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-   -   Can we drive to D.C.? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/can-we-drive-to-d-c-575460/)

vickib2 Dec 9th, 2005 02:38 PM

Can we drive to D.C.?
 
It's only 29 miles, but everyone says "you don't want to drive in that city -- just take the Metro", because they know I am often nervous about driving in cities.

I have lived in Baltimore only two months, and my daughter and her husband have lived in Columbia, MD for three months. My daughter has a hair appointment at the Aveda "school" -- address is 713 7th St. NW at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow, and I have planned to go with her to "see" Washington (no real plans to shop or anything...just over and back). Seems silly to ride the train....surely traffic would be light at that time of day (we'd leave Columbia probably around 8:00). Do we dare try it?
I assume all the snow has been cleared from the roads?

Anyone familiar with that area, who might have some parking tips?

Thanks.
Vicki

dona Dec 9th, 2005 02:57 PM

Definitely drive--roads are clear and that early on a Saturday you should have little to no traffic. There are several garages around where you'll be going. May even be able to get street parking that early.

bardo1 Dec 9th, 2005 03:25 PM

Agree - driving and parking will be a brezze that early on a Saturday.

bardo1 Dec 9th, 2005 03:27 PM

That said, once you've parked your car then walk or Metro to get around for the day.

bardo1 Dec 9th, 2005 03:33 PM

In the unlikely event that you can't snag a free spot on the street (make sure the street sign says says mon-<b>fri</b>, not mon-sat) here's a map: (the blue &quot;P&quot;'s indicate the parking garages)

http://www.stationmasters.com/System.../gallrypl.html

vickib2 Dec 9th, 2005 05:46 PM

Thank you very much for your kind replies. We're going to drive. It looks like there are plenty of places to park if I can't find a spot on the street. I have been studying the D.C. street maps carefully but am wondering what streets are one-way. Does 7th Street NW go in the same direction as 6th Street NW?

Thanks very much.

Vicki

rkkwan Dec 9th, 2005 05:55 PM

If you zoom in on various online maps - like mapquest or maps.google.com - you'll see arrows on one-lane streets.

6th NW and 7th NW are major streets that are two-ways.

MikeT Dec 9th, 2005 07:20 PM

I think driving as fine, as long as you are comfortable driving in the city. To get from Columbia to 7th Street, you go through less-than-attractive neighborhoods and it is not exactly direct.

rkkwan Dec 9th, 2005 09:39 PM

It's pretty easy to get to you destination.

If you take I-95, when you get to the Beltway, stay on I-95 South for three exits to 295/Washington-Baltimore Parkway. Or just take the Parkway to start with and stay on it.

Then take US50/New York Avenue towards downtown. Just go all the way to 7th St (you're at Mt. Vernon Sq) and make a left. 713 is just a couple of blocks south, before MCI Center.

vickib2 Dec 12th, 2005 08:15 AM

We made it to our destination without any problems and even found a place to park on the street. Trouble is, I had to park a few blocks off our route, and then had trouble getting back on New York Ave. (Route 50) to retrace our steps. What is the deal with the streets in D.C. ??? Is it so confusing because I am 52 and easily befuddled, or is driving in D.C. actually difficult? Hubby told me that the streets are laid out like WHEELS??? Ummm...like how many wheels?
*confused*

Thanks for all your help, and believe it or not, I will be returning to D.C. tomorrow evening with DH to attend a function (work related) at the Corcoran Art Gallery. Oh dear. I do hope they have their own parking.....DH hates driving in D.C., which is perhaps why I am so uneasy about it, too.

Vicki

MikeT Dec 12th, 2005 08:29 AM

Vicki, I think you just answered your question why people urged you to take the Metro.

rkkwan Dec 12th, 2005 09:06 AM

The DC streets are laid out by L'Enfant of France. The diagonal avenues (with state names) and all the circles/squares were probably good idea when people traveled in buggies. But with modern traffic, it's a nightmare.

I've driven in most cities of the US, and I'll say DC and Boston are the hardest to navigate for visitors.


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