Going on a trip need a little advice?

todd2000

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 14, 2005
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Danville, VA
I'll be driving from South Central VA (right on the NC border), to Ocean City, NJ in one week, normally I drive to North NJ, and take a compleatly different route then I will be taking. I've never driven this particular route, so would like to know what im getting myself into?

Here is what Mapquest wan't me to do (in a nutshell)

US-29 N 196M
to
I-66 E 21.8M
to
I-495 N/Capital Beltway 21.5M
to
I-95 94M

Thats pretty much the majority of my trip the rest is just short roads through DE, and NJ which should be fine. Im mostly concerned with I-95, and the whole DC area in general, I've heard it's just a mess. Any advice about any of the highways mentioned? Is 95/DC as bad as I've heard, Im gonna be leaving early in the morning like 6AM, so Im hoping to avoid traffic.

Thanks
 

pseudobrit

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Jul 23, 2002
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Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
6AM is not early in DC. If you want to avoid traffic on a road trip (and this applies for any congested metro area), my rule of thumb is to leave before 3AM.

And 95 isn't usually God-awful horrible but the alternatives are often much worse.
 

beatsme

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Oct 6, 2005
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todd2000 said:
Any thoughts?
I'm gonna guess you're in Danville, or thereabouts...

You could probably pick up 81N around Lynchburg, and just stay on there until you hit 68E. From there you can head to Baltimore (which is pretty easy to bypass) and then go on over to Ocean City. That'd keep you out of the nightmare that is 95/495 around Richmond/DC.

I haven't ever been this way, but you could take 58 over to Norfolk and then take 13 up the coast...I think...
 

WildCowboy

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If you're leaving Danville at 6 AM, you won't hit DC until after 10 AM at the earliest...probably closer to 11 AM. I would be tempted to take 360 up to Richmond and take 95 from there. You'll like roll into Richmond just at the tail end of rush hour, and then you'll have decent ride up 95 to DC.

Another option is 29 and 501 up to 81, but then you're stuck going out of your way on interstates to get over where you want to go.

Anyway you cut it, it's a long drive without any good way to get there. I think you'll be fine hitting DC in late morning, so I'd probably vote for 360 to Richmond.
 

todd2000

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Nov 14, 2005
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Danville, VA
WildCowboy said:
If you're leaving Danville at 6 AM, you won't hit DC until after 10 AM at the earliest...probably closer to 11 AM. I would be tempted to take 360 up to Richmond and take 95 from there. You'll like roll into Richmond just at the tail end of rush hour, and then you'll have decent ride up 95 to DC.

Another option is 29 and 501 up to 81, but then you're stuck going out of your way on interstates to get over where you want to go.

Anyway you cut it, it's a long drive without any good way to get there. I think you'll be fine hitting DC in late morning, so I'd probably vote for 360 to Richmond.
Yes im in Danville to answer everyones question. If I take the way Mapquest says which is 29 to 66 it will put me on 95 right around DC, which I would think would be better then getting on 95 in Richmond no? Or do you think it would be faster to take 95 from Richmond?
 

WildCowboy

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todd2000 said:
Yes im in Danville to answer everyones question. If I take the way Mapquest says which is 29 to 66 it will put me on 95 right around DC, which I would think would be better then getting on 95 in Richmond no? Or do you think it would be faster to take 95 from Richmond?
Those Virginia backroads can be incredibly slow...my instinct is to get to an interstate ASAP...and that would mean probably heading for 95 in Richmond. (81 around Lynchburg or Lexington or 64 at Charlottesville would be a bit closer, but they do put you out of your way, so I'm not sure they'd be better options.) Taking 29 for 200 miles could be excruciating...I'd rather do 150 miles on 360 to get me over to 95.

At the time of day you'd be on 95, I'd think you'd be pretty well at speed almost the whole way. Since DC is a government town where everybody works the same hours, the commute hours are terrible, but the non-commute hours usually yield clear sailing.
 

todd2000

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Nov 14, 2005
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Danville, VA
WildCowboy said:
Those Virginia backroads can be incredibly slow...my instinct is to get to an interstate ASAP...and that would mean probably heading for 95 in Richmond. (81 around Lynchburg or Lexington or 64 at Charlottesville would be a bit closer, but they do put you out of your way, so I'm not sure they'd be better options.) Taking 29 for 200 miles could be excruciating...I'd rather do 150 miles on 360 to get me over to 95.

At the time of day you'd be on 95, I'd think you'd be pretty well at speed almost the whole way. Since DC is a government town where everybody works the same hours, the commute hours are terrible, but the non-commute hours usually yield clear sailing.
29 is not really a back road :) LOL. We take it all the time on the way up to North NJ, and its fine traffic wise at least 65MPH the whole way. My main concern was traffic aroud DC. Im trying to do this as quicky as possible, so do you think that getting on 95 in Richmind would be faster then 29 to 95. Assuming I go at speed (65) the whole way?

EDIT: According to Mapquest 360 to Richmond, and then 95 from Richmont the whole way is about 30 min longer then the original route.
 

WildCowboy

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todd2000 said:
29 is not really a back road :) LOL. We take it all the time on the way up to North NJ, and its fine traffic wise at least 65MPH the whole way. My main concern was traffic aroud DC. Im trying to do this as quicky as possible, so do you think that getting on 95 in Richmind would be faster then 29 to 95. Assuming I go at speed (65) the whole way?

EDIT: According to Mapquest 360 to Richmond, and then 95 from Richmont the whole way is about 30 min longer then the original route.
Okay...I'd forgotten that 29 was a pretty fast road. I've only been on it once or twice a number of years ago and don't really remember it. I think I've only been on the Charlottesville-Chatham stretch.

In that case, yes, I'd go with 29 up to 66 and then over to DC. Again, I think you'll be fine if you hit DC around 10 AM or so.
 

todd2000

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 14, 2005
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Danville, VA
WildCowboy said:
Okay...I'd forgotten that 29 was a pretty fast road. I've only been on it once or twice a number of years ago and don't really remember it. I think I've only been on the Charlottesville-Chatham stretch.

In that case, yes, I'd go with 29 up to 66 and then over to DC. Again, I think you'll be fine if you hit DC around 10 AM or so.
So I guess the moral of this thread is MapQuest knows what it's doing :) LOL
 

WildCowboy

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todd2000 said:
So I guess the moral of this thread is MapQuest knows what it's doing :) LOL
Sometimes...I've had it give me routes that are physically impossible (ie. they claim that roads intersect when they actually don't). I've reported these problems, and years later, they still haven't been fixed.

Edit: Here's an example. You can't turn from Arguello onto Kezar...Arguello dead-ends in a little turn around just short of Kezar. You used to be able to do this, but it was changes 5-10 years ago...I reported this to MapQuest at least four years ago and it still hasn't been fixed. I see this type of error quite often.