3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

3.2 Trillion Miles Driven On U.S. Roads In 2016

New estimates released by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) show that U.S. driving topped 3.2 trillion miles last year. It is the fifth straight year of increased mileage on public roads throughout the nation, and underscores the demands facing America’s roads and bridges, and reaffirms calls for greater investment in surface transportation infrastructure.

The new data, published in FHWA’s latest “Traffic Volume Trends” report – a monthly estimate of U.S. road travel – show that more than 263.6 billion miles were driven in December 2016 alone, which is a .5 percent increase over the previous December.

The December 2016 report also includes seasonally-adjusted data, which is conducted by USDOT’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics as a way to even out seasonal variation in travel and enable vehicle miles travelled (VMT) comparisons with any other month in any year. The seasonally-adjusted VMT for December 2016 were 269.3 billion miles. Compared with seasonally adjusted November 2016 data, December 2016 VMT fell slightly by .6 percent but rose 0.6 percent from December 2015. The estimates include passenger vehicle, bus and truck travel.

At 2.9 percent, traffic in the West – a 13-state region stretching from California to Montana, and including Hawaii and Alaska – led the nation with the largest percentage increase in unadjusted VMT, and continued an uninterrupted series of monthly increases that began in October 2013. Mileage fell slightly in the Northeast and North Central states.

At 33.9 billion VMT, California accounted for more miles driven in December 2016 than the combined 33.8 billion miles of 22 states – Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming – and Washington, D.C.

At 5.8 percent, Louisiana led the nation with the largest unadjusted single-state traffic percent increase compared to the same month a year earlier, followed by Utah at 5.2 percent and Nevada at 5.1 percent. At 6.2 percent, for the tenth month in a row, North Dakota led the nation with the largest unadjusted traffic decrease for the month.

Spring 2017 Travel Inspiration for a Road Trip to Massachusetts

Spring 2017 Travel Inspiration for a Road Trip to Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) has released 5 Things: Spring in Massachusetts, an inspiring collection of activities, experiences, and events taking place during springtime in the Commonwealth.

From nature’s warming welcome to the re-opening of the Bay State’s most beloved attractions, the spring story in Massachusetts is all about regeneration. Features include gardens in bloom, trails for fitness buffs, and outside-the-box ways to celebrate moms and dads…

Read the complete article…

Maid of the Mist Ready for Earliest Launch in History

Maid of the Mist Ready for Earliest Launch in History

For the second consecutive season, the Maid of the Mist will launch on the earliest date in the storied history of one of North America’s longest running tourist attractions.

The 2017 season will begin Saturday, April 1, at 9:00 a.m., from its Niagara Falls, New York, landing. The season runs through November 5. In 2016, the season began April 2.

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“Maid of the Mist VI and Maid of the Mist VII are ready to navigate the waters of the Lower Niagara River to the Maid of the Mist Pool at the base of the Horseshoe Falls,” said Christopher Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist.  “Our captains, crew members and associates are prepared to welcome guests from around the world as we build on last year’s record season, when 1.6 million visitors boarded our iconic vessels.

“Our guests with take with them an experience that will last a lifetime.”

Beginning Apr. 1 through May 19, tours will operate 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (weekdays) and 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (weekends).

Other schedule highlights include:

Victoria Day Weekend
May 20–May 21
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
May 22–May 26
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Memorial Day Weekend
Saturday, May 27
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 28
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Monday, May 29
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

May 30–June 16
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Sun-Fri)
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Sat)

June 17–August 8
9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (daily)

August 9–August 28
9:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (daily)

August 29–September 3
9:00 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. (daily)

Labor Day Only
Monday, September 4
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

September 5–October 3
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

October 4–October 31
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (daily)

November 1–November 5
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (daily)

Adult tickets are $18.25; tickets for children (6-12 years) are $10.65.  Children 5 and under ride free with an accompanying adult.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.maidofthemist.com

Take A Trip Back In Time With The All-New County Fair At Carowinds

Take A Trip Back In Time With The All-New County Fair At Carowinds

True Carolinians will agree, the feel of an old county fair is like no other. Now guests can enter into an atmosphere of timeless fun for all ages as Carowinds opens an all-new County Fair themed area in spring 2017.

More than three-acres of family fun await in County Fair, featuring four retro classic rides: the twists and turns of Do-Si-Do glides guests up, down and around on three giant arms; the floorless gondolas on Electro-Spin flip guests upside down up to 63 feet above the ground; Rock ‘N’ Roller’s circular motion paired with music tunes and spectacular lighting is a crowd pleaser; and grab the family for some high flying action on the Zephyr swing ride.

The hardest part of the day might be deciding which regional treat to eat! No fair would be complete without recognizable smells and tastes from some “blue ribbon” favorites including: fried corn, hot dogs, cotton candy and fresh cut fries – yummy! Let’s not forget the ever-popular funnel cake. Guests can indulge the deep-fried pastry the old-fashioned way, or chow down on our bite-sized funnel cake fritters.

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The County Fair section of the park will feature a wide range of activities that exceed everyone’s imaginations. Family members of all ages can enjoy the comforting feel of the old fair imagery.

“We combined some long-time guests’ favorites, four classic fair rides, traditional fair food and music, to bring a one-of-a-kind experience families will want to enjoy over and over again,” says vice president and general manager, Pat Jones. “Parents can go back in time and re-live their childhood with their kids and create memories that will last a lifetime.”

It’s not too late to purchase a 2017 season pass or renew a current one at the lowest price of the year at carowinds.com. Season passholders will get to experience the all-new County Fair before anyone else during Carowinds exclusive Season Passholder Preview night Friday, March 24 from 6-10 p.m. The park opens to the public on Saturday, March 25.