Hitting the road for Thanksgiving? You won't be alone

Thanksgiving is less than a week away and many Williamsburg area residents will take to the road for the holiday, egged on by forecasts of dry weather and relatively low gas prices.

They will not be alone. According to AAA, this year Virginia will have the largest number of travelers over Thanksgiving since 2005. More than 1.3 million Virginians are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year, 4.8 percent more than last year, according to AAA.

Georjeane Blumling, vice president of public affairs for AAA Tidewater Virginia, credits the rise in holiday travel to an increase in disposable and household income.

“This is translating into more travelers kicking off the holiday season with a Thanksgiving getaway, building on a positive year for the travel industry,” she said.

More travelers, of course, contributes to more traffic. INRIX, a company that specializes in transportation analytics, in collaboration with AAA, predicts drivers will experience the greatest congestion during early evening commutes next week.

“Thanksgiving is one of the busiest holidays for road trips, and this year will be no different,” said Trevor Reed, a transportation analyst at INRIX. “Knowing when and where congestion will build can help drivers avoid the stress of sitting in traffic. Our advice to drivers is to avoid commuting times in major cities altogether or plan alternative routes.”

The best days to travel will be Thanksgiving Day, Friday and Saturday, according to AAA; the busiest travel day will be Sunday when most people are heading home.

VDOT said it will suspend most highway work zones and lift most lane closures on interstates and other major roads in Virginia from noon Nov. 21, until noon Nov. 26.

In the Williamsburg area as of Friday, gas prices for regular grade gas were as low as $2.19 at the 7-Eleven near Colonial Triangle and as high as $2.59 at the Shell station on Richmond Road and Centerville Road.

AAA reported on Thursday that the average gas price in Hampton Roads was $2.35 and Virginia’s was $2.43.

In other areas of the country, gas prices are the highest they’ve been in four years, according to AAAA. The national average is $2.79, which is 31 cents more than this time last year.

According to weather.com, Thanksgiving week should be rain-free in Williamsburg, with a high of 47 degrees on Wednesday and gradually warming into the 60s by the weekend. Richmond and Washington, D.C., reflect this outlook, with Wednesday highs of 45 and 41 degrees respectively.

However, weather patterns can always change and it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the forecast.

Closings

James City County

Schools: closed Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 21-23.

County offices: closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

James City County Recreation Center and Abram Frink Jr. Community Center: closed Thursday, Nov. 22.

Convenience Centers and Garbage Transfer Station: closed Thursday, Nov. 22.

Curbside Recycling: shifted back one day: Thursday pickup moved to Friday, Friday pickup moved to Saturday.

Libraries: closing at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 22, closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

Courts: closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

All County Parks are open. Some parks have stores/offices:

Freedom Park Store/Office: closed Thursday, Nov. 22.

Chickahominy Riverfront Park Store/Office: closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

James City County Marina Store/Office: closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

Historic Jamestowne: closed Thursday, Nov. 22.

Jamestown Settlement is open normal hours on Thanksgiving Day.

Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse: closes at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21, and is closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23

Williamsburg

Schools: closed Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 21-23.

City offices: closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

Waller Mill Park: closed Thursday, Nov. 22.

Quarterpath Recreation Center: closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23

Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse: closes at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21, and is closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23

Williamsburg Regional Library: closing at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

Water Emergencies: after hours, weekends and holidays, call 220-2331.

The city has a 24-hour bill payment drop box located on the front of the Municipal Building at 401 Lafayette St. for city transactions, which can also be made online on the city’s website. Dropbox payments made on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23 will not be posted until the following Monday.

York County

Courts: close at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21, and are closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

Schools: closed Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 21-23.

Public libraries: closing at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

Virginia Cooperative Extension: closes at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 21, and closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

County government offices: closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

York-Poquoson social services: closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

Waste Management Center Admin. : closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 22-23.

Riverwalk Landing, boat docks: closed Thursday, Nov. 22.

Yorktown Battlefield: closed Thursday, Nov. 22.

Garbage and recycling collections normally scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 22 will be collected Friday, Nov. 23. Garbage and recycling collections normally scheduled for Friday, Nov. 23 will be collected Saturday, Nov. 24. Most operations, including the Goodwin Neck Transfer Station and Citizen Drop off for recycling and/or garbage disposal will follow normal operating hours on Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24.

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is open normal hours on Thanksgiving Day.

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