City Desk

Our Morning Roundup: The Busiest Travel Day of the Year Edition

1160608_breaklightGood morning, readers. Sad news: Abe Pollin has died.

But what I really want to talk about is how today is the Busiest Travel Day of the Year. You may never have heard this, even though it happens every year. It means lots and lots of people will be going from one undisclosed location to another in cars, planes, trains, and possibly even buses. (City Paper Managing Editor Andrew Beaujon gave the Bolt bus a good review the other day, which I'm sure has already affected sales.)

The Washington Post was way ahead of this whole Thanksgiving travel story, reporting already last Saturday on some cold, hard stats. Some 978,000 people in the Washington area—about 16 percent—plan to travel more than 50 miles over the holiday stretch, according to AAA. Some 824,000 of those intend to drive. I suspect it may feel later today like all of them are on the Beltway, so I'm really looking forward to that!

Anyway, that's a 3.6 percent increase in local travelers from last year. So people must either really want to see their families, or they think the table spread is going to be better this year. (Haven't they heard about the canned pumpkin shortage? I reported on it in last Friday's Morning Roundup.)

Lon Anderson, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, gets extra points for working a reference to pilgrims (small p) in to his quote to the Post: "When it comes to traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, it appears that we are still a nation of pilgrims, and that's especially true of Washingtonians." (Perhaps I appreciate this more than the average person: I am practically one of the original Pilgrims myself! I grew up in Massachusetts near historic Plymouth Rock, the most visited rock in New England! Actually, the rock is puny and lame, and the Pilgrims probably never set foot on it. But whatever.)

This morning, on WTOP, I heard more Thanksgiving travel coverage. The station sent a reporter to Reagan National Airport to interview people about how they're going to travel, because that's really interesting. For instance, I learned that one woman is going to go somewhere to eat turkey, fried chicken, ham, greens, corn bread, and other items. I can't remember if she mentioned pumpkin pie. See, there's a shortage!

By the way, if you take away anything from this roundup, it should be this: Be thankful for stuff. Research says it's good for you.

So go be thankful! And catch up with me on Twitter!

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