Scott Shenk writes about transportation issues affecting Fredericksburg-area residents.
Despite rising gas prices, Labor Day travel expected to be high
Labor Day holiday travel will take a bigger chunk of change out of drivers’ pockets this year, but that won’t keep millions from hitting the road, according to AAA.
Gas prices have taken a sharp turn up in recent weeks, making the end of summer travel season one of the most expensive ever, the auto club said.
In the Fredericksburg area, the price for a gallon of regular has risen 27 cents in the past month, according to AAA figures.
Gas is more expensive than a year ago, too.
The current local average is $3.59. Last year locally, a gallon of regular was running at $3.36.
Nationally, gas is selling for $3.75 a gallon, 26 cents more than a month ago and 16 cents more than 2011 at the same time.
“Late summer driving continues to cost motorists more than ever for this time of year, as prices at the pump continue to rise,” said AAA’s Martha M. Meade.
Tension in the Middle East is part of the reason for the rise in gas prices, according to AAA.
And Tropical Storm Isaac isn’t helping as it could cause production problems.
Nevertheless, AAA has predicted an increase in travel for the Labor Day holiday, perhaps marking a “post-recession high.”
The auto club says that 33 million Americans could be traveling at least 50 miles for the holiday, up 2.9 percent from last year.
Of that figure, AAA says 28.2 million will be driving to their destination, a 3.1 percent increase over last year.
On the traffic front, in anticipation of potential congestion, the Virginia Department of Transportation will suspend most road closures on interstates and major roads statewide. The suspension will run from noon on Friday until noon Tuesday.
The Labor Day holiday runs from Thursday to Monday.
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