Holiday travelers and commuters are expected to converge on Wednesday and Thursday, creating potentially hellacious traffic conditions around the Washington, D.C. region.

The American Automobile Association said it is expecting its busiest holiday travel period on record, and the worst of it will come on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21 during the evening rush hour period.

AAA said the worst time to travel around the Washington, D.C. area will be Thursday between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. The association said travel during this period could take 2.5 times longer than normal.

In the Washington, D.C. Metro area, 2,691,900 million people are projected to travel over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, with 2.4 million choosing to drive. This represents a 3.5 percent increase in travel volume over 2016. Nationally, a record 107 million people are expected to travel during the holidays.

This new travel volume comes despite gas prices averaging about $2.70 per gallon in the region, or about 20 cents higher than this time last year.

D.C. Commute Times will provide a comprehensive guide for holiday travel later this week, with tips on traveling by car, rail, air, and bus. Stay tuned!


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