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Old 10-16-2014, 04:16 PM   #1
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495 around Washington DC

Any one know what kind of traffic we might expect on the west leg of I495 at around 11:30-12:30 on Friday afternoon?
Coming out of Getysburg and trying to decide if it's worht it to to take I270 (Fredricksburg) to I495 to I95 and on south.
Other option would be to stay on 15 to where it intersects I66 then over to I234 and then back to I95. Longer route.
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Old 10-17-2014, 04:32 AM   #2
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You will be fine on 495/The Beltway at this time of day. Just don't be there after 3:30. You will notice, on the Virginia side, what are called "HOT Lanes". They are express lanes that require an EZ Pass. DO NOT get on these lanes as you are not allowed. I have seen a couple motor homes and trailers pulled over for making this mistake. If you are taking 495 to get to 95 south, be prepared as you get closer to the 95 exit -- it can be confusing, but if you stay in the right lane on the Beltway for about a mile before 95, you should have no problem. The Beltway is about 8 lanes wide at this point. Just stay right and pay attention to the signs.

Good luck and drive safely. Drivers around here are senseless and rude.

Edit: going the route 15 to 234 to 95 route will cost you some serious time. Go 495.

Bruce
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:16 AM   #3
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We have driven all of 495 with our rigs. Mid day on Friday should be fine. Set your pace, don't let the cars rattle you, know where your exits are and you'll be fine. Heck our very first tow with our 5th wheel years ago required this to get home.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:59 AM   #4
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yep, don't let them rattle you,, your bigger than them anyway.. :-)
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:29 PM   #5
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If the Beltway still makes you nervous, follow U. S. 15 & 29 to Warrenton, Va., U. S. 17 to Fredericksburg which is on I-95 about 50 miles south of DC. There are red lights on this route and some traffic areas but nothing like DC. This was my normal route of travel until they added more red lights.

PS. Frederick, MD is the town south of Gettysburg.

Good travels.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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Thanks for the info and you all were right. The belt way at that time was fine, absolutely no problems.
Did run into some serious traffic south on 95. They had the center express lanes closed pushing all of the traffic onto the regular lanes. I've been in much worse so just relaxed and went with the flow. Added a half hour to the trip, maybe.
Thanks again
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:08 PM   #7
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Reminds me of the first couple of times I drove I-495, on the radio I kept hearing references to "Inner beltway" and "Outer Beltway" so I looked on the map for a second loop highway around Washington. Finally figured out they were talking "Outer Beltway" to mean 'clockwise' and "Inner Beltway" to mean 'counter-clockwise.' Whatever time of day or night, just don't be in a hurry or try switching lanes constantly to gain a car length or two. Leave that for the professionals.
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Did run into some serious traffic south on 95.
From where you got onto 95 south you probably ran into a couple of slow miles, then it picked up for about six miles, then slow again for about five to seven miles, then after about eight miles of reasonable flow, it got slow again on the hills around the Quantico to Fredericksburg area.

I hate that drive, especially on a Friday during summer when everybody is headed south for vacation.

I'm glad you made it safely, especially having to deal with the northern Virginia drivers.

Bruce
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
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....Did run into some serious traffic south on 95. ....
I wish I had gotten to this thread sooner. We lived there for some years a while back, and have travelled through (in theory- I go around) often. The Beltway is sometimes manageable at certain times, but that stretch of I-95 from the mixing bowl south to Fredericksburg is almost always a problem.

The US15/234 combination used to be a good avoidance (back in the '80s-'90s), but Washington suburbs have spread too far westward. The last 15 years or so I just stay on I-81 to Winchester, then use US50/US17 to I-95 just on the north side of Fredericksburg. It works well in both directions. You cut the entire DC Metro area right out of the equation.
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:23 PM   #10
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.......Good luck and drive safely. Drivers around here are senseless and rude......
Naw. Senseless yes, but saying they're rude implies intent. Drivers in my native Boston are rude-- skillful and aggressive, but rude. When I think of DC area drivers, "oblivious" is the only word that covers.
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Old 10-19-2014, 10:04 AM   #11
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We lived in Frederick, MD for 19 years so all of these routes are familiar.

The magic hours in the DC area (and most large metro areas for that matter) are between 10 am and 2 pm. Traffic will be the lowest at that point. Fridays are tough in the area because everyone in DC wants to get out of town. Before noon is recommended.

I-95 might still have a bunch of construction going on (check VA DOT) and if it does, you will have a slow stretch from Woodbridge to just north of Fredericksburg.

Here's your choices:
US 15 S to I-270 to I-495 to I-95 This is the shortest route to Richmond, Williamsburg, etc.

US 15 S towards and around Leesburg, VA to US 17 S to Fredericksburg to I-95 S (lots of 2 lane road on US 15 until you hit the US 17/US 29 corridor.

Or the long way - US 15 S to US 340 in Frederick, take US 340 past Harpers Ferry and Charles Town, WV to VA 7 towards Winchester, VA. Take I 81 South to I 64 East and that will take you back to Richmond and Williamsburg.
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