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Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT) analyzed traffic from Memorial Day weekends in 2019 and 2020 in order to estimate what road travel will look like on July Fourth, since Memorial Day is the most recent long holiday weekend.
Overall, the report found that drivers’ trips over holiday weekends have generally declined during the coronavirus pandemic, especially long trips of more than 50 miles.
CMT’s report found that in the 46 cities it analyzed, the number of long trips decreased by 30 percent from Memorial Day weekend 2019 to Memorial Day weekend 2020.
There was an average drop of 21.6 percent of all trips during the holiday weekend this year compared to the holiday weekend last year, CMT found.
For long and shorter trips, CMT found that during Memorial Day this year, trips between 7 and 8 a.m. “fell significantly” compared to last year.
Usually, on the Friday before a long weekend many people start their trips around 3 to 5 p.m., but CMT found that this year travel times were “more evenly distributed across the day.”
“From looking at the shift in traffic patterns during specific times of day from 2019 to 2020, it’s not projected that traffic will be terrible at any particular time,” the report said.
Some cities saw more of a decrease in long holiday weekend travel than other cities.
New York City, for example, saw the greatest decrease in the number of drivers leaving the city for a trip longer than 50 miles, according to CMT. Compared to Memorial Day last year, New York City saw a 56.1 percent decline in trips.
Following New York City was Miami, which had a 47.2 percent decrease, Philadelphia, which had a 46.8 percent decrease, Baltimore, which had a 45.44 percent decrease and The Hamptons, New York, which had a 41.4 percent decrease in the number of long trips leaving the city over Memorial Day weekend this year.
And though it appeared that most cities saw a decrease in long trips, some cities saw a much smaller difference in the number of trips this year compared to last year.
According to CMT, Mesa, Arizona, is the city where people are most likely to take trips of 50 miles or more over the long weekend.
Mesa only saw a 6.5 percent decrease in the number of long trips leaving the city over Memorial Day weekend this year, compared to last year.
Las Vegas followed Mesa, with a 14.4 percent decrease, Arlington, Texas, had a 14.6 percent decrease, Wichita, Kansas, had a 15.7 percent decrease and Raleigh, North Carolina, had an 18 percent decrease, according to CMT.