With about 2.5 million Southern California residents expected to take holiday getaways this weekend, commuters can expect crowded freeways, longer lines at the airport and more officers patrolling the highways and streets.
During last year's holiday period, 45 people were killed on California roads. CHP officers made 1,465 arrests for driving under the influence during a 78-hour period. The Memorial Day holiday reporting period starts at 6 p.m. Friday and runs through 11:59 p.m. Monday, according to the CHP.
All CHP areas are also participating in the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign through June 6.
Among Southern California travelers, about 2.1 million, or 84 percent, will use vehicles to get to their destinations, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Although the Memorial Day weekend's gasoline prices will be higher than those at this time last year, prices have dropped as the holiday approaches in response to recent decreases in crude oil prices. The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Orange County on Wednesday was $3.03, 7 cents less than in the past week.
Air travel among residents is projected to increase by 4.9 percent to 227,000 flyers, while travel by cruise, bus, train or other means will be up 5.6 percent to 173,000.
John Wayne Airport officials expect traffic to be heaviest Friday and Tuesday. In 2009, nearly 100,000 passengers traveled through JWA between Friday and Tuesday.
Passengers and visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and give themselves 90 minutes to two hours to find parking, check luggage and go through the security checkpoint to be on time for their flights as there is construction around the Riley Terminal.
The top five Memorial Day destinations for Southern California travelers, according to a poll of the Auto Club's travel agents, are San Diego , Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, San Francisco and the Central Coast.
ON THE ROAD
•Highway conditions statewide: 800-427-7623
•Orange County traffic conditions: dot.ca.gov/dist12
•Gas costs: aaa-calif.com/corpinfo/fuel
Metrolink trains will not operate Memorial Day. For information: 800-371-LINK or metrolinktrains.com.
•The Orange County Transportation Authority will run on a holiday schedule on Memorial Day. Information: 714-636-RIDE or octa.net.
•Parking structures A1, A2 and B2 are next to and directly across from the Riley Terminal and cost $20 per day and $2 per hour, with the first 15 minutes free for those dropping off and picking up passengers.
•Curbside valet parking is available for $30 per day on the departure level between Terminals A and B.
•For parking availability, call 949-252-5200. For directions to JWA, visit ocair.com/parking/parking.htm.
•Long Beach: 562-570-2600; longbeach.gov/airport