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Surviving Thanksgiving weekend's traditional fixings: traffic and airport jams

November 24, 2009 |  3:29 pm

Tgiving600 One of the busiest traveling times of the year is upon us, and experts say Southern Californians should expect clogged roads and freeways -- especially around airports -- as residents make their holiday getaways.

Nearly 2 million Southern Californians are expected to hit the road Thanksgiving weekend, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. After dropping slightly last year, roadway travel is expected to increase by 8% this year, to about 1.9 million people.

The California Highway Patrol said it would be out in force beginning Wednesday evening to enforce seat belt, speed and cellphone laws and to watch for drunk drivers. The maximum enforcement period goes into effect at 6 p.m. Wednesday, which means all officers not on vacation will be working. That's about 80% of the officers assigned to Southern California, said CHP Officer Vince Ramirez.

Air travel at Los Angeles International Airport is expected to be up slightly this year over last, with 1.5 million passengers expected to funnel through its terminals.

At Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, where travel this month is down 7%, Wednesday through Sunday is expected to be hectic, as is usual this time of year, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.

“We’re anticipating a very busy day tomorrow,” he said earlier today. “I can guarantee you that holidays are holidays and it will be busy here.”

Traffic140 Will you be traveling tomorrow? How do you plan to avoid the holiday traffic?  What information could we provide to make your trip easier? Let us know in the comments below. We'll use your feedback to help build our holiday travel survival guide, currently in its formative stages.

-- Raja Abdulrahim

Photo: The 405 Freeway backs up the day before Thanksgiving 2006. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times