With snowfall imminent, keeping an eye on the roads
10 A.M. UPDATE: With the region waiting on the edge of our sleds as the snowfall looms...the roads remain clear. The Beltway is not crowded and is moving smoothly, and even I-395 North has cleared up. The earlier read -- people stayed home, due to closings and a well-established fear of nature -- seems accurate. There's a decent amount of cars on some of the roads in the area (New York Avenue, Connecticut Avenue, a few spots on the Beltway), but it's generally clear.
8:15 A.M. UPDATE: The major roads have been pretty calm so far this morning. I-66 is startlingly empty. The Beltway ranges from mostly empty to ever-so-slightly crowded with cars. I-395 North remains a trouble spot from the Beltway until after Seminary Road. The generally-crowded Mall-adjacent avenues of Independence and Constitution are very empty as well. All in all, the roads are showing that most drivers are staying in (or are still stuck at grocery stores, waiting in lines that began last night).
7 A.M. UPDATE: With rush hour getting underway, it's always fun to take a look at the region's traffic cameras: Traffic looks lighter than usual at this time on the Beltway, with heavier traffic only visible near Connecticut Avenue and 270... On I-395 North, it's bad (as usual) from the Beltway on past King Street... the Springfield Interchange isn't as packed as usual... even I-66 isn't packed heading towards the Beltway and into the District... I-95 is pretty light in both directions between the Beltway and College Park. In other words -- a lot of people aren't on the roads when they normally would be, and it's visible.
The list of closings suggests that a lot of people won't be going to work today. Will the roads still be crowded and clogged with commuters and last-minute grocery store trips (taken by people not scared off by last night's crowds)? Or will people avoid the streets since snowfall might hit before midday? In any event, we'll keep you posted here on any big changes or big goings-on.
If you see anything, hear anything or know of anything your fellow commuters might like to know, post it in the comments section below. Or e-mail drgridlock [at] washpost dot com. Thanks!
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