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Heavy traffic around DC?

Old May 24th, 2020, 05:10 AM
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Heavy traffic around DC?

We are heading to NY State from SC and plan to take 95 north through Va. then 495 to 270 around DC. It will be next Sunday morning (5/31) as we will be spending the night in Woodbridge, Va. We are thinking traffic shouldn't be too bad on a Sunday morning. Opinions?
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Old May 24th, 2020, 06:11 AM
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Traffic should be at its lightest on Sunday morning. It does depend on what part of New York State you are headed for whether your planned route is the correct one. At one point in my life I drove from northern Florida to central PA in 17 hours. (gas stops only-prepacked food) I got off I-95 in SC and went through Charlotte to get on I-81 in VA. If you are going to Binghamton NY or anything farther west, I-81 would be the way to go IMO on any day of the week. Who's the we? If two licensed drivers, I would start early and do it in one day without a hotel stop. Bring cloth masks (hand washable) for sure. If handling a gas pump nozzle, wear a vinyl glove and have a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you. Don't put your hand sanitizer in the sun for long. The glove compartment is fine.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 06:50 AM
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We are starting from Pawleys Island, SC. We will take 15 to 81. It is 810 miles. No way are we doing that in one day. Husband does all the driving. 6-7 hours of driving/riding is enough for us. We are in no hurry so no need to push ourselves. Thanks for your input.

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Old May 24th, 2020, 08:20 AM
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You may have the most traffic leaving Pawley's going north. I don't know how many folks will head to the beach for the weekend these days. And I guess it is NOT Memorial Day holiday weekend.

If traffic looks bad going up 17/501 when you are leaving you might consider taking the "back road" to Charlotte to pick up I77. Go to Georgetown and then head north on 521. It won't be crowded and will take the same or less time as the other way. It is 4 hours to Charlotte. Two hours up on I77 is Wytheville, VA that has lots of motels near the interstate and is about where you will branch off to I81.
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Old May 24th, 2020, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Gretchen View Post
You may have the most traffic leaving Pawley's going north. I don't know how many folks will head to the beach for the weekend these days. And I guess it is NOT Memorial Day holiday weekend.

If traffic looks bad going up 17/501 when you are leaving you might consider taking the "back road" to Charlotte to pick up I77. Go to Georgetown and then head north on 521. It won't be crowded and will take the same or less time as the other way. It is 4 hours to Charlotte. Two hours up on I77 is Wytheville, VA that has lots of motels near the interstate and is about where you will branch off to I81.
We will be traveling next weekend so hope all the Memorial beach people did not stay the week and won't be leaving when we are....We thought about going to Charlotte but the mileage is longer altho the driving may be less hectic. We'd like to do trip with only one motel night. We usually go to Salisbury, NC for a few days with family before heading north but that is not this year...thus a different route.
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Old May 25th, 2020, 02:58 AM
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Oh, didn't look at a map to see where you meant you were getting to I81. But I am thinking people may just be down for the weekend too. Anyway, NYC is 11 hours from Charlotte which was an amazing revelation to me a couple of years ago when we did it.

We change at our condo on Monday which is pretty nice except for the Monday holidays. It's great when we are arriving on Monday--awful when leaving!

I looked at the map--how are you getting to I81? I know Route 15 is around Chapel Hill but can't find that route. Just interested--never know when you have to go somewhere from the beach. Thanks.

Last edited by Gretchen; May 25th, 2020 at 03:05 AM.
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Old May 25th, 2020, 03:55 AM
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Agree that traffic should be at its lightest on Sunday morning.
We have driven from Montreal to Wilmington and back on many occasions.
Few times returning we have taken taken the 17 through Fredericsburg to Warrenton and then the 15 through Leesburg toward Frederick.
The part between Fredericsburg and Warrenton, because all the vinyl clad castles , is a bit of a stop and go due to traffic lights.
The 15 is easier on the eyes and more pleasant.
Our usual overnight is in Hagerstown.
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Old May 25th, 2020, 04:46 AM
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Gretchen - We pick up 15 at Frederick, Md. and then connect to 81 to head to Central NY. LBTS is busy this weekend. It will be interesting to see if it thins out tomorrow.
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Old May 25th, 2020, 06:55 AM
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Not sure why you aren't just going up Rte 15 from Frederick to Harrisburg instead of going all that way west to get onto I81. Rte 15 north of Frederick is a pretty decent road and easy ride, it should save time. If you want to get I81 up there at Harrisburg, you can. Of course if you are going near I81 SW of Harrisburg, I suppose going over west makes sense. Maybe you meant you were taking 15 north from Frederick, though.
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Old May 25th, 2020, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Christina View Post
Not sure why you aren't just going up Rte 15 from Frederick to Harrisburg instead of going all that way west to get onto I81. Rte 15 north of Frederick is a pretty decent road and easy ride, it should save time. If you want to get I81 up there at Harrisburg, you can. Of course if you are going near I81 SW of Harrisburg, I suppose going over west makes sense. Maybe you meant you were taking 15 north from Frederick, though.
Yes, we will take 15 to Harrisburg. Sorry I wasn't clear about that. Thanks for your input.
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Old May 25th, 2020, 10:12 AM
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AH, I see now.
Our son and wife are at Litchfield Plantation this weekend with friends and says it is busy. The news pictures of MB and Hilton Head are ridiculous. People may want to think this is over but it ain't. And it is scary. And this is Black Biker Week so I imagine it is as busy as usual for that.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2020, 11:16 AM
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Update: Our trip went fine. Traffic was light around DC and not a problem anywhere else either. Rest stops were open except one near Harrisburg, Pa. Mask required signs seemed to be ignored. We saw more people without them than wearing them. After 7 months we are back in Central NY. We miss the beach but it is nice not to have the humidity and to see the beautiful green rolling hills. We have the best of both worlds!
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Old Jun 5th, 2020, 04:18 PM
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Glad it went well, katybird.
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