Some of the worst holiday traffic in the country expected along I-80 during Thanksgiving weekend

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Monday, November 28, 2022
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Are you driving back home from your Thanksgiving holiday weekend on Sunday? AAA says the worst time to travel is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Are you driving back home from your Thanksgiving holiday on Sunday? AAA says the worst time to travel is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

And the best time? Before 11 a.m. and after 8 p.m. on Sunday, AAA says.

This comes after drivers hopped on the road to see families and friends for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

AAA says Interstate 80 in the East Bay is of the busiest roads for Thanksgiving traffic.

And now, they're on the same route to make their way home to the Bay Area.

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Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, is often one of the busiest travel days of the year.

The worse time to travel the day before Thanksgiving was 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The best? before 8 a.m. and after 8 p.m.

AAA expected an 8% increase in air travel and a slight increase in road travel this Thanksgiving week in comparison to last year. That puts us at 98% of pre-pandemic levels.

The section of Interstate 80 in Emeryville near Berkeley was expected to be one of the busiest traveled roads in the country on Wednesday afternoon.

"Specifically tried to get out before that and be home these next few days and avoid traveling then," said Trent Francis who lives in the Lake Tahoe area but is traveling home to Marin County.

I-80 from where the Bay Bridge touches down in the East Bay to San Pablo Dam Road will likely see an 80% increase from typical traffic from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to AAA.

"I had classes yesterday but nothing important today so I was able to leave a day early which was definitely nice cause I know tomorrow is going to be busy," said Eric Wasserman who left Eugene, Oregon Tuesday morning. He's also headed to Marin County.

RELATED: This Thanksgiving will be the 3rd busiest for drivers since 2000, AAA projects

Rey Sierra and his family left Oregon earlier too. His 100-year-old dad is waiting for them.

"We coming from Portland, Oregon, headed to Hayward to visit family, yeah it's been a long trip," said Sierra.

Long for adults though is sometimes even longer for kids.

"How's the ride been? Has it gone fast or slow?" ABC7 News asked a child who gave the quick response, "Slow!"

RELATED: What stores are open, closed Thanksgiving Day 2022?

The Lund family was in route to SFO from Elko, Nevada.

"I'm just headed to the airport international departure. Taking my wife and youngest son going to the Philippines," said Jeff Lund.

The other kids will then get back in the car with him and head back to Nevada in time to be with family for Thanksgiving.

"I get bored all the time if I don't do anything," said young David Lund. Lund told ABC7 News that video games including Mario Brothers and Minecraft keep him busy.

And as busy as it may have been at times Tuesday, it's nothing compared to what's expected in the coming days.

RELATED: Inflation: How much will your Thanksgiving meal cost in the Bay Area?

"I used to like driving more than I do now, getting older I guess," said Jeff Lund.

"It's easy to go back for my mom's cooking. Good excuse," said Francis.

If you're looking to beat the traffic, AAA recommends hitting the roads in the morning Wednesday and Thursday and not traveling between 4 and 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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