Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Best time to drive from CT to DC to avoid traffic

Best time to drive from CT to DC to avoid traffic

Old Dec 13th, 2021, 05:21 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Best time to drive from CT to DC to avoid traffic

Hi all! I'm driving to Wreaths Across America this weekend (December 17-19). Can anyone give me the best time to leave CT and route Friday so I hit the least amount of traffic?
Thanks!
Moebo is offline  
Old Dec 14th, 2021, 05:05 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,855
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You don't say where in CT you'll be starting from nor what time of day/night you'll be leaving. Those factors will have a significant effect on the traffic patterns you'll encounter along the way. For what it is worth, if your starting point is near the Hatford area the most direct route (essentially I-95) should take around 6 hours but, depending on your departure time, you'd have to potentially contend with rush hour traffic approaching NYC, Philly or Baltimore If you take a more westerly route (a combination of I-84, I-287 and other Interstates that bypass the bigger cities> the drawback is that routing will add at least another hour drive time. That could mean your overall time in the car won't be significantly different.

My suggestion, is you check out the route options using Google Maps or Mapquest to see which one works best for you. I'd choose the shortest route (probably I-95) and then time your departure so you avoid approaching "inbound NYC" during the morning rush hour. After that you should be good all the way to Washington, DC. Since DC is your destination it will be difficult to avoid traffic once you get there.

Lastly, since you'll be returning home on a Sunday, traffic shouldn't be a major concern anywhere along your route.

Of course, any of the above will be dependent on weather conditions as heavy rains or even snow can cause havoc anywhere along any route. The same applies if you encounter a major traffic accident which no one can predict.

Have a safe trip.
RoamsAround is online now  
Old Dec 14th, 2021, 05:36 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you so much! Yes, I have no idea what time to leave CT (Waterbury area), so looking for advice rather than say a specific time
Take care and thanks again!
Moebo is offline  
Old Dec 15th, 2021, 09:01 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,365
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I've driven that route several times, I never go down I95 as I absolutely hate it. I go west from Waterbury through NY to Scranton then south on I81 to Harrisburg then south on I83 to Baltimore, then go west go get to DC area.l it varies how I do that, actually, generally, I go west on I70 just a bit then use route 29 into DC metro area (Silver Spring).

There isn't a real good time to avoid traffic as no matter whatyou do, there will be a lot of it in Baltimore metro area and DC metro area from maybe 3 pm onwards. Should be 5-6 hrs until you hit them, so leaving at 7 am would be best or something like that.
Christina is online now  
Old Dec 15th, 2021, 02:50 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We found that if we left our home in central CT at 4 am we would get through NYC before traffic on 95 got bad. That said there were always bottlenecks somewhere, Newark, Baltimore, DC, etc.

WAZE is your friend. download it and check and see where there are problems and ask for alternate routes.
oldemalloy is online now  
Old Dec 16th, 2021, 02:28 AM
  #6  
J62
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11,140
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
From Waterbury I'd go either of these routes:

I84 to the NYS Thruway (I87) to the Garden State Parkway to NJ Turnpike (I95).
It's about 30 more miles than staying on I95 through NYC, but that way you miss the I95 corridor through NYC.

or
I84 to 684, across the Tappan Zee (I287), to the GSP. - a bit shorter distance than the route above.

As for timing, if you left by 7 or 8am you'd avoid the heaviest traffic in NJ.

I too like Waze, but one problem with just relying on Waze or google maps is that it can send you on a route that looks fine at 7am but would be backed up later, hence the importance of big picture up front route planning that you are doing.
J62 is online now  
Old Dec 16th, 2021, 06:20 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,363
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Amtrak 141 leaves Meridian CT at 6:53AM. You can be at DC Union Station between 1:08 and 2PM. It shows at 70% full right now. Let Amtrak do the driving. Snow and nasty weather is coming along your route.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Dec 16th, 2021, 07:19 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,399
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We have found that WAZE is useful with real time traffic advice. It has directed us off the highway and onto city streets to avoid traffic tie-ups. Once, in Maryland, we followed the directions to turn into a parking lot to make a U-turn, and make an exit. Who knew! We were saved miles of aggravation.
k_marie is online now  
Old Dec 19th, 2021, 07:11 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,363
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Please give us a trip report soon after you get back home.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Dec 29th, 2021, 05:57 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 27,222
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How did it go, Moebo?
TDudette is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
daisy12
Cruises
8
Apr 14th, 2015 05:18 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information