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Author Topic: Virginia  (Read 1404457 times)

cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3125 on: July 30, 2018, 03:29:07 PM »

^^^^

Took 17 because of the rain. Easier drive. Good route and the delay at the Norris Bridge wasn’t too bad. They’re using an automated traffic control system instead of flagmen. Route 17 from Saluda up to Route 301 was about as empty a road as I've been on in Virginia in recent years.

U.S. 17 from VA-105 in Yorktown to the U.S. 301 intersection in Port Royal is a personal favorite drive of mine.  It is about 90 miles of reasonably fast driving (but watch your speed in the corporate limits of Tappahannock, Virginia) usually with little traffic and little congestion. Even with a lot of Hampton Roads-related sprawl north of the York River in Gloucester County, it is still a pleasant trip.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3126 on: July 30, 2018, 03:32:03 PM »

I wasn’t going very fast, mainly due to the rain. Speed limit is 60 mph for most of that stretch and I rarely exceeded 65, though in good weather it would be very easy to do so.
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Jmiles32

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3127 on: July 30, 2018, 05:08:15 PM »

^^^^

Took 17 because of the rain. Easier drive. Good route and the delay at the Norris Bridge wasn’t too bad. They’re using an automated traffic control system instead of flagmen. Route 17 from Saluda up to Route 301 was about as empty a road as I've been on in Virginia in recent years.

Interesting that the only non 4-lane part of US-17 in the Tidewater region is the section from US-1 to US-301 near Fredricksburg, an area with a way larger population than anything US-17 passes before Gloucester. I'm assuming this is in part due to the presence of 4-lane VA-3 just across the river, but with all the growth that has occurred in Spotsylvania over the past few decades, I would have thought by now there would be some sort of serious plan for widening US-17, not just over I-95, but at least as far as the Caroline County border. Are the traffic counts in even that area still relatively low?
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/fredericksburg/route_17_overpass_replacement_and_widening.asp
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3128 on: July 30, 2018, 05:22:30 PM »

^^^^

Took 17 because of the rain. Easier drive. Good route and the delay at the Norris Bridge wasn’t too bad. They’re using an automated traffic control system instead of flagmen. Route 17 from Saluda up to Route 301 was about as empty a road as I've been on in Virginia in recent years.

Interesting that the only non 4-lane part of US-17 in the Tidewater region is the section from US-1 to US-301 near Fredricksburg, an area with a way larger population than anything US-17 passes before Gloucester. I'm assuming this is in part due to the presence of 4-lane VA-3 just across the river, but with all the growth that has occurred in Spotsylvania over the past few decades, I would have thought by now there would be some sort of serious plan for widening US-17, not just over I-95, but at least as far as the Caroline County border. Are the traffic counts in even that area still relatively low?
http://www.virginiadot.org/projects/fredericksburg/route_17_overpass_replacement_and_widening.asp

I have driven that part of U.S. 17 too.  But  it's always been empty when I have come by there.  Not sure why.  Maybe because a lot of U.S. 17 traffic northbound turns right at Port Royal onto U.S. 301 toward King George County and across the HWN Bridge into Charles County, Maryland? 

And vice versa, southbound 301 traffic turns right left onto U.S. 17 (southbound) there?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 06:09:40 PM by cpzilliacus »
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Mapmikey

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3129 on: July 30, 2018, 08:32:04 PM »

Traffic count is 700 lower on US 17 north of US 301 than south of it, though it gets back to that level at the Spotsylvania line.  All less than 6000 AADT though.

US 17 north of US 301 has some sections that would not be cheap to widen because of terrain.  Over the long term, US 17 was generally widened from south to north.

Note that the AADT of VA 3 from King George west is 16k-24k, roughly 3-4 times the volume of US 17 north of US 301.  Also note that VA 2 north of Bowling Green has similar traffic as US 17 north of US 301.  In short, widening is not urgent on this stretch compared to other places in the Fredericksburg District.
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plain

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3130 on: July 30, 2018, 11:53:07 PM »

If the Norris Bridge is looking good then I would definitely use US 17 instead of VA 3 up to US 301, if you ever make this trip again. At that point it may be a bit of a head scratcher.

I would check traffic conditions on both I-95 around Fredericksburg (before continuing on 17) and VA 3 (and SR 607 & VA 218 near the 'Burg if you really want to stay north of the river should you choose 3) to see which route is the best at that point. If 95 is not congested, then I would just continue on 17 (2 laned past this point as you know) to get to the interstate as there is less traffic (and signals) along this route.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 12:07:51 AM by plain »
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3131 on: July 30, 2018, 11:58:04 PM »

My mother has been telling me about the weather in Arlington. Apparently pretty stormy this summer? It's her first summer over there, and she's used to Washington summers, which are almost exclusively dry, so she could be being a bit unfair.

plain

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3132 on: July 31, 2018, 12:11:08 AM »

My mother has been telling me about the weather in Arlington. Apparently pretty stormy this summer? It's her first summer over there, and she's used to Washington summers, which are almost exclusively dry, so she could be being a bit unfair.


Pretty much everything from the fall line eastward has been getting drenched lately throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic. I'm about sick of it myself.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3133 on: July 31, 2018, 11:20:26 AM »

^ As long as getting through/around Waldorf and La Plata (as the case may be) isn't an issue, I've found 301 to 17 to be a functional and quieter alternative to 95/64 between the DC area and Newport News.  It's not a timesaver by any means, but outside of peak hours (where the signals on 301 and in Gloucester can be a pain) it's less stressful.  The 60 MPH speed limit on most of 17 between Port Royal and Saluda also helps.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3134 on: July 31, 2018, 02:07:38 PM »

My mother has been telling me about the weather in Arlington. Apparently pretty stormy this summer? It's her first summer over there, and she's used to Washington summers, which are almost exclusively dry, so she could be being a bit unfair.

Pretty much everything from the fall line eastward has been getting drenched lately throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic. I'm about sick of it myself.

IIRC, summers on the east coast are normally a bit rainy, right? Is winter the sunny season?

Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3135 on: July 31, 2018, 02:08:32 PM »

^ As long as getting through/around Waldorf and La Plata (as the case may be) isn't an issue, I've found 301 to 17 to be a functional and quieter alternative to 95/64 between the DC area and Newport News.  It's not a timesaver by any means, but outside of peak hours (where the signals on 301 and in Gloucester can be a pain) it's less stressful.  The 60 MPH speed limit on most of 17 between Port Royal and Saluda also helps.

US-301 in southern Maryland has something like 60 traffic signals south of U-50,  and Waldorf and La Plata tend to be routinely bad.  Unless there is a reported catastrophe on I-95, I will always use that in lieu of US-301.

Google Maps reported times in free flowing traffic between D.C. and Newport News

I-395, I-95, I-295, I-64
171 mi
3h 8m

DC I-295, MD-210, MD-225, US-301, US-17
165 mi
3h 49m
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davewiecking

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3136 on: July 31, 2018, 02:17:20 PM »

My mother has been telling me about the weather in Arlington. Apparently pretty stormy this summer? It's her first summer over there, and she's used to Washington summers, which are almost exclusively dry, so she could be being a bit unfair.
I wouldn't say it's been stormier than usual-traditionally the Washington DC area gets rush-hour extending summer thunderstorms many evenings (including high winds and of course lightning) which we seem to have avoided. But it sure has rained a lot.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3137 on: July 31, 2018, 02:22:49 PM »

Yesterday’s route: VA-200 to White Stone, VA-3 to VA-33 to Saluda, US-17 to Port Royal, US-301 to near La Plata, MD-225 to near Indian Head, MD-210 to the Beltway, and then the short hop to home. I doubt MD-225 saved us any time, but it was a new route we hadn’t used and a reasonably nice change of pace with no traffic and few lights. Usually I use MD-228 to connect either way between Waldorf and Accokeek.

I believe we got in the car around 10:10 and were home at 1:05. Only stop was a toilet stop at the Maryland Welcome Center on Route 301.
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"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

plain

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3138 on: July 31, 2018, 02:34:31 PM »

My mother has been telling me about the weather in Arlington. Apparently pretty stormy this summer? It's her first summer over there, and she's used to Washington summers, which are almost exclusively dry, so she could be being a bit unfair.

Pretty much everything from the fall line eastward has been getting drenched lately throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic. I'm about sick of it myself.

IIRC, summers on the east coast are normally a bit rainy, right? Is winter the sunny season?

Sometimes. I'd say south of Philly it's normally just humid as hell. Storms usually pop up when a cold front approaches. But this summer it's been unusually rainy. Many areas are dealing with flooding.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3139 on: July 31, 2018, 04:51:33 PM »

IIRC, summers on the east coast are normally a bit rainy, right? Is winter the sunny season?

There is no predominately wet/dry season in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Precipitation tends to be evenly distributed throughout the year and the amount varies depending on the weather pattern. NJ has been abnormally wet this past month, but has been spared most of the rain that MD/DC/VA/central PA has been getting.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3140 on: August 01, 2018, 11:05:22 AM »

We’ve had a lot more flooding than usual this year. It was a very wet July.

?s=21
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3141 on: August 01, 2018, 11:29:04 AM »

We’ve had a lot more flooding than usual this year. It was a very wet July.

It was an all-time July record in terms of rainfall in Baltimore.  Details in the Baltimore Sun here.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3142 on: August 01, 2018, 11:38:15 AM »

^ As long as getting through/around Waldorf and La Plata (as the case may be) isn't an issue, I've found 301 to 17 to be a functional and quieter alternative to 95/64 between the DC area and Newport News.  It's not a timesaver by any means, but outside of peak hours (where the signals on 301 and in Gloucester can be a pain) it's less stressful.  The 60 MPH speed limit on most of 17 between Port Royal and Saluda also helps.

Even with the signals in Gloucester, Essex [Town of Tappahannock] and King George Counties in Virginia, and Charles and Prince George's Counties in Maryland (which can be extremely annoying), the stress level on the U.S. 17/U.S. 301/MD-5 trip is indeed less than I-64 and especially I-95 from I-295 sometimes all the way to Springfield.  The I-95 part of the trip is potentially about 90 miles of misery.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3143 on: August 01, 2018, 04:23:11 PM »

The I-95 part of the trip is potentially about 90 miles of misery.

I have never in 50 years of driving that section of I-95 experienced anything remotely like that.

VMS and AM/FM radio are normally sufficient to avoid horrible traffic conditions.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3144 on: August 01, 2018, 04:48:09 PM »

The I-95 part of the trip is potentially about 90 miles of misery.

I have never in 50 years of driving that section of I-95 experienced anything remotely like that.

Maybe your timing was good?

VMS and AM/FM radio are normally sufficient to avoid horrible traffic conditions.

A tablet or cell phone navigation program that shows traffic congestion in near-real time is the best way to avoid same, and these days, it will generally suggest the routes discussed above to get to Hampton Roads as a primary  or alternate route. 

Going south from the Maryland suburbs of D.C. to (or beyond) Richmond is generally MD-5 to U.S. 301 all the way to I-295 on the southern edge of Hanover County.  Unless there is a crash, U.S. 301 is a remarkably empty and fast-moving road south of Port Royal, even though it is two undivided lanes south of Bowling Green. Just watch speed limit compliance in Caroline County across Fort A. P. Hill and in Hanover County  generally, and  at Hanover Courthouse in particular.
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Beltway

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3145 on: August 01, 2018, 05:03:53 PM »

Going south from the Maryland suburbs of D.C. to (or beyond) Richmond is generally MD-5 to U.S. 301 all the way to I-295 on the southern edge of Hanover County.  Unless there is a crash, U.S. 301 is a remarkably empty and fast-moving road south of Port Royal, even though it is two undivided lanes south of Bowling Green. Just watch speed limit compliance in Caroline County across Fort A. P. Hill and in Hanover County  generally, and  at Hanover Courthouse in particular.

US-301 is a forest of traffic signals in southern Maryland, at least 60 between US-50 and the Potomac River.
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3146 on: August 01, 2018, 06:38:58 PM »

IIRC, summers on the east coast are normally a bit rainy, right? Is winter the sunny season?

There is no predominately wet/dry season in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. Precipitation tends to be evenly distributed throughout the year and the amount varies depending on the weather pattern. NJ has been abnormally wet this past month, but has been spared most of the rain that MD/DC/VA/central PA has been getting.

Oh, no kidding? Still more sun than rain or snow though, right? I thought it was just the PNW that was known for constant clouds and drizzle.

My mother has been telling me about the weather in Arlington. Apparently pretty stormy this summer? It's her first summer over there, and she's used to Washington summers, which are almost exclusively dry, so she could be being a bit unfair.

Pretty much everything from the fall line eastward has been getting drenched lately throughout much of the Mid-Atlantic. I'm about sick of it myself.

IIRC, summers on the east coast are normally a bit rainy, right? Is winter the sunny season?

Sometimes. I'd say south of Philly it's normally just humid as hell. Storms usually pop up when a cold front approaches. But this summer it's been unusually rainy. Many areas are dealing with flooding.

Unusually rainy in that there's just lots of rain, or rain and thunderstorms? Here in the PNW, we would always specify if it was "storming" or not. Rain and thunderstorms are not the same. On the other hand, my grand-dad, who grew up Colorado Springs, would not specify if it was storming or not. Rain usually brought lighting, so he never bothers to be specific. Not sure if people out east are specific in terms of describing the difference between a thunderstorm and rain storm.

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3147 on: August 01, 2018, 09:35:25 PM »

Going south from the Maryland suburbs of D.C. to (or beyond) Richmond is generally MD-5 to U.S. 301 all the way to I-295 on the southern edge of Hanover County.  Unless there is a crash, U.S. 301 is a remarkably empty and fast-moving road south of Port Royal, even though it is two undivided lanes south of Bowling Green. Just watch speed limit compliance in Caroline County across Fort A. P. Hill and in Hanover County  generally, and  at Hanover Courthouse in particular.

US-301 is a forest of traffic signals in southern Maryland, at least 60 between US-50 and the Potomac River.

I counted.  There are 47 northbound and 44 southbound signals between 50 and the river.  The disparity is because several signals in Waldorf and south of La Plata are configured to stop only one direction on 301.

Predictably, the biggest concentration is in the Waldorf area, which results in there being more signals south of Branch Ave than north.  Since 1995hoo mentioned using MD 225 between 301 and 210, I should point out that there are only 4 northbound and 2 southbound signals between 225 and the river.  There are 18 northbound and 15 southbound between 228 and the river.

On the Virginia side, add 7 between the river and Port Royal (including the signal at US 17).
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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3148 on: August 01, 2018, 10:05:00 PM »

US-301 is a forest of traffic signals in southern Maryland, at least 60 between US-50 and the Potomac River.
I counted.  There are 47 northbound and 44 southbound signals between 50 and the river.  The disparity is because several signals in Waldorf and south of La Plata are configured to stop only one direction on 301.
Predictably, the biggest concentration is in the Waldorf area, which results in there being more signals south of Branch Ave than north.  Since 1995hoo mentioned using MD 225 between 301 and 210, I should point out that there are only 4 northbound and 2 southbound signals between 225 and the river.  There are 18 northbound and 15 southbound between 228 and the river.
On the Virginia side, add 7 between the river and Port Royal (including the signal at US 17).

I stand corrected, then.  Still that rounds to one signal per mile on average (I just did count 50 miles between the river and US-50, from a Rand McNally map).   Traffic signals in general are annoying and obnoxious, but are especially egregious on a high-speed four-lane or six-lane highway.

As you point out, Virginia has many fewer signals on US-301 than Maryland, but by no means a small number.

The new four-lane Potomac River bridge will be a major blessing, but within 5 to 10 years of opening will undoubtably lead to increased traffic volumes on the corridor that will lead to even more congestion and even more signals needed, unless the need is obviated by major improvements such as access controls, bypasses, and selected intersections being replaced by interchanges.
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1995hoo

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Re: Virginia
« Reply #3149 on: August 02, 2018, 07:12:29 AM »

We’ve had a lot more flooding than usual this year. It was a very wet July.

It was an all-time July record in terms of rainfall in Baltimore.  Details in the Baltimore Sun here.

On the news last night, they pointed out that the rain seems even worse because in the DC area, we got no rain for the first 16 days of July—all that rain came between July 17 and 31. Supposed to be more this afternoon.
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"You know, you never have a guaranteed spot until you have a spot guaranteed."
—Olaf Kolzig, as quoted in the Washington Times on March 28, 2003,
commenting on the Capitals clinching a playoff spot.

"That sounded stupid, didn't it?"—Kolzig, to the same reporter a few seconds later.

 


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