Memorial Day means Mid-Missourians hit the highways
Harold Harris tells how he plans to handle holiday traffic. RealVideo
Record numbers of travelers are expected to take to the road this Memorial
Day weekend. And Mid-Missourians will be among those crowding the
The American Automobile Association predicted that Americans will make a
record number of trips this weekend. AAA estimated Americans will take
30.8 million trips in excess of 100 miles from home by way of motor
vehicles, trains or planes. Of those, AAA e xpected 26.7 million trips to
be made in motor vehicles.
The number of motor-vehicle trips would also be a record, representing
about a one-percent increase over last year, said Mike Right, vice
president of public affairs for the Missouri office of AAA.
But few Mid-Missourians seemed to be deterred by the potential for heavy
Lamara Warren of Columbia planned to drive to St. Louis Friday night. She
has a wedding to attend today and was planning on going to a concert
As a missions representative at the University of Missouri-Columbia,
Warren said she travels around the country talking with prospective
students and alumni about M.U.
"I'm used to traveling," Warren said. "That's what we do."
But not everyone that is traveling is doing so for fun. Marci Sims of
Jackson, for example, is flying to Hawaii tomorrow to move there. Sims was
in Columbia Friday visiting friends.
Like Sims, Christopher Johnson's weekend travel plans have more to do with
business rather than pleasure. Johnson is heading to Kansas City today to
get fitted for a wedding he will be in.
Johnson said he is not deterred by the heavy highway traffic forecast for
"It's something I've got to do," he said. "I've got to go."
Joe DeLong of Jefferson City has no obligations drawing him to the road.
Still, he and his friends planned to make several trips this weekend.
Joe DeLong isn't deterred by all the people headed to Mid-Missouri recreation areas this weekend. RealVideo
"I don't really worry about the traffic," DeLong said.
DeLong, who graduated Friday from Helias High School, planned to head to
the Osage River Friday afternoon to party with his friends. He also said
he was thinking of going to the Lake of the Ozarks on Monday.
If DeLong does go to the Lake, he will not be alone there by any means.
With Memorial Day weekend being the traditional kickoff for the summer
season at the lake, at least three of the resort hotels in the area
reported they have few if any vacancies for the weekend. The hotels'
reservation agents said they were drawing travelers from as far away as
Wisconsin and Ohio.
"Everybody gears up for this weekend," said Linda Butler, a reservation
agent at the Lake Ozark Holiday Inn.
Despite the draw of the season's kickoff weekend, Butler said the actual
number of people making reservations and coming down to the lake will
depend on the weather.
"If the weather's great, the phones go nuts," she said. "If it rains, the
phones will go nuts with people canceling."
Reporters: Troy Wolverton and Betsy Webster
Web Producer: Troy Wolverton
Video original air date: May 24, 1997
Published: September 18, 2002