MassDOT Releases Safe Travel Tips

busBARNSTABLE – Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation advise residents and visitors to travel safely during the upcoming holiday season, check the department’s online resources, and use public transportation where possible.

Heavy traffic on peak holiday travel days is expected along I-90 Exit 9 connecting I-84 to Connecticut and New York. Drivers are encouraged to consider travel during the early morning or after 8 p.m.  Traffic congestion is also anticipated at the I-95 and I-495 Turnpike interchanges along with I-495 and I-93 northbound leading into New Hampshire.

MassDOT also encourages motorists to sign up for EZPass and avoid cash tolls.

Before travel, MassDOT’s online traffic camera webpage can be visited to check live traffic cameras across the Commonwealth. The 511 traffic alert system alerts customers to traffic conditions throughout the holiday weekend.

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Free coffee will be served at all MassDOT service plazas between 10 p.m. on Christmas night,Thursday, December 25, until 5 a.m. on Friday, December 26, and between 10 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Wednesday, December 31, until 5 a.m. on Thursday, January 1, 2015.

Because of an expected reduction in traffic volumes during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays during the weeks starting December 22, and December 29, the I-93 HOV Zipper Lane will NOT be deployed on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of those two weeks.

The department encourages travelers to remember winter driving skills and tips for preparation. For example, motorists should drive with headlights on, observe posted speed limits, never drink and drive, make sure everyone is using a seatbelt and clear snow from vehicles before driving.

The MBTA Christmas Day through New Year’s Day holiday service schedule includes a Sunday service schedule for Thursday, December 25 and Thursday, January 1, 2015.  The T will provide rush hour level service from 3:00 pm through 2:00 am on New Year’s Eve, December 31.  The MBTA will not collect fares after 8:00pm on New Year’s Eve.

All Registry of Motor Vehicles offices will be closed on Thursday, December 25 and Thursday, January 1, 2015.