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699,000 people expected to travel in Maryland over holiday

November 25, 2009|By BRIDGET DiCOSMO

Maryland State Police will put extra officers on the roadways during the Thanksgiving weekend in anticipation of high volumes of traffic, according to Sgt. T.J. McKenrick of the state police barracks in Hagerstown.

Overtime funds will be used to boost manpower for targeting key enforcement areas such as speeders and DUI complaints, McKenrick said.

An estimated 699,000 people are expected to travel by car in Maryland over the holiday, American Automobile Association spokeswoman Ragina Averella said .

"Thanksgiving is routinely a holiday where the majority of people drive," Averella said.

The average price for regular unleaded gasoline in Maryland on Wednesday was $2.61 a gallon, compared to $1.89 this time last year, Averella said.

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The number of people who choose to fly over the Thanksgiving holiday is steadily dropping, Averella said.

This year, AAA predicts about 5,200 Maryland residents will travel by air for the holiday, a number that has dropped by more than 5 percent from last year, Averella said.

"Since 2000, the number of Americans traveling by air during the Thanksgiving holiday has dropped by an astounding 62 percent," Averella said.

Averella cited heightened airport security, the current economic recession and additional costs associated with airfare as possible contributors to the decline.

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