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I-66 and I-495 on a Saturday afternoon

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York, Pennsylvania...
posts: 31
I-66 and I-495 on a Saturday afternoon

Good evening everyone!

I am from York, Pennsylvania and I am going to see one of my friends from high school on May 16-17 in Front Royal, Virginia. I see that one of the ways to go is I-66 to the Capital Beltway (I-495 inner loop) to I-95 up to Baltimore, where I could access I-83 via I-695 inner loop to York. I have basically forgone this route to Front Royal because it makes sense that these roads will be congested with commuters. En route back, though, I want to try this route home but if anyone can at least give me an idea what traffic is like on an average Saturday afternoon that would be great. Keep in mind that I have driven on I-695 in Baltimore so I have had experience driving on beltways around major cities :)

3 replies to this topic
Columbia, Maryland
posts: 842
reviews: 4
1. Re: I-66 and I-495 on a Saturday afternoon

Traffic won't be that bad on a Saturday except for the northern stretch of the beltway between I270 (and sometimes back to the American Legion Bridge crossing the Potomac) and Georgia Ave. No matter what time of day, this stretch is always backed up. And of course being familiar with I695, you know that any traffic incident will couse problems.

Not sure why you want to take that route, it is the long way around, but you may have your reasons. Taking I81 to US 30 is much shorter and if it wereme, that's the way I would go. Even 30 to 15 to 340 is shorter although on a nice Saturday it gets congested along the 2 lane stretch near Harpers Ferry along the Shenandoah River. It is the most scenic of the 3.

Falls Church...
posts: 1,292
2. Re: I-66 and I-495 on a Saturday afternoon

That's definitely not what I would do from Front Royal at least. Just take 340 to 15 and head straight up.

But if you're insistent the worst part will likely be around exit 57 on 66 to until you get to the exit for 495, (about 7 miles). And yes, this is a problem on the weekends as well. Something about the way the lanes are configured make it so that there's not a lot of room to merge for incoming traffic and that slows down the right lane which filters out. Of course there can always be accidents and once you've committed to that the only way from Va. to Maryland is via anyway.

95/695 will still be busy but probably free flowing.

York, Pennsylvania...
posts: 31
3. Re: I-66 and I-495 on a Saturday afternoon

I'm still not 100% sure if I am going to go home via DC or not; I honestly thought that way was more direct haha. I will definitely take your comments into consideration when I leave Front Royal next Saturday. I do not currently plan to commit until I leave that town; my plan is to check Google Traffic on my phone before I leave and that will make my decision for me.

DavefromColMD: I actually plan to go down via US 30 and I-81 but I actually will take PA 234 West between Thomasville and Cashtown to avoid the traffic through Abbottstown, New Oxford, and Gettysburg. There is less traffic on that road and it is faster AND shorter than 30. It's a local road but the speed limits are higher than on 30. I definitely have US 340 and US 15 in the back of my mind :)

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