"Conditions perfect for summer gridlock on N.H., Maine roads; Cheap gas, nice weathermean big crowds" by Nicole Dungca and Catherine Cloutier Globe Staff August 26, 2015
HAMPTON, N.H. — More drivers this summer have been hitting the highways and heading for the less-crowded beaches and wide-open wilderness of northern New England. They are encouraged, traffic watchers say, by falling gas prices, a recovering economy, and a sunnier summer. That has translated into beach and mountain weekends bookended by bumper-to-bumper traffic, often doubling travel times for drivers who leave at the wrong hour.
More passenger and commercial vehicles rolled through Maine tolls in June and July since at least 2007, according to the Maine Turnpike Authority. Records show that the number of vehicles — as measured in toll transactions — driving on the Maine Turnpike has surpassed the amount before the recession hit in 2008.
The congestion is undermining a long-held belief that heading north to solitude is only a couple of hours, far easier to endure than the storied, endless traffic to and from Cape Cod and its oft-crowded beaches.
Travelers to Maine and New Hampshire say they see the proof in gridlock, particularly going up on Friday after work and coming back on Sunday afternoon....
That's when all the New York City/New Jersey/Connecticut dwellers are on the way back to their stinkhole city. For sanity's sake they must leave for the weekend (and read a Globe on Sunday before heading back).
Day at the Beach
Walk on the Beach
Back From the Beach
Beach season is now over.