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What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

Houston, Texas
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What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

Hello!

We will be in staying at the Hotel Lorien in late September and plan to visit some museums in D.C. on a Wednesday and Thursday.

What time is rush hour traffic in the morning and the evening?

Thanks for your responses in advance!

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

Your hotel is very close to the King Street Metro Station, which I hope you'll be using to get into D.C. as driving and parking are a total nightmare in this area. That being said, rush hour is generally about 6AM-10AM and 4-7 PM. As the worst city in the country for traffic though, you can find massive gridlock at random times and at random places, so if you plan on doing any driving here, I recommend listening to our all news station, 103.5 which does traffic updates every 10 minutes 24 hours a day, and having a GPS that can route you around severe backups (although unfortunately, all roads around major backups tend to be backed up as well.

Alexandria, Virginia
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2. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

MJW said it well. The Lorien is 2 or 3 blocks to the King Street Metro. As a 40 year resident....There is only one place I drive into the City...Kennedy Center! Everything else is easy access by Metro and/or Metro and Cab! Parking is way expensive downtown too. Hopefully your question was as simple as knowing the times rush hour sets in...if not, let us know more specifics if you need help.

Charlottesville...
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3. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

It was said and said well but can't be said enough. Take the metro. Not only is parking expensive, if anything at all is going on it can be difficult to find at times after you brave the terrible traffic. And I grew up around NYC so for me to find DC traffic as insufferable as I do is saying something. I would also almost say that, depending on the day, it sometimes starts building as early as 3 or 3:30 on some days. We were driving out of the city yesterday and couldn't believe the buildup on the beltway by 2:45pm. Traffic was still moving freely but it was clear that within an hour it would not be pretty.

ALEXANDRIA va
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4. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

Assuming that the unanimous messages above have convinced you NOT to drive to the museums due to traffic (let alone the fact that parking will be impossible since unlike TX there are zero museum parking lots - that's right : none at all) bear in mind that the Subway has it's own version of Rush Hour. It won't matter as much going into DC from King Street metro since you already will be on the train before the mobs rush in at Pentagon City and the Pentagon stations. However, coming back from the Museums, you might wish to avoid the prime time congestion when many downtown workers clog the stations from 5 to 6:30 pm. Unless of course you want to pretend you are in Tokyo and sample the human sardine experience. ;)

Enjoy your visit

Charm

Charlottesville...
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5. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

We make it sound like a lovely place to visit, don't we?

It really is an incredible place to visit and some place every one should experience if given the opportunity. As many times as I have been to DC I still love walking through the the different Galleries of the Smithsonian and going to the top of the Washington Monument and the many monuments on the Mall. It is wonderful despite the traffic :-)

ALEXANDRIA va
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6. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

It's extremely easy to visit the museums in DC from Alexandria and have very little if any hassle with traffic - as long as you don't pretend you are a working commuter. Far better to be having a nice walk along the Alexandria Waterfront around 5 pm than stuck in traffic.

We go to the museums regularly and zip down and back quickly in uncrowded subway cars throughout the week. As a retiree, I can play visitor and finally enjoy all the pleasures of Alexandria without rush hour hassles.

charm

Houston, Texas
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7. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

Thanks all!!

We will take the metro into D.C. and back. I had no idea traffic in DC was so bad. We were planning on renting a car for our entire trip, but now we wont need it while we are in Alexandria and DC.

Is there anyway we can get from Baltimore to Alexandria on public transportation? Once we are in Alexandria Im sure we can take a cab back to BWI.

Alexandria, Virginia
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8. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

This is not my expertise, but I just checked Amtrak site and found that If you are traveling from BWI or Baltimore proper Amtrak has cheaper alternatives to getting into town. I wouldn't take the train to Alexandria, as the layover in DC can be an hour or more. Exit at Washington's Union Station and hop right onto Metro at Union station.

http://tickets.amtrak.com/itd/amtrak

ALEXANDRIA va
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9. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

Having a rental car in Alexandria can be useful and fun though. It makes a quick trip of seeing Mount Vernon on your own schedule. After eating dinner in Old Town and traffic has all died down, it's fun and easy to do a quick ride to the Iowa Jima Memorial and overlook the lights of Washington or just drive in and park right on the Mall and stroll in the evening to the Vietnam memorial or park at the FDR memorial. Once the workers are gone, its only the bars and resturant areas in DC that have traffic

That said, IMO if I did not rent a car, I'd take a taxi from BWI just for the convenience and it's vacation.

There;s posts here on doing a bus or train etc but I've never done those.

Either way, enjoy

Charm

Alexandria, Virginia
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10. Re: What time is Rush Hour Traffic to DC?

Another thought on the rental car! Parking is an added expense, and pain in the neck if you don't really need it! I fail to remind folks that Zipcar has hourly rentals available at the King Street Metro. I think there are 10 cars parked conveniently near your hotel at King St. Metro and on adjoining streets. So consider that as a cheaper solution to added costly rental car and parking. Even joining and renting for a few hours would be cheaper than renting for extended days with parking...

Check it out!

Charm: Help me remember this!!! I'm always forgetting how convenient it is for folks that don't need a full up rental...but something more temporary...getting forgetful in my young age! ;)

http://www.zipcar.com/alexandria/