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Old May 13, 11, 5:07 pm   #1
 
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Advice on driving NY-DC/Leesburg VA area please?

We're driving from NY to Leesburg VA, leaving tomorrow at 7 am.

googleMaps have as options:

i-95 can be 5.5 hours (but up to 7 hours if there is traffic.) Does i-95 get nasty on the weekend? Should I take the alternatives noted below?

Other options that google maps gave was I-78 to US-15 (is US-15 a slow road?)

or I-78 to I-81

What do some here advise?
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Old May 14, 11, 2:48 am   #2
 
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Originally Posted by the phoenix View Post
We're driving from NY to Leesburg VA, leaving tomorrow at 7 am.

googleMaps have as options:

i-95 can be 5.5 hours (but up to 7 hours if there is traffic.) Does i-95 get nasty on the weekend? Should I take the alternatives noted below?

Other options that google maps gave was I-78 to US-15 (is US-15 a slow road?)

or I-78 to I-81

What do some here advise?
Re: I-95, the key question is whether or not you have EZ-Pass. Without it, you will be held up for ages at the Delaware Toll Plaza. It doesn't matter what time of day or day of week it is - traffic is always backed up there. The other issue is how you would get from I-95 to Leesburg. Presumably, they are suggesting the Beltway (495) to the toll road or to 7. There are potential slow-downs due to construction going out that way.

I'd stay away from I-81 as: 1) it will take you pretty far west of Leesburg, 2) the options for getting from I-81 east to Leesburg are all fairly slow roads and 3) there is a lot of truck traffic on it

US-15 is reasonably quick moving most of the time and it's a scenic route. I usually use it going to Frederick. MD in preference to the Beltway and I-270. But I don't really know how it is north of, say, Gettysburg and I have little experience of I-78. I'll also note that 15 has become a pain south of Leesburg, due to traffic circles.
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Old May 14, 11, 3:38 am   #3
 
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Where in NY are you starting? My regular route from the Leesburg area to Upstate was US-15 to I-81 to I-88. If you're in that corridor, or near it, it's a good route.

joe
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Old May 14, 11, 2:40 pm   #4
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Ez-pass is one thing you should have, it can be a major time saver. Hope you enjoyed the trip, it is not a holiday weekend, so traffic should be okay.
The only place if coming from NYC area to dc is not to take 95 through pa, and instead take the njtp all the way (or in conjunction with 295 from bordentown to the DE bridge, as it's cheaper, more lightly trafficked and less patrolled). Note there are lots of truckers, so if you don't like to drive near the big rigs, don't take that route.
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Old May 14, 11, 10:08 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by mhnadel View Post
Re: I-95, the key question is whether or not you have EZ-Pass. Without it, you will be held up for ages at the Delaware Toll Plaza. It doesn't matter what time of day or day of week it is - traffic is always backed up there. .
That's the problem with generalizations, they're too darn general.

I agree with you, it's "usually" ugly getting through there. But this caught my eye only because I drove back from New Jersey this afternoon and came through the Delaware Toll Plaza around 5:00 p.m. and was shocked to find no traffic. None. I don't have EZ-Pass, I had 3 cars in front of me at the toll booth. I almost exited at Route 896 like I usually do, and thought it was too good to be true to not have a back-up in site when I got to that exit. So decided to chance it.
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Old May 15, 11, 6:28 pm   #6
 
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Well I left Long Island at 7am Saturday morning sharp and pulled into the Landsdowne resort in Leesburg at 12:30 exactly. That included 3 potty stops with the kids and one fill up but we were pretty much flying the entire time. Sweet!

WE ended up using the GPS route which took us through the midtown tunnel, through Manhattan and the Holland tunnel and then 95 all the way down. I think 495 was the way we took across.


On the way home, we'll take that 15 North and 78 across. We plan on taking it slow on the way back and letting hte kids enjoy the scenery a bit. Thanks for the help
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