On the road again

Jeffery Smith
Jill Malone, of Pine City, said she is glad to see gas prices dropping as she fills her car’s tank Tuesday afternoon at the 7-Eleven on Denison Parkway.

More people are expected to hit the road this holiday week than last year.??

AAA estimates 43.6 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the Thanksgiving weekend, up from 43.3 million last year.??

AAA defines Thanksgiving holiday travel period from today to Sunday.??

Denise Ackley, president of the Greater Corning Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Thanksgiving weekend always brings more traffic to the Gaffer District and throughout the greater Corning area.??

“It’s a kickoff to the holiday season, particularly with Black Friday,” Ackley said. “I know a lot of businesses within the Gaffer District and the Corning area are doing a lot of special promotions and cross promotions to encourage and entice people.”??

Ackley said shops usually see a spike in business during late November and throughout December. ??

With an increase in travelers comes more road patrols, police said. “We try to step up our patrol and be proactive enforcing vehicle and traffic laws,” said Corning City Police Lt. Jeff Spaulding. “Starting Wednesday night we will have extra patrols, of course there are a lot of parties that people go to and we will step up our DWI enforcement.”

??AAA said it expects the national average price of gasoline to fall to between $3.25 and $3.40 a gallon by the holiday. Last year’s average of $3.32 was the most expensive average ever on Thanksgiving.??

The current New York state average is $3.93, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Gas prices locally ranged Tuesday from $3.86 to $3.89, according to New York Gas Prices.??

Recently the average has declined ? by almost 40 cents a gallon since early October ? and should continue falling through year’s end.

??According to a AAA poll, 45 percent of travelers plan to leave today and 36 percent plan to return Sunday. About 25 percent said they would return Monday.??

About 90 percent of travelers, or 39.1 million people, plan to travel by car this Thanksgiving, compared with 38.9 million people last year.??

Air travel is expected to decrease 1.7 percent with about 3.1 million holiday travelers plan to fly to their holiday destinations.??

“We expect it to be the same as last year,” said Ann Crook, director of aviation at Elmira-Corning Regional Airport. “We don’t expect a decrease.”

??Crook said about 900 passengers are expected to fly in or out of the airport Thursday.??

“Sunday and Monday are the big days people will use the airport to head back home after Thanksgiving,” Crook said.