By CBSLA Staff

CORONA (CBSLA) — A year and eight months after the start of the pandemic, traffic across Southern California is officially back to pre-pandemic levels. 

“Leisure travel is exploding,” said Doug Schupe, spokesperson for AAA. “Not only are people taking more vacations but they’re taking those road trips.”

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With Thanksgiving approaching, Schupe predicts traffic to only increase with the holiday weekend approaching. Schupe said he believes there will be a 9% increase in traffic, only 1% less than before the pandemic. 

Traffic has especially returned to the 91 freeway, the main roadway connecting Los Angeles to Orange and Riverside Counties. 

“It’s very boring,” said driver Ana Garcia. “You have to be there for almost two hours.” 

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According to the Riverside County Transportation Commission, traffic is twelve percent worse than before the pandemic. In September, it recorded 1.3 million cars in Highway 91’s express lanes compared to 820,000 last march.

The traffic has forced some to rethink their commutes, with one resident even selling his business. Nash Khan decided to relocate his business from Anaheim.

“The reason I sell my business over there and buy over here is because of the 91,” said Khan “There’s too much traffic over there.”

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AAA advises drivers to expect more traffic as the holiday season approaches. They also said to leave earlier to avoid rushing and driving dangerously.