The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Homepage

November 21, 2012

Lower gas prices increase travel

TARBORO — Thanksgiving holiday travel volume in North Carolina is expected to increase 1 percent this year, due in part to the dramatic drop in gas prices, according to AAA Carolinas.

A total of 1,260,500 North Carolinians are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home. About 1,134,000 — or 90 percent of those —  will drive, an increase of about 11,000 travelers over last year.

Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous annual holidays because of its four-day length and the congestion caused by the high number of highway vacationers.

The Thanksgiving holiday period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 21, to Sunday, Nov. 25. The highest number of travelers (45 percent) will depart on Wednesday and most will return on Sunday (36 percent).

Gas prices in North Carolina have dropped significantly in the past two months. The statewide average is $3.31 today, down 54 cents since peaking in mid-September at $3.85. North Carolinians are paying four cents less at the pump compared to last Thanksgiving, when they paid $3.35.

"Thanksgiving is the most traditional family holiday with the 'turkey day' always coming on a Thursday, creating a guaranteed four-day holiday for many," said David E. Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. "The lower price at the pump will encourage more people to drive this Thanksgiving."

The highest average price in North Carolina is in Boone at $3.45 per gallon of unleaded self-service; the least expensive average price is in High Point at $3.23.

Although Hurricane Sandy hasn't affected gas prices in North Carolina, motorists traveling to the Northeast can expect to pay more, particularly in New York, which at $3.93 currently has the most expensive gas in the continental United States.

However, North Carolina motorists can expect to see lower gas prices in the bordering states of South Carolina ($3.13), Virginia ($3.24), Tennessee ($3.16) and Georgia ($3.26).

In spite of decreasing airfares, fewer travelers will be taking to the skies this year, about 98,000 or 8 percent of all travelers. An estimated 28,000 (2 percent) will use other modes of transportation, such as train, boat or bus.

More North Carolinians will travel closer to home, averaging about 588 miles round-trip, and the roughly 40 percent of travelers not staying with relatives or friends will find hotel rates relatively flat to last year. AAA Three Diamond hotels are down 1 percent from a year ago, while AAA Two Diamond hotels are up 1percent from last year. Car rentals have increased 27 percent in the past year, from an average $37 per day in 2011 to $47 per day this year.

There are expected to be no significant construction delays along North Carolina interstates, as most projects will be suspended from 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20, until 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 26, with five exceptions:

•  N.C. 12 from the Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe (Dare County) - intermittent closures due to weather.

• U.S. 17 Business in Jacksonville (Onslow County) - reduced to two-lane, two-way traffic on the Buddy Phillips Bridge.

• U.S. 74/76 in Wrightsville Beach (New Hanover County) on the Wrightsville Draw Bridge is reduced to one lane in each direction.

• U.S. 421 in Carolina Beach (New Hanover County - reduced to one lane in each direction at Snow Cut's Bridge.

• I-73 in Greensboro (Guilford County) - reduced to three lanes in each direction from two miles south of Wendover Ave. (Exit 101) to one mile north of I-85 (Exit 97).

South Carolina's Department of Transportation requires contractors to keep all lanes open during heavy travel holidays.

 

1
Text Only
Homepage
Johnson memorial.jpg

Tarboro police Cpl. Mike Trevathan, right, and Detective Brandon Richardson, left, attach a license plate on the front of Patrolman Charles Johnson's vehicle as Sgt. Al Braxton looks on Wednesday on Courthouse Square in Tarboro. Johnson was killed in a car accident Tuesday morning on Wilson Street.

Local News
Johnson memorial.jpg

Tarboro police Cpl. Mike Trevathan, right, and Detective Brandon Richardson, left, attach a license plate on the front of Patrolman Charles Johnson's vehicle as Sgt. Al Braxton looks on Wednesday on Courthouse Square in Tarboro. Johnson was killed in a car accident Tuesday morning on Wilson Street.

Our Community
Sports
Montrezl Harrell.jpg

Louisville Cardinals sophomore Montrezl Harrell announced Monday he was returning to school for his junior season. Harrell is a former North Edgecombe High School star who averaged 14 points and 8.4 rebounds per game for Louisville this season.

Opinion
  • The legacy of Joe W. Dickens Jr.'s dash

    Joe W. Dickens Jr.
    Sept. 14, 1953 - March 21, 2014
    The above statement is profound in its own way. It signifies the birth and the death of one of the most influential men in Edgecombe Coun

    March 31, 2014

Lifestyles
  • Bones-final-cover.jpg Local librarian pens first novel

    Roman Leary, director at Edgecombe County Memorial Library, has written his first novel – “Six Days of the Dragon.”

    March 19, 2014 2 Photos

Obituaries Archives
Events
  • EDGECOMBE EVENTS

    Edgecombe Events must be submitted by noon the day before publication. Items eligible include notices of local meetings and activities of non-profit organizations, clubs, schools and civic groups in the community. Information should be brief and typewritten, neatly printed or via  e-mail. For questions call 252-823-3106 or
    e-mail: events@dailysoutherner.com.

    April 17, 2014