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Old 03-07-2014, 05:46 PM
 
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I am moving to Connecticut from California and will be new to the East Coast. My husband will be working in Bridgeport and I will be working in Hartford. I have decided it would be best that I take the longer commute and we plan on living in Trumbull (because child care/daycare is located near my husband's job). If I take the 15, is the daily commute from Bridgeport/Trumbull to Hartford doable? I expect it will be an hour each way (according to Google Maps) ... which is ok, as I have been commuting 45min to an hour each way to my job in San Francisco for the past 2 years ... although that is a 30 mile distance (vs 60 miles into Hartford from Bridgeport). I am hopeful CT traffic is not as bad as SF/Bay Area traffic. I plan on leaving home between 5-5:30 am and leaving work between 6-7pm to drive home.

Also, I worry about driving in snow. I know that the roads are plowed ... but in the winter, how much extra commute time will snow tack onto my commute?

Any advice on routes to make my commute easier will be much appreciated.

Thanks a bunch!!!
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Northeast states
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Hartford to Bridgeport is about 53 miles, Hartford traffic in morning and evening hour rush hour can be very bad at times, 5-5:30 AM you will be fine but I will be kinda worried about 6-7 pm driving from Hartford
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:22 PM
 
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Welcome to Connecticut.

If you can leave at 5:30AM from Trumbull, your drive into Hartford probably won't encounter too much traffic, even by 6:30am. And, once you get past 6pm in the evening, the Hartford area should clear up, and you'll probably not hit too much around New Haven or heading south on the Merritt or 95 to Trumbull.

The good thing about winter is that most days, it does not snow, and even when it does, the next day it should be okay for driving most of the time. We just suffered through a tough winter this year, and I'd say that maybe a dozen weekdays at the most had tough driving.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:26 PM
 
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Depending on where in Hartford you work, you could also try Route 8 North to Waterbury and then 84 East into Hartford. No traffic on Route 8 and probably nothing on 84 that early until you get into West Hartford or Hartford. That would be if you worked in the western part of Hartford (Aetna, The Hartford, St. Francis Hospital, etc)

However, you'd most likely be taking 15 North (also known as the Merritt Parkway south of New Haven) into Meriden and then 91 North into Hartford. You could also take 95 North into New Haven and then 91 North into Hartford.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Depending on where in Hartford you work, you could also try Route 8 North to Waterbury and then 84 East into Hartford. No traffic on Route 8 and probably nothing on 84 that early until you get into West Hartford or Hartford. That would be if you worked in the western part of Hartford (Aetna, The Hartford, St. Francis Hospital, etc)

However, you'd most likely be taking 15 North (also known as the Merritt Parkway south of New Haven) into Meriden and then 91 North into Hartford. You could also take 95 North into New Haven and then 91 North into Hartford.
Known as the Merritt Parkway south of Milford. At the Sikorsky Bridge northbound, it becomes the Wilbur Cross Parkway.
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Old 03-07-2014, 07:32 PM
 
Location: New Haven
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Okay, so you live in Bridgeport. The route I would use is CT 8 to 84E in the morning. At 5:30AM, you could easily do that route at 70-80MPH in anout 45-50 minutes. Now, the afternoon is different. From about 2:30PM-7:00PM, 84 through Downtown is clogged in both directions. I would take I-91S to I-691 and would hop on 84W. 84W is normally slow from 26-24 due to a really bad bottleneck (The road reduces to 2 lanes through Waterbury), it is nothing like Downtown Hartford. On Rt 8, in the evening could be different. It depends on who's driving.
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Old 03-07-2014, 09:03 PM
 
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I live in next-door Stratford and work in Hartford and can tell you that the drive gets tiring but do-able.

- I usually leave around 7am/7:30am/8:00am (I have some flexibility with schedule) and have encountered aggrevating traffic during all of those commute times. I normally average around 1 hour and 5 minutes. Last week, I even left earlier than usual at 6:50am to make it for an 8:30am team meeting, and it took me nearly 1.5 hours to get to work. I was p-ed since I was cutting it quite close.

- That said, I find the morning commute to be a bit easier than the afternoon commute. In the afternoons, I usually leave anywhere between 4pm-5pm. I average getting home at around 1 hour and 15 minutes or so? On nasty days, it has taken me 1.5 hours.

- I usually use the "Waze" app on my phone to alert me of any nasty accidents and/or possibilities to detour and gain back time.

- My commute is: Merritt Parkway > I-91 > I-84 (and vice versa). Even though I'm only on I-84 for about two exits, that tiny stretch is HORRIBLE. There are too many exit-only lanes, on-ramps, and highway merges. People end up cutting each other off. If your workplace doesn't involve I-84, you can probably shave off 5-10 minutes from my estimate commute time -- that's how horrible I-84 is.

- Aside from I-84, traffic is typically bad from around Exit 24-27, and I find that it's worse in the afternoons (traffic begins in Hartford at Exit 32 and stretches all the way to Exit 24).

- I've noticed accidents happening lately in/around the Middletown area (around Exit 20-22 on I-91). If that happens, you'll have to ride through a second pocket of traffic delays. Same thing goes if there's an accident on the Merritt Parkway.

- You can also take Route 8 to I-84, but I [i]think[/] you then hit traffic delays going through Waterbury. However, that isn't a bad route itself.

Here are a few "tips":
- If you look on the map, I-91 and the Merritt Parkway run parallel with each other for a good stretch of that commute. If there's an accident on the Merritt, depending on severity, the aforementioned "Waze" app has advised me to get off and switch onto I-91. I believe the shortest point to switch over is Exit 63 (North Haven) and takes about 5 minutes.

- You can avoid the aforementioned traffic build-up at Exit 24-27 by getting off of Exit 24. That puts you on the Silas Deane Highway in Rocky Hill, CT. Silas Deane isn't a highway per se, as there are many traffic lights. However, traffic volume is light and it alleviates road rage. Ride the Silas Deane Highway for a few miles and there'll be an on-ramp that lets you get back onto I-91 at Exit 27. (You can alternatively even ride the Silas Deane Highway straight into Hartford).

- If things are incredibly bad, you can also take the Berlin Turnpike (Route 5/15) through Newington and New Britain. This route eventually leads you into the Merritt Parkway. However, I find the volume to be very heavy (it's a very commercial area with lots of shopping and sketchy motels) and there are many traffic lights to contend with. As a result, I rarely take Route 5/15 unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:49 AM
 
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Thanks a bunch!
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Old 03-08-2014, 09:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post
I live in next-door Stratford and work in Hartford and can tell you that the drive gets tiring but do-able.

- I usually leave around 7am/7:30am/8:00am (I have some flexibility with schedule) and have encountered aggrevating traffic during all of those commute times. I normally average around 1 hour and 5 minutes. Last week, I even left earlier than usual at 6:50am to make it for an 8:30am team meeting, and it took me nearly 1.5 hours to get to work. I was p-ed since I was cutting it quite close.
Have you ever had to leave before 7am, though? The OP said she would be leaving between 5:00am and 5:30am, which could get her all the way to Hartford by 6:00am to 6:30am.

And, she said she'd be leaving Hartford between 6pm and 7pm. With no traffic, she'd be down to the New Haven area by 6:30 to 6:45 (depending on how close her car is to her office - i.e, if she's on the 35th floor of Cityplace, and is parked across the street, she'll have to take the elevators down, and then go across the street to the garage there, then go back up through the parking garage...)
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:21 AM
 
Location: New Haven
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According to Google maps, traffic on I-84 through Downtown starts on a Monday to turn yellow between Exit 50 and 51 at 6:00AM. By 6:30AM, it is yellow from Exit 48 to Exit 51. At 7:00AM, it is yellow-red from Exit 41 to Exit 51. At 7:30AM it is slow from Exit 38 to Exit 51. By 8:00AM, it is red from Exit 38 to Exit 51. By 8:30, it starts to clear up. It is red from Exit 41 to Exit 51. It is clear by 10:00AM. On a Monday afternoon at 2:30PM, it is slow from Exit 45 to Exit 51 in both directions. By 4:00PM, it is slow heading East from Exit 39 to Exit 57. West is slow from Exit 50 to Exit 42. At 5:00PM, it is red in both directions from Exit 41 to Exit 57. At 5:30PM it is the same at 5:00PMexcept some parts turn red-black (not moving.) At 7:30PM , 84 is all clear.

On I-91, traffic starts to get heavy 7:30AM from Wethersfield into the 84 interchange and is only yellow. It remains yellow until 9:00AM then is green. It is yellow from 4:40PM-6:00PM.

All info is from Google Maps Typical Traffic
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