Drivers gear up for holiday travel

I-75 south at Main Street in Dayton. (WDTN Traffic Cam)
I-75 south at Main Street in Dayton. (WDTN Traffic Cam)

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CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Last minute shopping and traveling are colliding during the days leading up to the major holidays.

In the coming days, experts say traffic will worsen.

At the Centerville Cornerstone, construction has already piled onto the expected delays.

David Adkins drove down Wilmington Pike, Monday, and described the experience, “It’s a mess here. I had to come down this way earlier. Two lanes were turning into one. People were cutting across so it’s kind of a mess.”

Rena Grant agrees.

“I mean, it’s crowded and crazy,” said Grant “Look at it…. uh busy.”

Despite this new traffic pattern and added congestion from the holidays, Centerville Police tell 2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé there hasn’t been an increase in accident.

In fact, accidents have gone down 2 percent in the last year, even after the major Costco development and construction.

Some drivers say the added congestion from construction is part of the process.

“I think they’ve done a good job with the widening the lanes,” praised Parris Hobbs of West Carrollton. “I’m kind of excited about it.”

2 NEWS checked in with AAA to see how much more traffic the Miami Valley can expect on the roadways.

Officials say 3.8 million Ohioans will travel– the highest number since the agency started collecting statistics.

90 percent of those traveling will be on the road; officials suspect that’s because gas prices have fallen, adding 3.5 percent more to Americans disposable income.

And despite the high volume of travel expected on local roads and major highways, some say they’ll still be starting their engines.

Monday, Maria Patterson also drove down Wilmington Pike and said, “I mean it is, you know, it’s (traffic’s) expected to be more so this year, but it doesn’t bother me. I still have to go out and finish up.”

But people like Frank Sexton of Spring Valley says the risk isn’t worth it.

“Normally, I stay home,” explained Sexton.

“Just stay home,” he advised. Sexton also warns to “drive careful, drive defensively.”

Tuesday will officially start the nearly week-long holiday travel season.

It ends January 4th.

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