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How To Avoid I-95/295/495

PA
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How To Avoid I-95/295/495

What is the best way around the city? We are driving for Philadelphia to Florida. We are looking for an alternate route (that is quick). Thinking about Annapolis to 301 or Hagerstown to I-81. Every time we travel around DC we have major problems. Is there a way to use I-95/295/495 without the hassle? Yes, we do avoid rush hour which seems to be all day and night!! Any and all advice appreciated. Thanks

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

301 has a lot of traffic lights and can also be congested during peak hours. I-81 has so much truck traffic it scares the heck out of me, and I'm not usually scared about driving anywhere.:)

I'm not sure what kind of "major problems" you've encountered. Sure, it's busy on the roads around Washington, and evening rush hour in particular heading south through Virginia can last for a while. But definitely not "all day".

I would consider just leaving Philadelphia at 7:30 or 8:00, you'll miss the Baltimore rush hour. By the time you get to the Washington area it will be 9:30 or 10:00. You might hit a bit of a back-up somewhere in the area but I don't think it will be that bad at that time of day.

Washington DC...
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2. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

I used to drive 81 all the time. If you don't mind driving around tractor trailers that would be your route. When are you driving down? I would personally use 81 if you're coming down on a weekend. If you're driving down during the week I would take the 95 routes.

Baltimore, Maryland
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3. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

Rt 1? Amtrak? Fly?

Seriously, the issue is not that there is traffic but how you deal with it.

Relax, put on some good music and you will get through. If you have to drive, these are the roads you take.

Maryland
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4. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

The phrase "the shortest path between two points is a straight line" comes to mind.

Even if 95/495 isn't running at anything close to the 55/65 mph speed limit and you encounter "major problems" through several stretches, you're still probably averaging 50 mph over the entire stretch from Philly to Richmond using those interstates in what's essentially a straight line. 301 through Delaware and across the Bay Bridge and then south on 301 will add just one mile to the trip vs. 95/495, but as mentioned there are tons of traffic lights--and lower speed limits--along the way.

Using 81 via Hagerstown will add 98 miles of driving vs. 95/495. Running full speed on this route (not guaranteed), it will take you 6+ hours for the Philly-Richmond stretch. Which is the equivalent of averaging 40 mph the entire way on 95/495 between these two points. Also remember that getting through and around Baltimore is no bed of roses either, and that would be necessary using this routing.

The best alternative if you really want to avoid the DC (and Baltimore) area may be to simply stay east of the Chesapeake the entire way and use US13 most of the way--including the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel--to meet up with I-95 just north of the NC border. In the end, it probably won't save you any time since it's adding about 36 miles of distance and subjecting you to lower speed limits and some lights, but it does run fairly smoothly.

http://tinyurl.com/2adgb22

Edited: 12:34 am, June 04, 2010
Connecticut
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5. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

Philly to Jersey. Pick up 55 to 47 to Cape May. Take the Ferry to Lewes Delaware. Pick up 9 to 13. You can cut back to 95 if you so desire or continue down Del-Mar-VA peninsula. You can take different routes if you are heading for the western coast of Florida. I don't have a problem with 81 but I have driven a lot of interstates.

Washington, DC
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6. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

Ditto that. It's the perception of speed (or the lack thereof). Is it more efficient to take a hundred mile detour versus the risk of hitting traffic along the most direct route? If time and mileage aren't so important, I'd recommend Route 13 as well. Provided of course, storm haven't shut down the Cape May Ferry or the Chesapeake Bay bridge/tunnel.

Maryland
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7. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

I'm not getting how the Cape May-Lewes Ferry would be easier or faster than just picking up US13 off of 95. Driving distance is about the same, but speaking only for the ferry ride, there's plenty of waiting time (not to mention expense) involved. If your timing isn't perfect to catch the boat, you're probably adding at least 1.5 hours to your trip. If your timing is perfect, you're still adding at least 1/2 hour.

55/47 doesn't exactly fly the whole way through south Jersey either. And if we're talking summer travel, the more inland routing the better.

Raleigh, North...
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8. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

So what that I-81 tucks on a few extra miles. It's much more scenic and there are lots of interesting places to stop and sightsee (or just stretch your legs). Beats rest areas on I-95 any time (especially the Maryland House rest area). As for the truck traffic, yeah, it can get heavy, but it's only scary at night and in bad weather. Otherwise, it's not much scarier than driving on any other highway.

9. Re: How To Avoid I-95/295/495

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