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Thanksgiving traffic is thick in Boston area

Planning to hit the road for a Thanksgiving trip? A word of advice: Don’t — at least not right now.

Traffic has been reduced to a crawl on many of the state’s highways going in and out of the city, the Department of Transportation says.

Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff

Travelers waited at South Station for a train to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.

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Those hoping to begin their Thanksgiving travels early have been snagged with turtle-like speeds on Interstate 93 northbound and southbound, according to the traffic information service.

“Traffic is particularly heavy from the [Tip O’Neill] Tunnel to the South Bay area,” said transportation spokesman Michael Verseckes. “It’s still a bit heavy beyond that but slightly less so.”

Verseckes said there are real-time updates on signs posted along I-93 that tell drivers how long they can expect delays to last.

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Drivers heading west on the Massachusetts Turnpike can also expect delays, the service shows.

“Groups of traffic between Auburn and Weston are particularly heavy,” Verseckes said. “We expect that to increase as we get into the peak travel period.”

Ridership was heavy today on many of the MBTA’s subway lines as travelers tried to get out of the city for the holiday, the T said.

Subway, bus, and commuter rail lines will run on a Sunday schedule on Thanksgiving Day, the agency said. There will be no service offered on the Fairmount, Greenbush, Kingston/Plymouth, and Needham commuter rail lines on Thursday. Travelers can check the MBTA website for more holiday service schedule details.

The Transportation Security Administration, which operates security at the nation’s airports, has posted tips for Thanksgiving travelers, the busiest travel time of the year, on its blog.

On Thanksgiving Day, parking meters in the city of Boston will be free and daytime street cleaning is canceled, the Menino administration said.

Traffic congestion across much of the country is expected to be down 4 percent this year from the last Thanksgiving holiday travel period, said Jim Bak, spokesman for the International Navigation Real-time Information Exchange, a traffic monitoring service.

However, because so many travelers pass through Boston to get to their Thanksgiving destinations, backups in the city will likely be the same as last year, Bak said.

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