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Memorial Day 2019: The worst time to leave Chicago this weekend

Traffic will peak on Friday

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The forecast for Chicago this Memorial Day weekend isn’t ideal (lots of rain, big thunderstorms), so we’d understand if you’re already thinking about an escape to sunnier skies. You’ll join about 43 million Americans who are also celebrating the start of summer with a getaway. That’s 1.5 million more than last year, and the second-highest travel volume, according to AAA.

Traffic is already a nightmare during rush hour on I-90/I-94, and it won’t get any better this weekend especially when delays for the entire city could start as early as Wednesday. “Drivers should expect much worse conditions than normal,” said Trevor Reed, INRIX transportation analyst, in a statement. “Our advice to drivers is to avoid the morning and evening commuting times or plan alternate routes.”

The worst time to leave Chicago is Friday from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. when delays might prolong your trip by 1.6 times, according to the report. Keep in mind, there are other happenings that’ll add to the traffic. The Cubs are playing early afternoon games everyday this weekend and the city’s Memorial Day Parade will step off at noon from Daley Plaza. To avoid slowly crawling the expressway, it might be best to leave at an unusual time.

Or, you could stay right here—there are plenty of things to do this weekend despite the disappointing, rainy forecast.