The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

May 23, 2013

Hitting the road: More holiday drivers expected this year

JOHNSTOWN — The long Memorial Day weekend looms like a shining star, and adding to the lure of hitting the highway are moderate temperatures, no forecast for rain and the price of gasoline, which is down significantly from last year.

Despite all of the positives for taking a road trip, the American Automobile Association predicts just a slight increase in the number of people getting behind the wheel and a decrease in overall travel from 2012 when air travel is taken into account.

The travel group says 31.2 million Americans will drive 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend, which officially began Thursday and runs through late Monday.

The figure is close to last year’s but down significantly from the more than 37 million who hit the road in 2005, The Associated Press reports.

Airline use is is expected to be at about 2.3 million, down by 8 percent from, 2012, with the sluggish economy taking the blame.

AAA President Robert Darbelnet said the “end of the payroll tax holiday on working families,” and what he termed “fee fatigue” linked to air travel are keeping a greater number of Americans out of the airports.

National reports are that the average price of gasoline is up slighty from 2012 to $3.66 per gallon, but that is not the case in this region.

The price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the Johnstown area was about $3.45 on Thursday, 20 cents lower than a year ago.

It’s the prediction of a mild, but rain-free weekend that likely will send people flocking to state parks and similar recreation sites across Pennsylvania.

Things are filled up at Prince Gallitzin State Park, outside Patton, manager Dennis Miller said.

“It looks like it’s going to be a good weekend,” Miller said. “The boats are already out and the campgrounds are going to be full.”

Prince Gallitzin has 393 camping sites plus four cottages and all are reserved, Miller said.

“There’s plenty of water, the fish are out there, some crappies, some bass, and we’re expecting a big crowd,” he said “We enjoy seeing the people coming out and having a good time.”

After rain on Wednesday and Thursday, things should clear out for the weekend, with temperatures in the upper 50s on Saturday and in the 60s on Sunday.

“There will be lots of sunshine Monday with temperatures in the mid 60s,” Erickson said.

For those who do travel this weekend, PennDOT, the state police and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are taking steps to try to assure a safe journey.

Steps are being taken to curtail as much construction on state highways as possible and the turnpike suspended work from Thursday through 6 p.m. Wednesday, spokeswoman Renee Vida Coburn said.

The revamped South Midway Plaza in Bedford County opened earlier this week and a safety break is planned for the Sideling Hill Service Plaza in Fulton County, she said.

Scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, the break will help enlighten drivers to the dangers of distracted driving, seatbelt laws and other safety tips, she said.

State and local police, in a program sponsored in conjunction with Penn-DOT, will have extra patrols on the highway watching for drunken and impaired driving, distracted driving and seat belt use.

“We want people to remember to buckle up every time,” said Pam Kane, PennDOT safety officer of the “Click it or Ticket” initiative statewide. “We want to remind people to buckle up every trip, every time.”

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Cause of West End fire still undetermined

    The cause of a five-alarm fire early Monday morning at a vacant structure on the 500 block of Dorothy Avenue in Johnstown’s West End has not yet been determined.

    July 22, 2014

  • Former worker, pal jailed in Logan Township thrift store robbery

    A former employee and another man have been jailed on charges they robbed a Blair County thrift store, a crime foiled when a current employee told police she recognized the first masked suspect’s voice.

    July 22, 2014

  • Rents change with new rules

    A change in federal housing regulations raises the rent for 28 public housing tenants and reduces the rent for 29 tenants in Johnstown Housing Authority communities.

    July 21, 2014

  • Memorial programs recognized

    A national hospital ranking report recognizes Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center as high performing in four categories.

    July 21, 2014

  • Residents seek Sonman memorial

    Relatives of workers involved in one of the biggest mine disasters in the region’s history are working to keep the victims’ memories from fading. Next year marks the 75th anniversary of the 1940 Sonman Mine explosion, which claimed 63 lives.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 22, 2014

  • Foul play ruled out in train fatality

    Foul play has been ruled out in the death of a Windber man found struck by a train near Seward early Sunday, investigators say.

    July 21, 2014

  • Correction 07/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

  • Concussion prevention project progressing

    A Johnstown-area hospital and school district are a step ahead of the president's call for more research into sports injuries, having developed a groundbreaking concussion-prevention program aimed at helping all athletes, particularly students, avoid brain injuries.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local briefs 7/22/2014

    July 21, 2014

Poll

What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
House Ads