Driving south on I-95 in the fall

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Sherri S h a p i r o
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Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#1 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » September 8th, 2018, 5:26 am

I am going to be driving from NJ to Florida (straight through) sometime in October, and I am very flexible as to days and times. Last time I did it, on the advice of a lot of people who stressed the critical importance of timing travelling through DC, we actually started out at 1:30 AM and were well into Virginia by 5 am and hit zero slowdowns in the DC area (although when we were on the Va side, we saw the traffic starting to back up heading north). It was a very smooth journey and we rolled into Boca at 7:30 pm. What I am wondering is, keeping in mind that it's not the summer with heavy vacation travelers, if we want to drive on the weekend, as opposed to midweek like last time, does the timing change regarding DC traffic hell (so that we can depart at a more sane hour? What about construction - more or less on weekend?

(And while I would gladly send my car down via truck, I am driving because I need to bring my 65 lb 13-year old Labradoodle with me and she cannot fly.)

Thanks for any help.

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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#2 Post by Victor Hong » September 8th, 2018, 5:34 am

I have never known any dog which can fly.
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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#3 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » September 8th, 2018, 5:59 am

Victor Hong wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 5:34 am
I have never known any dog which can fly.
Thanks, once again, Victor, for another helpful comment.

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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#4 Post by cjsavino » September 8th, 2018, 7:51 am

Ever consider taking the eastern shore and across the bay bridge tunnel
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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#5 Post by Matthew Brown » September 8th, 2018, 8:48 am

cjsavino wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 7:51 am
Ever consider taking the eastern shore and across the bay bridge tunnel
Definitely better scenery but a lot more stop and go on the VA Beach side, plus a fair amount of back tracking to get to I-95 again.
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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#6 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » September 8th, 2018, 9:57 am

It's an 18 hour ride and I am not willing to do anything that makes it longer!

Really just wondering if it would be better to drive on a weekend (not during summer peak travel)?

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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#7 Post by Neal.Mollen » September 8th, 2018, 4:16 pm

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 9:57 am
It's an 18 hour ride and I am not willing to do anything that makes it longer!

Really just wondering if it would be better to drive on a weekend (not during summer peak travel)?
The Shore drive is very nice but the odds-on favorite for shortest drive is still 95. The southbound traffic is not as predictably awful between WAS and Richmond in the fall but it is still a miserable piece of pavement (I drive it very often). If you can deal with the obnoxious wake-up time the same schedule would almost assure you of free sailing (absent an accident). The later you leave you marginally increase the risk of heavy traffic but it still isn't as bad as summer.

One tip. US Route 1 parallels I-95 from the beltway south to Richmond. Between DC and Fredericksburg it is to your left as you drive south, then moves to the right side. If 95 is crawling -- especially south of Fredericksburg -- you can slide over to Route 1 and be on your way. Route 1 through the Fredericksburg area itself is no fun; a ton of lights and strip malls. On ether side (esp south) of FBRG, it moves pretty well and has a 55 MPH speed limit most of the way.
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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#8 Post by Sherri S h a p i r o » September 9th, 2018, 6:54 am

Neal.Mollen wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 4:16 pm
Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 9:57 am
It's an 18 hour ride and I am not willing to do anything that makes it longer!

Really just wondering if it would be better to drive on a weekend (not during summer peak travel)?
The Shore drive is very nice but the odds-on favorite for shortest drive is still 95. The southbound traffic is not as predictably awful between WAS and Richmond in the fall but it is still a miserable piece of pavement (I drive it very often). If you can deal with the obnoxious wake-up time the same schedule would almost assure you of free sailing (absent an accident). The later you leave you marginally increase the risk of heavy traffic but it still isn't as bad as summer.

One tip. US Route 1 parallels I-95 from the beltway south to Richmond. Between DC and Fredericksburg it is to your left as you drive south, then moves to the right side. If 95 is crawling -- especially south of Fredericksburg -- you can slide over to Route 1 and be on your way. Route 1 through the Fredericksburg area itself is no fun; a ton of lights and strip malls. On ether side (esp south) of FBRG, it moves pretty well and has a 55 MPH speed limit most of the way.
Thank you, Neil. This is very helpful info. Do you think there would be the same traffic backup heading south on a weekend morning?

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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#9 Post by Matthew Brown » September 9th, 2018, 7:11 am

The actual number of cars may be similar on the weekend, it's just spread out over several more hours. The pacing is a lot more steady so there's not really a time you have to avoid in any one direction.
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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#10 Post by Neal.Mollen » September 9th, 2018, 7:31 am

Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
September 9th, 2018, 6:54 am
Neal.Mollen wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 4:16 pm
Sherri S h a p i r o wrote:
September 8th, 2018, 9:57 am
It's an 18 hour ride and I am not willing to do anything that makes it longer!

Really just wondering if it would be better to drive on a weekend (not during summer peak travel)?
The Shore drive is very nice but the odds-on favorite for shortest drive is still 95. The southbound traffic is not as predictably awful between WAS and Richmond in the fall but it is still a miserable piece of pavement (I drive it very often). If you can deal with the obnoxious wake-up time the same schedule would almost assure you of free sailing (absent an accident). The later you leave you marginally increase the risk of heavy traffic but it still isn't as bad as summer.

One tip. US Route 1 parallels I-95 from the beltway south to Richmond. Between DC and Fredericksburg it is to your left as you drive south, then moves to the right side. If 95 is crawling -- especially south of Fredericksburg -- you can slide over to Route 1 and be on your way. Route 1 through the Fredericksburg area itself is no fun; a ton of lights and strip malls. On ether side (esp south) of FBRG, it moves pretty well and has a 55 MPH speed limit most of the way.
Thank you, Neil. This is very helpful info. Do you think there would be the same traffic backup heading south on a weekend morning?
The heaviest weekend traffic by far is beach traffic, which should obviously not be a problem for you now. But the mysteries of I-95 traffic defy explanation. There will almost certainly be instances of slow traffic no matter what time you leave. Obviously, the earlier you hit the DC area, the better
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Re: Driving south on I-95 in the fall

#11 Post by Scott Brunson » September 13th, 2018, 4:31 am

Chas is a pretty good stopover point (~halfway). We'll open wines!
We do our SC place to Delray in about 8 hrs.
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