Driver Questions GW Parkway Ramp Design
This driver descibes a problem I haven't experienced, though I use the ramp from the George Washington Parkway onto the Beltway's inner loop fairly often. That's why I'd like to know what other commuters think.
Dear Dr. Gridlock:
I've only been doing this commute for one year but the northbound GW Parkway on-ramp to 495 towards Maryland is a sorry piece of engineering.
Every time it rains or ices or snows at least one or more cars slide off that ramp. If you have ever travelled that area the ramp slopes your vehicle away from the turn, literally forcing you to turn right as your body and the vehicle fight the forces pushing you left. And it does not matter how slow you go. The National Park Service or Virginia state surely can obtain the funds to fix this problem.
This ramp is a bit of a fish hook, with a long, straight section coming off the northbound lanes of the parkway, heading into a sharp curve before reaching the inner loop lanes heading across the American Legion Bridge. But I can't recommend spending the millions of dollars it would take the rebuilt that ramp, based on my own experience. If northbound drivers come off the parkway at the speed limit, they should be fine coming around the curve. Then they have the length of the Legion Bridge to accelerate and merge into the Beltway's through lanes.
Do other drivers find this to be a problem area? We talked about it a lot when Maryland was painting the bridge and blocked off that shoulder lane for use by construction equipment. That was a nightmare, creating extensive backups on the parkway and the Beltway. But under normal circumstances, I don't see this as a problem.
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