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Traffic Friday night

Brooklyn, NY
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for New York City
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Traffic Friday night

I am (unfortunately) driving down to DC this Friday night from New York. (I know, I know, but the trains are sold out and the buses don't work for various reasons - trust me, I tried not to have to drive.) I'm staying with a friend who lives off of the GW Parkway near DCA. She has advised me to take the outer loop of 495 around the north side to the GW Parkway. We're unlikely to leave New York before 5PM, and as such will be unlikely to approach DC before 10PM. I have had terrible luck with Beltway traffic on Friday nights before, and with both the rally and marathon this weekend, I can't imagine it will be better than usual. Is there a better route that will avoid more traffic? Would I be better off taking the Jersey Pike the whole way down and coming across 301 instead of 95? I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks.

Maryland
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1. Re: Traffic Friday night

I would recommend that you listen to WTOP (103.5) traffic on the 8's as soon as you can get the signal (probably close to the harbor tunnel in B'More) and be prepared to either go west/north per your friend'a advise or east/south on 495 (the DC Beltway). Depending upon how close your friend is to DCA, it may make sense to come in via the south (take a look at Google maps to get a better idea) if WTOP speakls ill of the Cabin John Bridge and the north side of 495.

I would probably recommend coming in via the south if your friend is pretty close to DCA.

I would not recommend 301 or anyother route than 95/Jersey turnpike.

Brooklyn, NY
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2. Re: Traffic Friday night

Thanks! Very helpful.

Maryland
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3. Re: Traffic Friday night

You're welcome - one more thing, if it was me, I would probably take the BW parkway right into downtown all things being equal especially at 10:00 when I think traffic should not be a problem plus you might be able to drive right by National's Park.

Hopefully you have a decent map or a gps.

Lots of ways to get there, none of them really good.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Traffic Friday night

There is a HUGE construction project in the Tysons Corner area which is a few miles past the bridge from Maryland into Virginia and where the GW Parkway would intersect Beltway. This construction has been causing all sorts of issues, even in off-hours.

I would consider that with the time of day, you could come right into DC via. BW Parkway or route 50 and use New York Ave and cut across. I don't know if D.C. driving would give you the heebie jeebies or not, but I do 50 which turns into New York Ave, then hop onto 350 by turning Left which takes you through tunnels under the Mall and dumps you out on Southeast Fwy which you can take across Potomac River and pick up GW Parkway from there. Pretty easy to pick up this route on a map. Again-depends on how comfortable you are. The stretch from where 50 ends along NY Ave can be a little slow. A lot of lights, and it isn't the best part of town, but it could certainly be less headache than Beltway backups.

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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5. Re: Traffic Friday night

I would avoid driving through the city unless you hear something specific about your intended route.

Everyone is talking about the rally and the marathon this weekend. There are few if any comments that it's also homecoming for Howard University which also is a very big deal. Lots of events at clubs and other venues around town, very much a "see and be seen" event which will have lots of people driving into town Friday night and Saturday night.

Driving into Washington instead of around it will possibly put you into traffic with some of the crowd headed to the Howard events. As well as the other cars and buses coming into town for the rally that would have left NYC or Philly after work on Friday.

I'd stick with the 495 outer loop plan unless you hear of a real specific reason to avoid it once you get near town.

washington, dc
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6. Re: Traffic Friday night

One more piece of advice on the NY to DC drive. The toll plaza in Delaware is under major construction. On the southbound lanes, EZ-Pass does you virtually no good because of the way traffic is funneled down to three or fewer lanes. Just went through there a couple Sunday nights ago and it was a nightmare. Suggest you exit 95 as soon as possible in DE, go north to Rt. 4 and take it through the state. It's only about 12 miles. Rt. 4 is a four lane road, a few traffic lights, but overall not bad. Plus you'll save the toll. Take it to the end where it dumps into a Home Depot, turn left, go about a mile and get back on 95 just inside MD. Also, I disagree with going around 495 on the outer loop. I think that way must be much longer to the Parkway by DCA than the inner loop through MD. I would take the inner loop to Rt. 1 north just pass the new Wilson bridge, take it up to Crystal City and then cutover to the Parkway, depending on your exact destination.

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7. Re: Traffic Friday night

Thank you for your post. I am also driving from NY to DC this Friday. I do not plan on leaving NY til 4 am to get into DC at 8ish. How bad of an idea is this???

8. Re: Traffic Friday night

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