RDU Holiday Traffic Better Than in Years Past, Travelers Say
Posted November 27, 1999
RALEIGH — The hustle and bustle of the Thanksgiving holiday came to a close Sunday evening, but not before thousands of people hit the roadways and the airways headed home.
Raleigh-Durham International was packed with people for most of the day -- 40,000 people in and out of the airport -- who said there were very few problems.
Chris Reardon, who was heading back to work, said this year that travelling out of at RDU was no work at all.
"It was awesome," Reardon said. "We have three kids, and it was very easy to get them unloaded, and across (the lanes). The cops were really helpful about stopping traffic and letting us get across."
Overall things have gone very smoothly, says RDU spokesman Mike Blanton.
Thanks to three new traffic lanes in front of Terminal A, the lines in this year's Thanksgiving rush were not as long as last year, and parking spaces were more plentiful.
"We tried to encourage people that if they had the choice to find a friend or family member to drop them off at the airport," Blanton said. "And it's real obvious to us that that happened."
Over the holiday weekend, only about 10,000 of 13,000 available parking spaces were filled.
Blanton said that part of a new 2700-space parking garage could be finished by the Christmas rush, but it is behind schedule.
The roads were also crowded along Interstate 95 through Fayetteville Sunday as travelers headed home.
AAA of North Carolina estimates, about 28 million people hit the roads between Wednesday and Sunday.