gas prices

PJ Mixer / via Flickr

The holiday travel season begins today. And a trend of more people hitting the road for the holidays is continuing.

Travel service AAA is projecting 98.6 million Americans will be someplace else for at least part of the holidays, a record number.

"It’s up 4 percent compared to last year. It’s also the highest travel volume on record. And AAA’s data does date back 13 years," said AAA spokeswoman Diana Dibble.

AAA recorded increases in travel for Labor Day and Thanksgiving holidays, too.

Mike Mozart

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) is blaming what he calls the state's weak gas zone pricing laws for the Mohawk Valley's higher-than-average gas prices.

According to a recent report by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, gas in the Utica-Rome area was selling for an average of $3.24 a gallon, which was the third highest price in the state. By contrast, gas in the Syracuse area was going for twenty cents less.

Brindisi says higher gas prices effect the area's economy.

Satya Murthy / Flickr

More Americans are expected to travel this Thanksgiving holiday season than at any time since the start of the recession of 2008.

AAA says 46.3 million people will travel more than 50 miles from home. That's up more than four percent from last year and the most hitting the road since 2007.

AAA Spokeswoman Diana Dibble says there are several factors driving the increase.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

As central New Yorkers hop in their cars to head off for the holiday weekend, the 24th Congressional District race is focusing on gas prices and energy policy.

The Republican candidate in the race, former federal prosecutor John Katko, is calling on incumbent Democrat Rep. Dan Maffei to say no to what Katko calls a growing effort in Washington to raise the federal gas tax.

He says central New Yorkers just can’t afford it.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

There's a new Guinness World Record when it comes to fuel efficiency.  A mid-size Volkswagen model set a record for the best fuel efficiency for a non-hybrid car this week.  The recent trip reaps lessons ranging from rethinking an old energy source to breaking some bad habits.

Wayne Gerdes and his driving companion, Bob Winger, took a trip that essentially took them more than 8,100 miles -- or just under 108 gallons of diesel fuel. The last leg of that journey brought them to central New York.

pixelnaiad / Flickr

The number of people traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday is up for the fourth straight year.  AAA says the economy and gas prices are two of the biggest factors affecting people's travel plans.

It is CROP Walk weekend in central New York. The annual walk, sponsored by Church World Service to raise money for the hungry, comes at a time when the need is great.

Carl Wycoff / Flickr

If you are planning on hitting the road this Memorial Day weekend, expect some company. AAA expects an increase in holiday travel on the weekend that starts the summer travel season.

High gas prices, poor home buying, and low job reports sent consumer confidence down in New York last month.