BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – It’s a week out from Christmas and many people are getting their last-minute shopping in. That means they’re heading to the stores along Route 224 in Boardman.
From Black Friday and beyond, congestion on the main road is at its peak.
“224 is pretty rough,” said. “You really have to be careful because there’s just so much more than there usually is.”
Fire Chief Mark Pitzer said they see an increase in traffic along the 224 stretch in Boardman.
“With that, we’ve seen an increase in vehicle accidents. Most of them minor because of the congestion or more so, a lot of fender benders.”
Pitzer offered some tips to help make the hustle and bustle of the holiday season a little easier.
“It’s just being cognizant,” he said. “You know it’s going to be busy. It’s that time of year.”
Pitzer said the key is to give yourself enough time, be patient and slow down. He said avoid distractions like being on your cell phone and never drive impaired.
Although they see an increase in traffic, some shoppers said this is the least congested they’ve seen 224.
“I don’t think it’s been as bad this year,” said. “I’ve been out here when it’s bumper-to-bumper almost the whole way.”
“Lunchtime is busy,” said. “It’s really not that bad. Working up here, I don’t think the traffic has been as bad as it has in the past so people are patient, people are courteous. You help somebody else, they help you out.”
Pitzer said if you’re wondering whether or not to brave the traffic heading out at certain times might be better.
“If you want to come out and shop and maybe not have that much congestion, do it early morning or later evening.”
Pitzer said congestion will most likely continue after the holidays as people are out making returns or visiting from out-of-town and while kids are still on break.