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Old 05-19-2011, 08:55 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,543 times
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In early June I'm going from the Corning, NY area - leaving around 8am - to Raleigh (Cary) NC area.

The "obvious" way to go is to take 270 to DC Beltway to 95 down into NC. But the DC-Richmond segment of 95 is a killer.

Taking 15 at Frederick, MD, through VA and into NC looks like another option, but I'm not sure how 15 is. If it's wide-open country roads, that's one thing; if it's traffic signals and auto dealerships every 100 yards, that's another.

It's also been suggested to me to pick up 85 from Petersburg, then in NC go to Cary along Rt 1 or US 15 to VA 50.

Suggestions? Objective is minimum time and hassle.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC (formerly Vienna, VA)
5,959 posts, read 6,325,430 times
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I'm not expert in that area, but I live in the DC area and would avoid it if at all possible unless you are driving on a Tuesday at 3 AM. :-). How about taking I-81 down just past Harrisonburg and then hop on Route 29? It may be longer distance-wise than the 95-route but you avoid two major cities. Plus it's beautiful country out there! Someone who lives closer to that route may no better than I, but it's just a general idea of what you may consider.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Nelson County
297 posts, read 317,402 times
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15 is mostly country highway but has chokepoints when you go through towns. I would go that route from Corning. If you go 270 to 495 to 95 you may make it through with no problems or you could spend 1 to 3 hours extra gettign through the frederick md to richmond section. I would say it is 50/50 if you are travelling the area between say 9 AM and 2 PM and it just gets worse in all other daytime hours. If it is on a Friday between 2 and 7 PM any other route is going to be better
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
2,032 posts, read 4,067,924 times
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Default Shortcut to Raleigh

Just a suggestion:
Take I-81 south to Roanoke, get on I-581 through Roanoke to US220South.
Stay on Business 220South past Martinsville to around Ridgeway VA.
Get on Rt 87 which takes you Eden NC and then to Burlington NC, where you
hit I-40East to Raleigh.
From Roanoke I have found the trip to Raleigh to be quicker anyway. The interstates around DC, Richmond, etc are killers!
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: The South
2,381 posts, read 2,683,969 times
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One last option that's similar to Roanoker4. Take I-81 to I-64 east to Charlottesville and then south on Route 29 through Danville and Greensboro to I-40 east to Raleigh. Route 29 is a dual highway with bypasses around Lynchburg and Danville (there's a couple little stretches of stoplights/car dealers south of Lynchburg and Chatham). The speed limits are 60-70 until you get close to Greensboro.

I just don't like going all the way down I-81 because of the stretch of I-81 to I-77 to I-40 -- I try to avoid that because of accidents/fog/rain problems in the mountains. Have a safe trip.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,119 posts, read 56,997,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 450125 View Post
In early June I'm going from the Corning, NY area - leaving around 8am - to Raleigh (Cary) NC area.

The "obvious" way to go is to take 270 to DC Beltway to 95 down into NC. But the DC-Richmond segment of 95 is a killer.

Taking 15 at Frederick, MD, through VA and into NC looks like another option, but I'm not sure how 15 is. If it's wide-open country roads, that's one thing; if it's traffic signals and auto dealerships every 100 yards, that's another.

It's also been suggested to me to pick up 85 from Petersburg, then in NC go to Cary along Rt 1 or US 15 to VA 50.

Suggestions? Objective is minimum time and hassle.

I avoid I95 like the plague.

I would instead recommend you take the more scenic and enjoyable route of I86 to I81 south.

Then I81 south to I64 over to Richmond.

From there you can pick up I85 into NC and the Raleigh/Cary area. Going this way you avoid all the craziness that I95 is, especially in the D.C. area. Having done it many times, this is exactly what I would do myself
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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I wanted to thank all the people who responded to this post, and share for the record what I did.

Driving to Raleigh, I took US 15 through PA (taking the western bypass around Harrisburg), then in Frederick, MD, continued on 15 into Virginia. 15 in Virginia is two lanes in most areas, and there are parts with congestion and traffic signals, but it was likely better than 95 would have been at that time.

Took 15 to US 17, which was four lanes and wonderful flow, and it hits 95 in Fredericksburg. The drive on 95 was fast and uneventful. Took 85 from 95, then in NC picked up US 1 into Raleigh.

On the return trip, on a Sunday, I left Raleigh pretty early, encountered no traffic, so took 95 right to DC.

Actually, as a better alternative to 15 in PA, I used this:

- 395 north into DC to 295 south
- Suitland Pkwy exit, but then just get right on 295 north
- 295 north to Baltimore beltway (695)
- 695 north to I83 north
- In Harrisburg, pick up 322 West to PA 147
- PA 147 becomes I 180 which takes you to 15 north of Williamsport

This is a little longer in miles, but 147 parallels the river to US 15, but with far fewer traffic signals, way less traffic (esp trucks), and generally 55 mph driving. It's also very scenic.

Thanks again for the help and suggestions.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 1,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 450125 View Post
I wanted to thank all the people who responded to this post, and share for the record what I did.

Driving to Raleigh, I took US 15 through PA (taking the western bypass around Harrisburg), then in Frederick, MD, continued on 15 into Virginia. 15 in Virginia is two lanes in most areas, and there are parts with congestion and traffic signals, but it was likely better than 95 would have been at that time.

Took 15 to US 17, which was four lanes and wonderful flow, and it hits 95 in Fredericksburg. The drive on 95 was fast and uneventful. Took 85 from 95, then in NC picked up US 1 into Raleigh.
I just wanted to mention that I did this trip, in reverse, recently.

All was fine until we were on 17/29 entering Gainesville, VA and looking to pickup 15. We got lost. There are no route signposts anywhere and on top, there were extensive roadworks in the area. We ended up in Centreville and then stopped to get directions. Once we got back to Gainesville, we asked again for directions and found out that there is no direct connection to 15 from 29 (maybe the roadworks will fix this).
Local knowledge seemed to be lacking so we spent another 10-15 mins driving around trying to find 15.

Once on 15, it was straight all the way.

The signage on this route was OK in some parts but mostly we thought it wasn't good.
Small signs, unhelpfully designed, cited in poor locations or no signs at all in some parts, made driving quite stressful & much longer that it had to be. Once it got dark, it was much worse and we had to drive slower.
In the end it took us about 14 hours. including 3 stops for gas/bathroom/food.

My chief annoyance & criticism on this route is that each city/town/area has its own idea of what signs it needs to put up, what to put on them and how they are designed.

I know people will say "get a GPS thingy" but I can't afford one or a subscription and I don't do much out of town driving when I'm home. I did think about buying 3 state maps but just for a single trip that I won't be repeating, it did seem to be a waste of money.

I used Google maps to find our route and then noted down the main roads of the route.
I didn't print Google's directions as Google can't tell you where certain points are that you need to turn off (e.g. at xxx road, turn left).
Many roads are not signposted until you're at the road and some roads are not signposted at all.

I hope the above helps others thinking of doing this trip.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:26 AM
 
350 posts, read 388,731 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxypants View Post
I just wanted to mention that I did this trip, in reverse, recently.

All was fine until we were on 17/29 entering Gainesville, VA and looking to pickup 15. We got lost. There are no route signposts anywhere and on top, there were extensive roadworks in the area. We ended up in Centreville and then stopped to get directions. Once we got back to Gainesville, we asked again for directions and found out that there is no direct connection to 15 from 29 (maybe the roadworks will fix this).
Local knowledge seemed to be lacking so we spent another 10-15 mins driving around trying to find 15.

Once on 15, it was straight all the way.

The signage on this route was OK in some parts but mostly we thought it wasn't good.
Small signs, unhelpfully designed, cited in poor locations or no signs at all in some parts, made driving quite stressful & much longer that it had to be. Once it got dark, it was much worse and we had to drive slower.
In the end it took us about 14 hours. including 3 stops for gas/bathroom/food.

My chief annoyance & criticism on this route is that each city/town/area has its own idea of what signs it needs to put up, what to put on them and how they are designed.

I know people will say "get a GPS thingy" but I can't afford one or a subscription and I don't do much out of town driving when I'm home. I did think about buying 3 state maps but just for a single trip that I won't be repeating, it did seem to be a waste of money.

I used Google maps to find our route and then noted down the main roads of the route.
I didn't print Google's directions as Google can't tell you where certain points are that you need to turn off (e.g. at xxx road, turn left).
Many roads are not signposted until you're at the road and some roads are not signposted at all.

I hope the above helps others thinking of doing this trip.
US 29 and US 15 do connect. If you are heading north on US 29, you have to make a left onto US 15. Without a GPS, you really have to be paying attention. If you hit all the construction in Gainesville, you've gone too far.

Regarding GPSs most come with a free lifetime subscription now a days. If you can't afford a new one for $100, you can get an older one for $20 or less on craigslist or ebay.
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:06 PM
 
2 posts, read 1,885 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by spleuchan View Post
Without a GPS, you really have to be paying attention.
Thank you but we were.
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