Avoiding Wash DC traffic?

Old Apr 8th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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Avoiding Wash DC traffic?

I'll be traveling from NJ to Williamsburg VA, is there any route that I can take to avoid the traffic around Washington DC?

thanks,
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Not really. You can try to avoid Rush Hour 7 - 10ish and 4 to 7ish, but you will likely find traffic anytime, day or night.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:07 AM
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Some people will suggest taking I-97 from Baltimore south, and connecting to US301, which skirts around DC on the east side. I've tried that route, and it's really not that fast, as part of the route is now suburbs of DC, and there are plenty of traffic lights.

I'd say if you know the Beltway and I-95 will be jam-packed, then 301 may still be a good alternative. But if I-95 is moving reasonably well, then just take that.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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I travel frequently to DC from central Jersey. If you leave at 6am, you'll hit a little traffic just North of Baltimore before it merges into I-695. Take the Harbor Tunnel (I-895) vice the Ft McHenry Tunnel (I-95) and then onto the Balto-Wash Parkway (295). It's about 4 miles after the tunnel toll.

From there you have 2 choices -- right before Washington, jump back on I95/495 toward Richmond, or continue on to Washington and taking the 295 split to the left right before it goes into DC, RT 50. I-295 will take directly to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge (connects with 495/95) onto Springfield where you would pick up I-395/95 South. Most of the traffic will be heading North into Washington.

At that time of the morning you should have minimal traffic problems. From Springfield, it's only about 3 more hours to Williamsburg. You should arrive around Noon.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 09:42 AM
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Once you hit Baltimore, take their beltway, Route 695, towards the Key Bridge. After passing over the Key, look for Route 97 South to Annapolis. Near Annapolis, take Route 50 West towards Bowie. At Bowie, take Route 301 South towards the Potomac River and the Harry Nice Bridge into Virginia. Continue on Route 301 South towards Richmond. Near Richmond you'll see signs pointing the way towards Williamsburg- I believe you take Route 64 East.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 10:46 AM
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US 301 is a nice route but when your south on I-97 from Baltimore, you could take the Route 3 (crofton/richmond exit) which turns into US 301 when it reaches US 50 instead of taking I-97 all the way down to Annapolis. Also, after you cross the NICE bridge into VA, travel south to Port Royal which is where US 17 intersects with US 301. US 17 will take you to Yorktown/Williamsburg.

Now this is an alternate way, perhaps 30 min longer than taking I-95 but it can be scenic, less traffic. What time are you driving down? I would base my decision on which route to take on that. Most of the traffic and lights on 301 will be in the Bowie & Waldorf areas and it's min traffic at that.
 
Old Apr 8th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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i'VE driven down getting on US 301 right after crossing Delaware Memorial Bridge. Slower traffic, more scenic, not many lights after leaving Wilmington area. I stay on 301 sometimes coming down US 17, and other times returning to I-95 (or is it I-295?) north of Richmond.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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YES. Drive Route 13 through Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland and avoid the highways entirely. Take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Causeway to Hampton Roads and continue to Williamsburg.

It is a little slower but it is rural, serene, and scenic.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 01:22 PM
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A little slower is an understatement. You are adding at least an hour to your trip.

I think sometimes we get to caught up on "avoiding traffic." Yes, traffic is worse around big cities and the Beltway can be very backed up, but in most situations a well-time trip isn't going to be bad and will save you significant amounts of time over tramping across the Eastern Shore.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for the great tips and sage advice. I will certainly take it all into consideration and I'll keep listening for more thoughts and directions.

regards,
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 07:46 PM
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I wish I had an answer to your question. I finally moved to avoid it!!

The above suggestions are good ones.
All I can add is this: go through at 5 am.
Or perhaps 4 am.
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Old Apr 8th, 2005, 08:26 PM
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If you're driving to Williamsburg you'd probably do much better to take Route 301 and bypass DC. You can then get onto Rt 17 just south of the Harry Nice bridge (crosses the Potomac river) and then head down to Williamsburg.

There is so much construction on the beltway around washington dC you could sit for a good bit of time. We were sitting today by the infamous Woodrow Wilson bridge (which is being rebuilt) and then we sat again over near Springfirld VA and the truly famous Mixing Bowl.

Whenever I'm headed to Richmond, Outer Banks, Williamsburg or further south I use 301 - the traffic moves a little slower but it doesn't STOP.
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Old Apr 9th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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I like the idea of moving : )

So for an alternate route is this correct?
Baltimore- 97-3-301-17-64?

Are 301 and 17, 2-lane highways with lights?

thanks again,
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Old Apr 9th, 2005, 08:20 AM
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Hi again

Yes, that would be the route and 301 is four lanes throughout much of southern Maryland and probably down to Rt 17 in Virginia. There are traffic lights though in Crofton and Waldorf so if you could plan on coming through the area in NON-rush hour you'd help yourself even more. The main roads I-95 through washington rush hour are totally standstill.

Have a good trip and enjoy williamsburg.
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Old Apr 9th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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If you are caught in gridlock on the DC beltway or on that gaddawful stretch of I95 south of DC to Fredericksburg, the 301 route will not only NOT be "an hour longer" (which I dispute) but maybe a couple of hours shorter and a LOT less harrassing.

I-95 between Balt. and DC may or may not be bad; the beltway can be ugly; but far and away the worst can be the Potomac Crossing at Alexandria ("Wilson Bridge) and I-95 to Springfield and south from there. I'll do ANYTHING to avoid that -- and worst times are any summer Fri. afternoon or Sat. morning.

As for returning, stay absolutely away from I-95 north of Richmond on a Sunday.
 
Old Apr 10th, 2005, 05:37 AM
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Please avoid US 13, its very scenic but it adds 1-2 hours on your trip. Very slow speeds, LOTS of police (they got nothing else to do), & lots of red traffic lights. Yes, US 301/17 is 4 lane highway the whole way. I saw on the news this weekend that they plan on shutting down the beltway in springfield area to do some work on the new overpasses. I'm not sure when or what side.
 
Old Apr 10th, 2005, 07:09 AM
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Hi again

I think the three of us (Cassandra, Bluestructure, and myself) have driven the Washington beltway I-95 long enough to have given you some good advice and with the way traffic has been lately I hope you'll have a good, safe trip to Williamsburg.

Bluestructure do you have a sister Laura?
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 09:48 AM
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Yes! thank you for all your help. My son was accepted into William and Mary, so we will probably be making the journey many times over the next couple years.

Best regards to everyone, and thank you for taking the time to share your experiences.
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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Naw, no sister named Laura. I have no family at all in Maryland, they all in Florida.
 
Old Aug 13th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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Doing some research for a quick trip to the virginia beach area and would like to avoid dc traffic.

A friend gave me this route...

from I 70 (frederick area) pick up US 522 to 17...?

Thoughts? This will be a saturday trip. Thanks.
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