Some tricks for handling Halloween rush hour

Be aware of little ones trick or treating on Thursday night. [MetroCreative]
Be aware of little ones trick or treating on Thursday night. [MetroCreative]

An earlier start home can help, and please watch out for boys and ghouls and there’s just no clowning around the fact that Halloween traffic can be scary.

When All Hallows’ Eve falls on a weekday, as it does this year, mummies, daddies and other devilish drivers scurry home during the witching — er, rush — hour for trick-or-treating and spine-chilling soirees.

The Arizona Department of Transportation wants all traveling souls to be prepared for afternoon traffic congestion that haunts highways earlier than usual.

There’s no need to consult a crystal ball; we’ve seen this over and over with our own eyes and in past lives. So, treat yourself to these tricks that may help you avoid nightmarish traffic:

• Unless you can transform into a bat and fly away from the office, carve out an earlier start toward your final destination. Leaving by 3 o’clock may beat the witching hour, which generally starts around 4 p.m.

• Pack some patience along with that audio book of spells. No one likes an aggressive driver.

• Maintain a sixth sense for little vampires and unicorns, keeping in mind that they may not be paying close attention to cars. Spooked pets could be running around too.

And if the West Valley is your destination, be aware that thousands upon thousands of people costumed as Arizona Cardinals fans will be heading to State Farm Stadium for a 5:20 p.m. Halloween kickoff against the San Francisco 49ers.

With stadium parking lots open at 1 p.m., fans have every incentive to arrive early and start goblin — or gobbling — tailgate food.

Everybody should consider Loop 101 west and south from Interstate 17 to avoid potential toil and trouble on westbound I-10.

Finally, let’s leave the afterlife to those already there. Don’t drive impaired, and definitely don’t let those who’ve indulged in too many spirits or elixirs get behind the wheel of a car.

Doug Pacey is a communications project manager for ADOT. Visit