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-   -   Alternative route Baltimore to New York City (instead of I-95) (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/alternative-route-baltimore-to-new-york-city-instead-of-i-95-a-344761/)

Andytrav Aug 5th, 2003 06:04 AM

Alternative route Baltimore to New York City (instead of I-95)
 
I am sick and tired of going through all that traffic from Baltimore to New York City on Interstate 95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. The back ups at the toll plazas is crazy! I was wondering if other Baltimore or Washington DC residents have other routes they take to NYC that are almost as fast and more scenic.

Here is one possible alternative. Take interstate 83 from Baltimore to York Pa, then up to Harrisburg, PA. Then take interstate 78 through Allentown, Pa into New Jersey all the way to the Holland Tunnel.

Has anyone tried that route? Is there any tolls? Is it scenic? How long does it take? Info please!

JohnD Aug 5th, 2003 06:12 AM

Depends on where you are hitting traffic, there are many routes into NYC other than from NJ Turnpike (e.g. Garden State Parkway-has Tolls, but great with eazy pass). No tolls on 78, but might be one to cross the Delaware River, 78 in general is not that scenic, but if you can head north to route 80 it is slightly more scenic as it goes through the Delaware Water Gap (toll) and takes you to GW Bridge. :S-

puddy Aug 5th, 2003 06:14 AM

This is a much longer route... plus, you will still be hitting the traffic at the Holland tunnel (or other Hudson River crossing). The trip from Baltimore to NYC takes just a little over 3 hours with no traffic. Your route would take almost 5 hours.

I just recently made this drive. Even with traffic (left Northern Baltimore at 3:30 on a Friday), it only took me 4 hours.

If you want to try another route, I guess that would be the way to go, but it is not very scenic either as it is all major highway. But it is a change of scenery.

If you want to get there faster, I think your best option would be to change the time of day you travel. I have made the drive down 95 many times without any real traffic. Just depends on what time you leave.

suzanne Aug 5th, 2003 08:54 AM

Amtrak is faster and more scenic.

Ryan Aug 5th, 2003 09:56 AM

While out of the way, in terms of actual mileage, you could take I-83 North to Harrisburg, PA and then connect with I-78 heading east into the NYC area. This would leave you at the Holland Tunnel.

Alternatively, you could head east towards Delaware and either take the ferry to Cape May, NJ and connect with the NJ Parkway or take the bridge to the NY Turnpike and hook up with the Parkway at the Atlantic City Expressway. That said, you are likely to hit as much, if not more, traffic on the NJ Parkway at the multiple toll booths.

BTW, if you have EZ-Pass, you can really zip through the tolls at the NJ Turnpike and Parkway.

Edye Aug 5th, 2003 11:09 AM

I drove from Balto to BYC last week- twice! I-95 is the best way to go IF you have EZ Pass.

However, the NJ Turnpike hasn't quite figured out how to make EZ Pass customer friendly. For example, heading south back to Baltimore, when the NJ Turnpike ends, 2 lanes of traffic span out across 8 toll booths; however there is no advance warning of which lanes take EZ Pass and which don't, and this creates HAVOC because if you get in a cash lane and you used EZ Pass to enter the Turnpike, you are totally screwed because you have no ticket to indicate where you entered the Turnpike. On a Sunday evening, this created a backup that was many miles long.

All said, as described above, a normally 3 hour dirve took 3 3/4 hours, which is defintely shorter than any of the alternative routes. And if you live far from an Amtrak train station, it's still quicker to drive.

Andytrav Aug 5th, 2003 11:09 AM

I did some checking on www.mapquest.com and the alternative route via Harrisburg, PA (Interstate 83 to I78 is 45 miles longer but may be faster due to less traffic. I am leaving this weekend and will try both routes and report back on the fastest.

kaudrey Aug 5th, 2003 11:26 AM

I agree with Suzanne - take Amtrak! Especially if you are just staying in the city. I do the drive from DC to CT several times a year and always wish there was a train station closer to my relatives!

Karen


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