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Old 05-09-2012, 09:12 AM
 
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I have to be in Falls Church next Thursday at around noon. I'm driving from Pennsylvania and will probably get on the Beltway from 270 around 11:00 AM. Is traffic generally moving smoothly by this time, or should I alter my schedule?
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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While I've never experienced it (since I pack my lunch or just walk to where I want to go), there is a mid-day rush hour called the "lunch rush." So I would give myself extra time if I were you. Hopefully, someone with more experience on the beltway that time of day will chime in though and be able to give you more specifics.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC, formerly DC and Phila
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6:00 AM -11:00 AM - Morning Rush Hour
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM - Lunchtime Rush Hour
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Evening Rush Hour



Seriously, morning rush is usually over by 10:00, but lunchtime does come into play mid-day. I would look at mapquest and then allow an extra half-hour from the beltway to be safe - you never know when there will be an accident that will hold up things.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:26 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
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By 11AM it should be pretty smooth, but be warned that in DC traffic is ALWAYS an x-factor as there could be an accident and there is a lot of road construction going on 495 from 267 almost all the way down to I-95. I would plan to be on 270 at around 10:30AM to be safe if I had to be in Falls Church by noon.

You may get there a little earlier, but better safe than sorry. That's what I live by when it comes to DC area traffic
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:42 AM
 
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Google Maps puts it just over four hours from my door to my destination, and I was planning on giving myself at least five, but wasn't sure if I should plan on more than that. I could avoid the DC area altogether by getting on 81 in Hagerstown.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Location: McLean, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grsz11 View Post
I could avoid the DC area altogether by getting on 81 in Hagerstown.
But you would still have to come through the 495 area to get into Falls Church and that is the x-factor.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:49 AM
 
Location: D.C.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkseid View Post
But you would still have to come through the 495 area to get into Falls Church and that is the x-factor.
Absolutely true! My office faces the cloverleaf of 495 & 7. I turn around one minute, and traffic is flowing on the outer beltway just fine. Look again in 10 minutes, and it's a complete parking lot. Look again 10 minutes later....70mph. Like sand through the hour glass, these are the days of DC traffic..

If you're heading back from F/C the same day, unless you're hitting the beltway after say 7 pm, the innerbeltway heading back to 270 is almost always a parking lot from 5pm to 6:45ish every day..
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
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Unless it's 2am, traffic is horrendous everywhere on the major throughways! Even then, a fender-bender can tie things up like you wouldn't believe. Just leave yourself an extra hour...just to be safe!
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:27 PM
 
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Depends, of coruse, on how tight your schedule is, and the repercussions of being late. My wife and I recently drove from Columbia, Maryland to downtown DC, and at one point we took Hwy. 50 and New York Avenue. The traffic mid-day was unbelievably bad, in part due to construction. As others note, it's a bit of a crap shoot.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Metro Washington DC
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I live off of 270. At 11 am you should be fine, but there have been times when it's still jammed up at 11 am. It doesn't happen too often, it just happens.
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