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Sky-Rocketing Gas Prices Have Some Drivers Staying Home This Memorial Day Weekend

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says during the four-day period between Friday and Memorial Day, Friday is the business travel day. While volume has picked up throughout the day, drivers tell CBS3 gas is so expensive that they're canceling their plans for the holiday.

CBS3 spoke to a woman named Brooke, she says usually she would go to the beach or a barbecue for Memorial Day, but this year, she's not going anywhere.

"I'm staying here because with these gas prices, I can't afford to leave," Brooke said. "Prior to the pandemic and 2019, I have a small car, I think I was paying $20. Now it costs me $35 to fill up my tank."

Despite sky-high gas prices, many drivers are hitting the road for Memorial Day.

Mike Foster says he's driving from Reading to Schuylkill County to see family.

"I'm going to have a picnic with my grandkids and play as much as I can till they wear me out," Foster said.

As seen on this bar graph, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission estimates more vehicles will be on the road Friday than any other day during the four-day holiday travel period.

"We're pleased to see traffic coming back," Rosanne Placey, with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission said. "We live for our customers."

In fact, the commission estimates more than $2 million people will use the turnpike this Memorial Day weekend.

That's even more people than pre-pandemic levels during the same time period.

"Everyone's been cooped up for two years, so it's nice to just be able to be out this weekend and be with friends," Reading resident Kat Ketter said.

To help accommodate holiday traffic, maintenance work on the turnpike is being suspended and all available lanes will be open through Monday.

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