High gas prices won’t keep travelers home this Memorial Day weekend

Washington state gas prices going into the Memorial Day weekend average more than $3 a gallon, but the high gas prices aren’t expected to keep drivers home.

The AAA predicts that 43 million Americans will travel this weekend, an increase of 3.6 percent compared to last year. Of those, the vast majority will drive, according to AAA.

State highways across Washington will see typical heavy holiday weekend traffic, especially on Interstate 90 where lengthy delays are expected, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. Longer-than usual wait times at ferry docks and Canadian border crossings also are expected most of the holiday weekend.

AAA predicts drivers will experience the most congestion on Thursday, May 23 and Friday, May 24 in the late afternoon as commuters leave work early and mix with holiday travelers. 

The worst day for travel in Seattle will be between 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, May 27, AAA said.

Drivers can use WSDOT’s online tools, the WSDOT app and social media accounts to track statewide traffic conditions. 

The statewide average for gas is $3.54 a gallon, and it’s slightly less in the Tri-Cities at $3.34 a gallon, according to AAA.


Richland-Kennewick-Pasco gas prices as of May 22

  Regular Mid Premium Diesel
Current Avg. $3.34 $3.51 $3.69 $3.35
Yesterday Avg. $3.33 $3.49 $3.66 $3.34
Week Ago Avg. $3.33 $3.50 $3.66 $3.34
Month Ago Avg. $3.24 $3.40 $3.55 $3.25
Year Ago Avg. $3.25 $3.41 $3.55 $3.53
        Source: AAA


It’s typical for the east side of the state to claim lower gas prices as the area gets its gas from refineries in the mountain region, while the west side of the state receives it from the coastal regions.

Nationwide, the average is $2.84 a gallon.

By the numbers: 2019 Memorial Day holiday travel forecast

  • Cars: The vast majority of travelers – 37.6 million – will hit the road, the most on record for the holiday and 3.5 percent more than last year.
  • Planes: 3.25 million people will take to the skies, 4.8 percent more than last year, second only to 2005.
  • Trains, buses and cruise ships: Travel across these sectors will increase by 3.8 percent to 1.9 million passengers.

Source: AAA




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