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Getaway Day

It's Friday, it's spring and it's beautiful, which means we're all trying to get out of town and traffic will probably be a nightmare. The question is: When will it be a nightmare?

Used to be that you could count on traffic being really bad sometime around 3 or 4 in the afternoon until sometime around 7 or 8. But it got so bad at those times that lots of folks started leaving earlier in the day or at odd times. So now you don't know when you're going to hit the bad stuff.

I was stuck in just awful traffic between Washington and Fredericksburg on the morning and early afternoon of Good Friday, but I sailed right out of the city at 5 o'clock that evening with no trouble at all. Ditto for my ride to Chantilly, through Leesburg and on up to Pittsburgh. And that's been the case for me on several other weekends and holidays.

Still, there are still some pretty predictable delays out there. One of our many commenters, Karol, complained yesterday about one of the worst: trying to get out of town on New York Avenue, which just so happens to give me a chance to share one of my favorite alternate routes.

Forget about New York, Karol. Get off it at North Capitol or either First Street (NW or NE), take one of those south a couple blocks to K Street, follow K east to West Virginia Avenue and then follow that east back to New York. It puts you back on New York near where it heads out of town and the traffic clears up. It's generally backup free, it's scenic and it's different -- my three requirements for a good detour.

What are your super secret routes around traffic?

As for me, I'm headed off to the Virginia mountains, but not until tomorrow morning. I'd say odds are 50-50 I'll still hit backups on 66.

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 12, 2006; 10:07 AM ET
Categories:  Getaway  
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