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More Northeast Ohioans are expected to travel over Memorial Day weekend than 2023

Gubin Yury
AAA predicts a 4% increase in travel compared to the 2023 Memorial Day weekend.

Heavy traffic is expected to flow in and out of Northeast Ohio over the Memorial Day weekend. The Ohio Department of Transportation and State Highway Patrol are working to make travel as easy and safe as possible.

ODOT is halting many of its road projects for the long weekend, said spokesperson Matt Bruning.

"We will remove as many barrels [and] suspend as many projects as we can,” he said, noting it's a record year for roadwork. “Unfortunately, we can't do that in every situation. There's a lot of work going on in the Dayton area on I-75 going to Cincinnati. There's a lot of work in the Akron area."

AAA predicts a 4% increase in travel compared to the 2023 Memorial Day weekend. It's the highest estimate since 2005 when the travel industry rebounded from 9/11.

“We have found for a while that gas prices really don’t affect travel that much,” said Public Affairs Manager Kara Hitchens. “People tend to make adjustments in their budget, whether that means eating out less while you’re on vacation, maybe selecting different accommodations while you’re out there. But people are still intent on going.”

Tips to travel safely to your destination:

  • Wear your seatbelt.
  • Don't drink and drive.
  • Check OHGO for current traffic conditions.
  • With very few exceptions, cell phone use while driving is illegal.
  • Slow down in work zones. Fines for speeding are doubled.

Last Memorial Day weekend, 26 people were killed across the state, said Lt. Ray Santiago of the State Highway Patrol. Many of the deaths were preventable, he said.

Of the deaths, "19 of them were OVI (operating a vehicle impaired) related or involved an impaired driver, and 11 of them were unbelted,” Santiago said. “So, those are all basic decisions we can make when we get behind the wheel."

Additional reporting by WVXU's Bill Rinehart

Josh Boose is associate producer for newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.
Kelly Krabill is a multiple media journalist at Ideastream Public Media. Her work includes photography and videography. Her radio and web reporting covers a wide range of topics across Northeast Ohio.