to go and people to see. If you are on a more leisurely time scale, don’t hold the rest of us up. Keep in mind that the speed limit sign is merely a suggestion made by small minded bureaucrats and it’s an American value to defy it. I’d also like to suggest that the state should open a hunting season around Thanksgiving for bottom feeders who will refuse to wait for an exit ramp and will try to squeeze in at the last moment, creating more traffic congestion as they block a travel lane. If vigilantism isn’t your thing, perhaps they can station a cop at every major highway intersection to cite these people, who will be very easy to ticket on foot.

Tip: If you’re driving through NY, choose the Tappan Zee over the George Washington Bridge

Courtesy of JoeSmith411:

I’d recommend the Tappan Zee over the GW for any trip south of NYC. The risk of getting stuck in really bad traffic is too high just to save a little time.

Gripe: There’s “a special place in H-E-L-L’’ for drivers who squeeze into exit ramp lanes

Courtesy of mabbitty:

Those who “refuse to wait for an exit ramp and… try to squeeze in at the last moment, creating more traffic congestion as they block’’ the through-traffic lanes all deserve a special place in H-E-L-L.

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