I have to be in Arlington tomorrow morning for a meeting. I’ll be coming down from Baltimore, hitting 495 about 8 AM. Which would be the better route, around 495 to the GW PKWY or or 295 into DC and then across New York Ave to 395S? I know nothing about early AM traffic patterns in DC, can any DC area residents give me some advice?
First, listen to WTOP 103.5 for regular traffic updates. Either way described works but really both suck. Between the two I’d go topside to the GW Parkway. Consider diving all the way to South Capitol Street on 295 then back up to 395 instead of New York Ave. I hate New York Ave.
I go the other way up the BW Parkway, and those people heading south always seem to be barely moving.
I also like the suggestion of taking South Capitol instead of New York Ave, but I can’t tell you if BW is faster than GW. I’m sure that both suck, as 2gigch1 says.
Leave yourself plenty of time to get into DC, unless you can afford to be late. If the drive normally takes 40 minutes, I’d bet on rush hour traffic stretching it out to 1 1/2 hours or more.
I can’t wait to move away from here.
I used to commute from Greenbelt to Arlington, and I would take BW Pkwy > 295 > 395. I found it was faster than the beltway.
My advice is this: don’t try to get there at eight. Bring a nice novel and leave the house at 0600, plan on arriving at 0700. By 0730, all of the roads down there are overloaded and you can’t predict which one is going to have the disabled vehicle / fender-bender / screaming loonie with a gun on the overpass. Go early, beat the rush.
Take I-95 south most of the way, then take the Beltway east to the BW Parkway south. Go down to the Capitol Street ramp, then stay on the ramp for a half-clover to get back onto BW Parkway North, and then take I-395 South across downtown to your meeting. Takes an hour from the stadiums to the Pentagon. Hope this isn’t too late!