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Post-Eclipse Traffic Reports

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#1 kfiscus

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 07:05 AM

For many people, the most compelling real-world evidence of the importance people placed on total solar eclipses is the traffic delays afterwards.  I thought of doing this after seeing a post here mentioning a 15-mile traffic backup in Michigan on eclipse day evening.  Please keep your replies here short and sweet and in the following format:

 

(I'll start w/ my fake example from 2017 since I flew to the 2024 eclipse to avoid likely clouds and traffic.)

Route (City A to City B)              Road(s)            Ordinary Travel Time                Travel Time after 2024 Eclipse

S. of Omaha to Albert Lea, MN    I-29,80,35                 7 hours                                                    11 hours


Edited by kfiscus, 09 April 2024 - 07:05 AM.

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#2 NeoMoses

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 07:36 AM

Route (City A to City B)                 Road(s)            Ordinary Travel Time                Travel Time after 2024 Eclipse

Findlay OH - Birmingham, MI         I-75                       2h 10min                                         >5h,  (extreme traffic Toledo - Monroe) - totally worth it. grin.gif



#3 xrayvizhen

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 07:54 AM

Northern NJ -->Henderson, NY: 4-hours, on the dot. No traffic, other than a 15-minute road construction backup through Syracuse.

Henderson, NY --> Northern NJ: 7 1/2 hours. Agony. It took a solid hour to get through Syracuse, then pretty much 20mph bumper-to-bumper until Scranton. All this, combined with the cloud cover which allowed some viewing but prevented view of any corona details or star visibility, means unless the centerline of the next solar eclipse runs through my backyard, this was my last solar eclipse! 

(Excuse me for not following the format. I needed to vent.)


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#4 sanbai

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 07:55 AM

Route (City A to City B)                   Road(s)            Ordinary Travel Time                Travel Time after 2024 Eclipse

Ben Lomond, AR - Baton Rouge, LA     US71 - I49            5:30 h                                             5:30 h

 

 

We woke up in Hochatown, OK in the morning, but ended up in the small village of Ben Lomond, AR to cut a bit our travel time after the eclipse and "optimize" chances. We had no traffic issues at all. I can't say if there was more traffic than usual in Shreveport, LA. The Love's gas station south of that city was full of people that came back from totality path, though. My fear was US-71 till Texarkana and the connection there to the I49, but the traffic was very light (although even lighter was in the opposite direction).

 

This is a route that would be mainly for Louisianans. I was afraid of a Texan exodus to the area where we watched the eclipse, but it did not happen, apparently. Either they stayed put, or went further east where the forecast was better.


Edited by sanbai, 09 April 2024 - 07:58 AM.


#5 tommyboy

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 08:03 AM

10 hours plattsburgh to NWNJ via NY 87. Now I know what an emergency evacuation would be like. It was most unpleasant. 


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#6 RyanSem

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 08:21 AM

Erie, PA to Hershey, PA should take about 5 hours on the nose. 

 

Took us about 7.5 hours. If I took straight highways it would have been closer to 9! The highway from Erie to Pittsburgh (I-79) was solid RED according to Google when we checked during one of our breaks. 



#7 gjanke

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 08:26 AM

Route (Location A to Location B)                                Road(s)                             Ordinary Travel Time                Travel Time after 2024 Eclipse

Cleveland Airport to Cleveland Airport Parking Lot     6 flight of stairs                 10 minutes                                 30 minutes (no TSA pre-check)

 

2017 was a different story and changed my approach on viewing this eclipse.

 

Route (City A to City B)                                               Road(s)                             Ordinary Travel Time                Travel Time after 2017 Eclipse

Myrtle Beach SC to Andrews SC                                Tons of back roads            1 hour                                         5 hours


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#8 KidOrion

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 08:35 AM

Erie, PA to Hershey, PA should take about 5 hours on the nose. 

 

Took us about 7.5 hours. If I took straight highways it would have been closer to 9! The highway from Erie to Pittsburgh (I-79) was solid RED according to Google when we checked during one of our breaks. 

Took us 8 hours from Erie to Newark DE.

 

Amusing note: you could tell which eclipsegoers were using Siri as a GPS; there was a large herd of us taking all the same tiny, backroad routes through the microscopic towns and villages along the way. We spent about five hours driving among a lot of the same people, losing a few every time we went past a larger-city exit.

 

I could imagine the same voice issuing the same directions from the iPhones in fifty consecutive cars.


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#9 bunyon

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 08:55 AM

We were in the small town of Greenfield, IN. We drove backroads to Brookville to meet some friends who had an airbnb there. We then drove backroads to Dayton. There was no traffic on any of them.

 

Google maps suggested perhaps a 30-50% longer travel time on interstates between Indy/Cincy and Indy/Dayton. Not what I'd call terrible traffic. I suspect the memories of 2017 made both authorities and drivers think ahead.


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#10 mikepier

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 09:29 AM

Route (City A to City B)                                     Roads                     Ordinary Travel Time                           Travel Time after 2024 Eclipse

Long Island NY to Plattsburgh, NY                        I-87                               5 hours                                                         7 Hours

 

I can't really complain about taking 2 additional hours. I think what helped was my hotel was down the block from the entrance ramp to I-87 in Plattsburgh. We were in the hotel parking lot watching the eclipse, so as soon as it ended, we packed and bolted out of the lot and was on the Thruway within 2 minutes.

It was fine and moving for the first hour or so, then we hit traffic, bumper to bumper till about Lake George, then it opened up again.

 

I noticed Waze and Google maps had trouble loading, not sure if the whole cell service was just being maxxed out, but I had to resort to my truck's stock NAV system for a while. Nice to know it still works.



#11 Myles

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 09:39 AM

Interesting thread. I wonder if more east west routes effect the times? I can say it seems worse in 2017 maybe.
In 2017 it took 12 hours Albany OR to Seattle WA - all on I-5.
245 miles that normally takes 4.5 hours

- Myles

#12 RyanSem

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 09:47 AM

Took us 8 hours from Erie to Newark DE.

 

Amusing note: you could tell which eclipsegoers were using Siri as a GPS; there was a large herd of us taking all the same tiny, backroad routes through the microscopic towns and villages along the way. We spent about five hours driving among a lot of the same people, losing a few every time we went past a larger-city exit.

 

I could imagine the same voice issuing the same directions from the iPhones in fifty consecutive cars.

Lol through Titusville, Pleasantville, and all those little towns, right? I loved the amount of people who were standing at the edges of their properties going "what in the world is going on here?!"


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#13 GoneGator95

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 09:57 AM

Alto Pass IL to Chesterfield MO: Left ~4PM, got to hotel ~7:45AM, so took around ~3:45 with one short stop. Should have been around ~2.5 with one short stop.

 

We did leave St Louis metro early around 5AM to get over to IL. Glad we did that having no issues getting into position in south IL by mid-morning with pick of spots (ended up here: https://maps.app.goo...MTM2stkvnuypsP8). Near centerline 4:09mins in total. 

 

I heard I-55 from St Louis on MO side was bad both directions with friends who made it to totality but not as deep as they wanted and long drives back.



#14 sbsbbugsy

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 02:23 PM

Broken Bow, OK to Lawton, Ok: Normal about 4.5 hours. Took seven hours this morning because I had to wait for Roadside Assistance when my RV got a flat on an inside rear tire. grin.gif



#15 dan_hm

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 03:56 PM

Maine wasn’t bad. I set up as close to Bangor as possible (with a view of Mount Katahdin!) and just had to deal with traffic on I-95 from all the other people who viewed from the small towns along the interstate. Had I waited longer to leave my site I would’ve had to deal with a lot more traffic from Houlton and Presque Isle. Maine ended up being an ideal location for this eclipse. Beautifully clear skies, amazing landscapes, and manageable traffic.
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#16 Matt Lindsey

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 04:34 PM

Route:                                            Road(s):                                      Ordinary Travel Time:               Travel Time after 2024 Eclipse:

Mansfield OH to Wheeling WV      Ohio 30, 250, I-77, I-70                   2 hr. 40 min                                      2 hr. 40 min!!!!

 

No traffic issues whatsoever.  A pleasant change from 2017.



#17 shakafell

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 04:37 PM

No traffic whatsoever from North Arkansas back to south Texas.


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#18 JimV

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 04:39 PM

I started out in Island Falls, ME, but there were lingering clouds to the west early morning, so I continued on to Houlton.

It was one big street party there downtown with maybe 10,000 people.  It was a lot of fun.  Guys dressed up as space aliens for pictures.

Sky was perfectly blue the entire time.

Trip back took 1 1/2 hours longer because of traffic joining from Millinocket around Medway.



#19 Achernar

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 04:40 PM

I-55 and I-40 in Memphis TN was a fifteen-mile one lane bottleneck the day of the eclipse. I spent three hours fighting my way through that last night, but I doubt it was because of the rush of traffic due to the eclipse. It was the terrible state of the roads in Memphis TN and the road work that was the reason for the back ups of traffic.

 

Taras



#20 Chris K

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 05:30 PM

Long Island NY to Newport Vermont
Left 5am Monday and the going was smooth at 7.5 hours with one rest and a couple minor slow spots.

Going home? Worst driving experience of my life.
Left Newport at 5:30pm Monday, got home at 6:45am.

Should have stayed over.
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#21 KidOrion

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 07:54 PM

Lol through Titusville, Pleasantville, and all those little towns, right? I loved the amount of people who were standing at the edges of their properties going "what in the world is going on here?!"

Yep. Titusville was one of them.

 

At one point, we paused to let a volunteer firefighter out of his station’s lot. We thought he was going home, but he stopped at the four-way intersection up the road and just started waving us all through, to end the backup.



#22 KidOrion

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 07:57 PM

Alto Pass IL to Chesterfield MO: Left ~4PM, got to hotel ~7:45AM, so took around ~3:45 with one short stop. Should have been around ~2.5 with one short stop.

 

We did leave St Louis metro early around 5AM to get over to IL. Glad we did that having no issues getting into position in south IL by mid-morning with pick of spots (ended up here: https://maps.app.goo...MTM2stkvnuypsP8). Near centerline 4:09mins in total. 

 

I heard I-55 from St Louis on MO side was bad both directions with friends who made it to totality but not as deep as they wanted and long drives back.

Hope you got some root beer at the Alto Pass Root Beer Saloon!
 

We used to catch Omega Centauri from the base of the Bald Knob Cross.



#23 SpaceConqueror3

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 09:33 PM

We flew into Toronto from Seattle a day and a half prior to the eclipse and drove down to Lake Erie through rural southern Ontario the morning of the eclipse. On the way back, we had a couple spots where it was difficult to make left turns at road conjunctions but we might of added a total of 15-20 mins of slow down on the way back to Toronto (2hrs). I get delays like that in Seattle going a mere 2-3 miles sometimes. But that was exactly the reason I selected the location where we went to see it. I had no interest in mixing it up with the crowds at Niagara Falls.



#24 Cajundaddy

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 09:43 PM

We saw very light traffic in southern Texas prior to the eclipse.  We observed in Garner state park and stayed the night.  My daughter lives in Houston and they stayed for dinner with us and headed home around 8pm.  They said there was noticeable traffic but moving at the speed limit and they got home shortly after midnight.
 

The following day we left Garner heading NW and while there were a lot of eclipse chasers on the road but no delays.  The 10 fwy WB was going 80mph.
 

I think traffic runs full spectrum depending on the density of eclipse chasers and the number of exit roads available.


Edited by Cajundaddy, 09 April 2024 - 10:18 PM.


#25 isutru

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Posted 09 April 2024 - 10:05 PM

Murphysboro, Illinois to St. Louis       Normal time.....2 hours             After eclipse.........3 hours on numerous back roads, heavy traffic.    Exactly the same in 2017.





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