Drivers should expect near-record traffic ahead of Thanksgiving travel across Ohio

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Posted at 6:34 AM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 07:16:20-05

CLEVELAND — Nearly 2.3 million Ohioans plan to travel more than 50 miles from home for the Thanksgiving holidays, that’s the highest number since 2005. Th two busiest travel days of the holiday season are Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Drivers should expect crowded roadways. From the roads to the navigating long lines at the airport, here are some tips to ease your travel worries.

Travel time on the road

According to ODOT, the peak travel time last Thanksgiving was between 3-4 p.m. on Wednesday. Overall, ODOT expects 63% increase in traffic during the holiday weekend.

With the extra traffic, ODOT will suspend roadwork and open up as many lanes as possible. However, it won’t be possible to remove all the orange barrels. Drivers should pay extra attention while driving through work zones and allow extra time to reach your destination.

The safety messages scattered across the state are meant to provide a reminder to all drivers to drive safe. There are more than 130 signs running across the state.

"These lighthearted messages carry a very real and serious purpose," said Director Jack Marchbanks in a news release. "Our hope is that they will spark a conversation about safe driving and encourage travelers to make good choices on the road.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said seven people were killed in seven deadly crashes last year the holiday.

If you are driving and need assistance or see an impaired driver, call OSHP at #677.

Tips for flights/airport travel

Passengers traveling to the airport, whether it’s Akron Canton or Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, should expect longer lines at the ticket countiers and at the three Cleveland Security checkpoints.

Cleveland Hopkins is assigning additional staff during the heavy travel periods including additional customer service personnel, law enforcement, federal law enforcement agencies and custodial and maintenance staff.

Airport officials encourage travelers to arrive at least 2 hours before scheduled departures to allow time for inclement weather, traffic, parking, checking-in and going through the checkpoints.

Visit the website at Cleveland Airport for the following:

  • Status of your flight
  • Airline contact information
  • Parking status updates

Parking at the Airport

Travelers have many parking options, including:

  • CLE Curbside Valet, $30 per day
  • The Smart Parking Garage, $20 per day
  • The Red Lot, $18 per day
  • The Blue Lot, $16 per day
  • The Orange Lot, $15 per day
  • The Brown Lot, $11 per day
  • If you're picking up friends and family at the airport, don’t circle the airport waiting for the call they have arrived. Park and wait in the CLE Cell Phone Lot located off State Road 237 South. Follow the blue directional signs for easy parking.

Are you in the middle of a holiday travel nightmare by plane, train or automobile? Let us know so we can inform our viewers about the trouble. You can email, message News 5 Cleveland on Facebook, tweet us @WEWS, or click here to fill out our “Contact Us” form.Links:
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