Travel Advisory

CONTACT: Renee Vid Colborn
Phone: 717.645.3502
November 20, 2015

Pa. Turnpike Expects 3.2 Million Vehicles during Thanksgiving Holiday
Travelers are advised to drive safely and stay alert in heavy holiday traffic.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) anticipates another busy Thanksgiving holiday period, with more than 3.2 million drivers expected to travel the system. Holiday travelers are likely to hit the Turnpike early this year, with the heaviest traffic volumes projected to be Nov. 24 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. After Thanksgiving, the PTC forecasts another heavy travel day on Nov. 29 from noon until approximately 8 p.m.

"We have seen a recent increase in motorists traveling on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, which means heavy traffic earlier in the week as people try to get a jump on what had traditionally been the busiest travel day of the year on our system," said PTC CEO Mark Compton. "With high traffic volumes in a compressed timeframe, motorists should be ready to deal with slow-moving or stopped traffic and plan accordingly. Speeding and other aggressive driving behaviors are intolerable, especially when traffic is intense.”

To keep holiday travelers safe and traffic flowing, construction and maintenance work will be modified to allow full use of the roadway; at least four lanes will be available beginning at 5 a.m. on Nov. 24 until 11 p.m. on Nov. 29, except in emergencies. Some construction that does not impact travel lanes may continue behind concrete barriers in limited areas, reducing shoulder widths.

Turnpike maintenance crews, State Farm Safety Patrols and the Pennsylvania State Police will be on the roadway to assist stranded motorists, keep traffic moving and respond to emergencies. Motorists are reminded that state law requires you to move over to protect emergency responders along the roadside. If you see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights, move over to allow a full travel lane between your vehicle and the response vehicle.

Turnpike officials are joining with Pennsylvania State Police by encouraging motorists to keep alert and drive safely. Troop T, the division in charge of Turnpike patrols, is urging motorists to obey posted speed limits and slow down and watch for pedestrians while traveling through toll plazas. Troopers will be looking to make sure motorists are wearing seatbelts and obeying posted speed limits.

"To stay safe, drivers need to give themselves plenty of time when traveling during this holiday season. Traffic will be heavy, so motorists need to pay attention and be aware of their surroundings," said Captain David L. Cain, Commanding Officer of State Police Troop T. “Not everyone is courteous on the roadway, and our troopers will be looking for those aggressive drivers to stop that kind of behavior.”

In case of an accident, breakdown or other emergency, motorists can summon assistance by calling *11 on their cell phones. Be prepared to give the milepost location and direction of travel, and move the vehicles involved out of active travel lanes if possible.

Thanksgiving congestion is an ideal reason to take advantage of the award-winning Pa. Turnpike smartphone app, called TripTalk. This app streams audio traffic advisories to smartphones so drivers can keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while avoiding delays caused by holiday backups or accidents. The Pa. Turnpike also shares traveler and incident information with the Waze app. Pa. Turnpike travelers can get real-time roadway information via the Turnpike Roadway Information Program, or "TRIP," by visiting or calling 1-866-976-TRIP (8747).

More information about TripTalk and other Turnpike programs will be offered to motorists during a Safety Break event on Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sideling Hill Service Plaza located at milepost 172 in Fulton County.