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Old 01-24-2013, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,715 posts, read 17,938,672 times
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I think the estimates here are exaggerated a bit. I do the drive every day, leaving Milford around 8:30-8:45 and getting to work in Westport on the Norwalk border around 8:55 to 9:15. There are definitely bad days where you'll want to take the back roads, but in my experience the good days outnumber the bad. The months close to where school gets out and begins are universally awful, but the rest of the year isn't too bad. The last month has actually been pretty easy. I've been getting to work in 25 minutes with no traffic consistently. It's been heavy the last couple of days, but today was because they were doing tree work (at rush hour?!).

Google Maps live traffic is your friend. Or an in-car navigation system that has traffic info. From that you can easily make the decision on whether to do backroads or not. I have it built in to my car's navigation, so it's easy to see the traffic on the map and make a decision before getting stuck.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:04 PM
 
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OP, I'm not sure if you are thinking of doing 95 or the Merritt.

FWIW, I take I-95 each morning from Stratford (Exit 33) to Fairfield (Exit 24) and my commutes are about 20 - 25 minutes door-to-door. My departure time varies between 8:30am - 9:00am and I arrive anywhere between 8:45am - 9:15am.

The traffic can vary depending on what time you need to be at work by. Traffic is much worse closer towards 8:30 than 9:00am. I'd say 75% of the time, bumper-to-bumper traffic will either begin around Exit 27A, and if you're lucky, it'll start later at Exit 25 or 24. Since the New Year began, traffic has started all the way down at Exit 18.

Like Stylo mentioned, back-to-school time (around Late August/early September) is BRUTAL for traffic. My 20-25 minute ride in the mornings will sometimes turn into 40-45 minutes. It's almost as if everyone on I-95 forgot what their schedule was like before school ended.

Right after Hurricane Sandy hit, traffic would often begin in Stratford around Exit 30 (sometimes even Exit 32). My guess was that many Sandy-displaced residents in the Greater NYC area temporarily moved in with their friends/relatives in CT while trying to commute by car adding to the traffic volume.

Afternoon rush hour (going home) is a bit of a different story. For me, it's typically a worse ride with bumper-to-bumper traffic as soon as I hop onto I-95 at Exit 24. Part of this is attributable to Exit 27A, the on-ramp for Route 8/Route 25. There is always a long line of cars waiting to use that exit, and morons are always trying to cut the line. This causes significant bumper-to-bumper traffic, along with safety concerns, but the volume typically dies right after 27A.

Speaking of Route 8/Route 25, it is always backed up in the mornings and afternoons (even on the "good traffic" days). Additionally, if you use the Route 8 exit that dumps you near Kohl's/Best Buy/Target/Mobil, that intersection is always messy during afternoon rush hour. I have always found it dangerous because of the multiple turning lanes (with people trying to switch lanes in the middle of a turn). It isn't so bad in the mornings though.

Good luck!
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:06 PM
 
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We'd be using the Merritt and the commute unfortunately would extend far beyond Fairfield (to Stamford or White Plains), but I was just wondering how much extra time coming from Trumbull (as opposed to coming from Fairfield) would add. It sounds like it's a pretty significant difference...
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elinyc View Post
It sounds like it's a pretty significant difference...
Not really...
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Fairfield
588 posts, read 1,626,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elinyc View Post
We'd be using the Merritt and the commute unfortunately would extend far beyond Fairfield (to Stamford or White Plains), but I was just wondering how much extra time coming from Trumbull (as opposed to coming from Fairfield) would add. It sounds like it's a pretty significant difference...
Fairfield to Stamford/White Plains isn't all that much different than Trumbull to Stamford/White Plains... maybe 15-20 mins extra. And that's the easy part - the rest of your ride down to Norwalk will be miserable, and then again through to Stamford. To give you a frame of reference, a lot of people I know have tried driving from Fairfield to Stamford, and it's faster to take the train even after factoring in driving to the train, parking, walking and waiting. What could be 30 mins easily turns into an hour during rush hour, and potentially a lot more if there's an accident, bad weather, the sun is too bright, venus is out of alignment with ursa major...
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