Residents in the Baltimore metro area say they will not be traveling for the Fourth of July weekend, a trend that aligns with AAA Mid-Atlantic's 2013 travel forecast.
"I probably won't [travel]. Usually, we just have a cookout at my house," said Erik Stanger of Catonsville. "I'm a resident here out on Frederick Road, so they have the Fourth of July parade ... and we can just walk outside and watch that."
Consistent with the slight decline in the national projection, fewer Maryland residents will be traveling 50 miles or more from home for the Independence Day holiday compared to 2012, according to AAA's Independence Day travel forecast.
Despite Maryland's gas tax and toll increases, effective July 1, 2013, most Maryland travelers will still drive for the Fourth of July weekend, Ragina Cooper Averella, AAA Mid-Atlantic manager of public and government affairs, said in a press release.
"Driving remains the more affordable option for many travelers, especially those traveling as a family," Averella said.
Plus, gas prices have been decreasing, despite prices being 14 cents higher than last year during Fourth of July. The average price for a gallon of gasoline is about two cents less than last week and three cents lower than last month, according to the release.
Still, Stanger said he believes the toll increases will affect travelers, especially given tax increases in Baltimore County.
Toll increases include cash transactions for 2-axle vehicles from $4 to $6 and for 4-axle vehicles from $12 to $18, according to the Maryland Transportation Authority. A full list of the toll increases and changes can be viewed via MDTA's public notice.
Travel destinations will remain in the state for Maryland residents. Towson University student Casey Barker said she will be returning to her home in Cecil County to celebrate with family, while Maryland resident Aimee Pontier will be watching fireworks over the harbor in Canton.
Estimated No. of Maryland Travelers for 2013 Fourth of July Weekend
- Total: 798,400 (-.9% decrease from 2012)
- Auto: 689,400 (86% of travelers)
- Air: 59,300 (8% of travelers)
- Other Modes (bus, train, watercraft): 49,700 (6% of travelers)