Chicago traffic times: As millions hit the road for Memorial Day weekend 2022, here are best, worst times to travel
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CHICAGO (WLS) — Despite record gas prices, AAA predicts more Illinoisans will travel for Memorial Day than have in the past three years, and it all starts Thursday morning.

A lot of people will try to get a jump on holiday traffic, so many of them will be leaving early.

Transportation experts predict drivers will encounter the longest travel delays Thursday before the holiday weekend, especially Thursday afternoon.

According to a transportation data service called Inrix, the worst corridor and worst time to travel in Chicago is along Interstate 290 near Racine Avenue from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, where it’s 131% over normal traffic.

AAA said it expects nearly 1.9 million Illinoisans to travel 50 miles or more from home this weekend, marking the busiest unofficial start of summer in three years.

Most will be traveling by car amid record-high gas prices.

Get the latest traffic updates from ABC7 Chicago

“If you’re heading out of town this weekend, make sure to shop around, especially if you’re gonna be crossing a state line,” GasBuddy’s Patrick De Haan said. “Illinois is the most expensive state in the Great Lakes, so, if you’re heading north, east, south or west, your better option is to wait until you head out of the state to fill your tank.”

But 1.4 million passengers are also expected to pass through O’Hare and Midway Thursday through next Tuesday.

At O’Hare, they’re expecting a 47% increase in passenger traffic compared to last Memorial Day.

Transportation experts have said if you’re going somewhere by car, the best time to leave is before 7 a.m. Thursday. The bottom line: Don’t wait until the afternoon.

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