I've only taken the loop once and I swore never again, so for me, any time I have to go through that area, knowing that the traffic will be just as bad on the loop, I go straight through. I've heard all the stories about state and local police demanding you take the loop, but I've never had an issue not using it.
You will find heavy traffic no matter what route you take if you catch it at the wrong time of day, or night. You just have to be patient and go with the flow, and be careful of the road rage aggravators.
Dan & Loretta, US Army Retired Aero Scout Pilot
2012 Fleetwood Providence 42P Class A/DP
Spartan Chassis, 8.9L Cummins 450HP