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Driving to BWI from Alexandria or Pentagon City--best route?

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Okinawa, Japan
posts: 215
reviews: 30
Driving to BWI from Alexandria or Pentagon City--best route?

Hi there! I'm flying out of BWI this Friday at 7 pm. I have to drive myself there so my car is there when I return. I have the option to either drive from work (at the Pentagon) or to drive from home (Carlyle area of Alexandria at Eisenhower Metro). Considering Friday afternoon traffic, what would be the best route and what time would I need to start driving to be at BWI by 5:30 or so? Thanks!

Alexandria, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Alexandria
posts: 383
reviews: 79
1. Re: Driving to BWI from Alexandria or Pentagon City--best route?

My suggestion is dated...but still sound, I think. I'd drive from Pentagon , leaving at 3pm and take 14th street bridge thru the city. My neat trick is to take the I-95 thru the city and exit onto 295 southbound!!! Take the exit for Suitland Parkway and stay on the loop-de-loop exit to get back headed North. Stay on I 295 toward BWI. Once you break free past Rt. 50, you are clear sailing until you hit rush hour at Ft. Meade. However, barring an accident you should be fine. Be sure to monitor traffic via google maps (traffic view) and be prepared to listen to traffic news and adjust accordingly. I find I-95 North and BW Pkway can be used interchangeably during traffic backups because the main artery exits also intersect with each other.

Hopefully someone will weigh in and add or correct any info I may provide.

ALEXANDRIA va
posts: 759
reviews: 40
2. Re: Driving to BWI from Alexandria or Pentagon City--best route?

I agree with bbbyers route with one twist. - getting onto 295 North by just staying on 395 across the bridge to DC, then just stay on that main road 9it changes names: SE Freeway, etc and do NOT take any exits until the road ends right at Stadium Armory. Take the Pennsylvania Avenue exit on the right (left side goes into the stadium parking lot) . Get in the left lane and take a left at the next light directly onto 295

(Warning, it backs up a lot - we often wait two lights) From there it's a straight shot up 295 to the BWParkway and BWI exits.

I'd leave no later than 3 also - better to be sitting at the airport all checked in then sitting in a traffic backup worrying about parking and getting the flight.

Charm

Alexandria, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Alexandria
posts: 383
reviews: 79
3. Re: Driving to BWI from Alexandria or Pentagon City--best route?

Morning Charm!

My advice to head south to go north on the Suitland Pkway loop is based on years of experience with that awful light to enter 295 at Penna Ave. I've found it takes no less than 5 long light cycles to traverse to the ramp....the reason I don't try it. My loop is kinda my 'best kept secret'... shhhhhhhh!

ALEXANDRIA va
posts: 759
reviews: 40
4. Re: Driving to BWI from Alexandria or Pentagon City--best route?

bbyers

even an old dog like myself can learn new tricks, I'll remember that.

I've always made it in 2 lights by 'cutting in" the outermost second turning lane between cars but it sounds like traffic has gotten worse there

5. Re: Driving to BWI from Alexandria or Pentagon City--best route?

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