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AAA: Fewer People Traveling July Fourth; Recession To Blame

The American Automobile Association predicts a slight decline in travel that's more than 50 miles this holiday weekend. The auto club says gas prices are down but so is the economy.

Filling up your car is definitely cheaper than it was a year ago. But despite the decrease in fuel prices, AAA said fewer people will travel long distances this holiday weekend. The auto club predicts an almost two percent decline in leisure travel that's 50 miles or more.

Troy Green speaks for AAA.

"Even thought the price of gasoline right now is about $1.45 less than last year the economy is much worse than it was this time last year," Green said.

And motorists are feeling the impact.

"We see that over 467,000 jobs were lost in the month of June, which is much higher than what analysts had projected. And on top of that you're also looking at sagging personal incomes. People are still trying to recover from losing so much with their personal investments, especially 401Ks, and the decline in home value," he said.

Matt Schimmoeller fills up his car at the GetGo gas station in Grandview. But the fuel is not for a Fourth of July trip. He said his budget is pretty tight these days. So to save some money Schimmoeller convinced his parents to visit him this weekend.

"We kind of decided to maybe have people come to our house if that's at all possible. We just can't really afford to make a huge trip or go somewhere. We'd absolutely love to, but we kind of have to put that on hold for a little while until we can get some extra cash," Schimmoeller said.

Fortunately for Angela Dean the economy has had little impact on her travel plans this weekend. She's headed to Dayton and then on to Cincinnati. There's one slight adjustment she and her travel mates have made to help save on cash.

"More of us are carpooling together in one car," Dean said.

Jenny Knotts said she'll watch Columbus's fireworks display this weekend and she may go to Cedar Point - about 130 miles away. She said the poor economy has affected her slightly. So in order to keep traveling she's a little thriftier than usual.

"Find other places to cut costs. Just be smart about it. You can get around it," Knotts said.

AAA says gas prices increased 54 days in a row starting at the end of April. But since Father's Day they've decreased slightly - about six cents.