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Old 05-11-2007, 12:05 PM
 
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I live in McLean and I'll soon be required to commute to Columbia, MD. What will the commute be like? Is taking the Beltway more preferable (5am - 6am)? Or would it be better to take the Metro + commuter bus? (Metro crowding isn't really a major consideration or deterrent; I take the Orange Line every day and I've never been able to get a seat anyway, so I'm used to it.)
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Old 05-11-2007, 12:45 PM
 
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I drive from McLean (GW Parkway) to Potomac (Democracy Blvd exit from 270) via the Beltway numerous times during the week, both during morning rush and early afternoon. At 5-6 am, there is virtually no traffic, so it would probably be much faster than taking public transportation.
Coming back might be a different story, depending upon the time you are leaving. My experience on the stretch from 270 to the GW Parkway is that it's pretty smooth sailing until about 5 pm.
Keep in mind that the recent bridge-painting project at the entrance ramp onto 495 from the GW Parkway is having a major effect on traffic. But not at 5 am.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:25 PM
 
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Thanks claremarie. I was a little worried about how bad the commute would be (the various horror stories and that Bay Bridge fiasco yesterday didn't help). I'm normally a fan of Metro, but your post definitely makes me more confident about doing the Beltway instead. At the very least, I'll give it a try and see how it works out. Thanks again!
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Old 05-29-2007, 06:48 AM
 
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So far so good. It took ~40 mins on the way in this morning at 5:15am, smooth sailing and right around the MapQuest estimate. We'll see how the commute home goes...
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