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Author Topic: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach  (Read 9547 times)

Mergingtraffic

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CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« on: May 06, 2014, 10:03:12 PM »

Going on a road trip next month from CT with stops in Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Beach.

Any non-reflective button copy signs or classic state-named interstate shields to get?

I plan on getting the US-40/I-170 stuff.
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2014, 10:46:38 PM »

There's a state-name I-395 shield in downtown Baltimore, but I forgot where exactly it is. I do remember DC MD 295 has some button copy in both directions to the south of the ballprks. The only old state-name shields in Hampton Roads are some I-264 trailblazers in Portsmouth. One or two are on VA 141 and a couple more heading west between US 58 and US 17. There's also a late 90s state-name I-264 shield in Virginia Beach on northbound Atlantic Avenue at 22nd Street (which takes you to 264). Virginia never had button copy at all. Can't help you with DC, but if you detour to Richmond there are several old I-95, I-64, and I-195 shields around the northern half of the city, as well as some state route cutout and white border shields.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 12:41:11 AM by Takumi »
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2014, 11:00:09 PM »

There's also a Maryland 695 between 95 and 70 on the north side if you want to skip a toll.
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2014, 11:51:53 PM »

DC has state-named I-295s and I-395s downtown... and a few of the 395s are showing through as original 95s. www.alpsroads.net/roads/dc/i-395

Non-reflective button copy: still on US 40 at MD 151 on the east side of Baltimore (my preferred shunpike). Still scattered around the NYC area, depending on your route (FDR Drive for sure). NJ does the state-name thing in general, so no mind, but if your route goes through Wilmington on I-95, get off the highway for some state-named goodness there. (www.alpsroads.net/roads/de/i-95)

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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2014, 07:53:50 AM »

Quite a few, but not all, of the DC button-copy signs have been replaced within the past couple of years. All the ones on the 14th Street Bridge are gone, for example. The new signs are better in terms of directing people but are less spiffy.

There is an ancient sign bridge on I-66 near the Kennedy center that's been mentioned on the forum several times recently. Really old button-copy signs, two of them covered up with boards. Amazing it's still there given DC's efforts to replace a lot of old signs recently. Make sure you go past there so you've seen it in case they finally decide to replace it. You have to take westbound I-66 (southbound at that point but signed as west) to drive under it—access it from either Virginia Avenue (turn onto 27th Street at the Sunoco station and then make an immediate right turn), K Street (again, turn into 27th Street immediately before the Whitehurst Freeway, then go left at the next light), or from the eastbound Whitehurst Freeway (follow the signs for I-66). I suggest you not go to that sign assembly during rush hour, however, because it is a confusing area if you don't live here. Several of the roads reverse direction during rush hours and they use sawhorses and the like to effectuate that—if you don't know the traffic patterns, it's easy to get all turned around such that you're going the wrong way.

Make sure you go under the L'Enfant Promenade to look at the old BGS with the I-95 shield. Nearby on D Street SW at the ramps to the 9th Street Tunnel next to the GSA building there is also a weird "Do Not Enter" sign shaped like a stop sign.

BTW, DC uses speed cameras, so watch your speed and if all the other drivers slow down seemingly at random, heed their example.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 09:30:52 AM by 1995hoo »
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Mergingtraffic

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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2014, 01:09:54 PM »

there are several old I-95, I-64, and I-195 shields around the northern half of the city, as well as some state route cutout and white border shields.

cool, do you know more specific areas? 

DC has state-named I-295s and I-395s downtown... and a few of the 395s are showing through as original 95s. www.alpsroads.net/roads/dc/i-395

Non-reflective button copy: still on US 40 at MD 151 on the east side of Baltimore (my preferred shunpike). Still scattered around the NYC area, depending on your route (FDR Drive for sure). NJ does the state-name thing in general, so no mind, but if your route goes through Wilmington on I-95, get off the highway for some state-named goodness there. (www.alpsroads.net/roads/de/i-95)

Yes, excellent, I hope to get the Delaware I-95 shield. US-40 and MD-151 on the list.  Are there still NFBC on I-83 and surrounding roads?

I saw NFBC on Streetview on US-1 by Park St and old I-83 BGS.  Still there?

There is an ancient sign bridge on I-66 near the Kennedy center that's been mentioned on the forum several times recently. Really old button-copy signs, two of them covered up with boards. Amazing it's still there given DC's efforts to replace a lot of old signs recently. Make sure you go past there so you've seen it in case they finally decide to replace it. You have to take westbound I-66 (southbound at that point but signed as west) to drive under it—access it from either Virginia Avenue (turn onto 27th Street at the Sunoco station and then make an immediate right turn), K Street (again, turn into 27th Street immediately before the Whitehurst Freeway, then go left at the next light), or from the eastbound Whitehurst Freeway (follow the signs for I-66). I suggest you not go to that sign assembly during rush hour, however, because it is a confusing area if you don't live here. Several of the roads reverse direction during rush hours and they use sawhorses and the like to effectuate that—if you don't know the traffic patterns, it's easy to get all turned around such that you're going the wrong way.

Make sure you go under the L'Enfant Promenade to look at the old BGS with the I-95 shield. Nearby on D Street SW at the ramps to the 9th Street Tunnel next to the GSA building there is also a weird "Do Not Enter" sign shaped like a stop sign.

Awesome thanks! I plan to get the few on MD-295 around Annapolis Rd/MD-648 and I think there's a US-1 BGS around Russell Ave.  Street view claims they're still around.


Anything else?

Hopefully they will still be around in late June.
Also, I like to get out of the car to take sign pics.  How are the neighborhoods around some of these places?  The wife will be along and she isn't a roadgeeking person.  but I still pull over anyway.
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1995hoo

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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 01:25:12 PM »

....

Also, I like to get out of the car to take sign pics.  How are the neighborhoods around some of these places?  The wife will be along and she isn't a roadgeeking person.  but I still pull over anyway.

The I-66 assembly I mentioned is not in a pedestrian-friendly place. Here is a Street View (click out of Street View to get a sense for where it is): https://www.google.com/maps/@38.898142,-77.053061,3a,75y,190.63h,85.37t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sSXaBkSLCsuushDCALKiBhw!2e0  You would have to park on the shoulder, which is not entirely a safe thing to do (it's a narrow shoulder there on a curve as you emerge from a short tunnel).

If you have a good camera with a good zoom lens, you might be able to get pictures from up above the tunnel. Park on one of the streets if you can find a space and then walk to the area overlooking the highway. But be careful of the parking restrictions—the white building between I-66 and the Watergate Complex is the Saudi Arabian embassy and, while there is on-street parking, they frequently have to restrict it due to demonstrations and the like. The area on the far side of Virginia Avenue tends to be a busy area due to George Washington University. The big thing is, don't park illegally because DC ticket-writers are legendary for being very prompt in catching violators! If worst comes to worst, you could hop out and have your wife drive the car around the block or something.

The area I mentioned under L'Enfant Promenade is OK. A bit creepy since it's sort of dark and underneath an elevated road, but it's a busy enough area that you shouldn't have to worry.

I'm trying to think of a suggestion in terms of the best sort of routing to use to visit these places. It's tricky because of the way streets change direction at rush hour and because of no-left-turn restrictions in some areas and the like. I'll get back to you on that.



Edited to add: Hmm. I tried the Street View link and then clicked out of it and found it was zoomed out farther than I'd had it. Find the short segment of I-66 in DC just to the right of the Kennedy Center on the map. The sign assembly is on the southbound side of that (signed as westbound, as I noted) just to the south of the tunnel under the traffic circle.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 01:27:18 PM by 1995hoo »
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2014, 02:02:37 PM »

The I-66 assembly mentioned is best viewed "on foot" from Juarez Circle (Virginia Ave at New Hampshire Ave).  Easiest place to park is along 23rd St NW, or do what Hoo suggested and have your wife circle around.

A fairly decent concentration of the 95/295/395 shields is located at 7th and I (Eye) SE.  there's usually ample parking along 7th if you don't mind feeding a quarter into the machine.  IIRC, 6th and Virginia SE (a block away) also has some shields.

There's an old I-95 DC sign coming out of a Congressional parking garage along D St SE, just east of South Capitol.

There are a couple of old and awesome guide signs UNDERNEATH the L'Enfant Promenade...at the equivalent of 10th and D St SW.

In all cases, bring quarters to feed the meter, but you shouldn't require much if all you're doing is stopping to take photos.
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2014, 02:15:46 PM »

Another possibility for the parking meters is to register for the Parkmobile service, which lets you pay either by calling a toll-free number or using a mobile app. It may not be worth registering unless you regularly park in a city where that company has a contract (you have to provide a credit card number). There is a 45¢ transaction fee some people find off-putting (flat fee per transaction regardless of duration). I use their iPhone app fairly frequently when I go to baseball games because even with the 45¢ fee it's still substantially cheaper than other options and easier than bringing quarters, but then I live here. It may not be worth it for you, but I mention it just so you're aware of the option.
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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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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2014, 03:01:07 PM »

there are several old I-95, I-64, and I-195 shields around the northern half of the city, as well as some state route cutout and white border shields.

cool, do you know more specific areas? 



Richmond cutout locations and status if known are described:
http://www.vahighways.com/cutouts/va147.htm
http://www.vahighways.com/cutouts/va197.htm
http://www.vahighways.com/cutouts/va161.htm
http://www.vahighways.com/cutouts/va006.htm

Some older shield locations are located here: http://www.vahighways.com/oldsigns/shields.htm

These are in numerical order without regard to class of route.  Look for stuff at these numbers: 64, 95, 195, 197.  If old unisigns are also in your interest, look at 1, 33, and 161 as well.

In this gallery I have not updated the status as I did with the cutout gallery.

Mapmikey
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2014, 06:34:21 PM »

there are several old I-95, I-64, and I-195 shields around the northern half of the city, as well as some state route cutout and white border shields.

cool, do you know more specific areas? 

DC has state-named I-295s and I-395s downtown... and a few of the 395s are showing through as original 95s. www.alpsroads.net/roads/dc/i-395

Non-reflective button copy: still on US 40 at MD 151 on the east side of Baltimore (my preferred shunpike). Still scattered around the NYC area, depending on your route (FDR Drive for sure). NJ does the state-name thing in general, so no mind, but if your route goes through Wilmington on I-95, get off the highway for some state-named goodness there. (www.alpsroads.net/roads/de/i-95)

Yes, excellent, I hope to get the Delaware I-95 shield. US-40 and MD-151 on the list.  Are there still NFBC on I-83 and surrounding roads?

I saw NFBC on Streetview on US-1 by Park St and old I-83 BGS.  Still there?

I-83 should still be chock full of NRBC. Also try off Exits 7 and 9-10.

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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2014, 11:54:28 AM »

The I-66 assembly mentioned is best viewed "on foot" from Juarez Circle (Virginia Ave at New Hampshire Ave).  Easiest place to park is along 23rd St NW, or do what Hoo suggested and have your wife circle around.

In all cases, bring quarters to feed the meter, but you shouldn't require much if all you're doing is stopping to take photos.

Yes, I'm looking for the best and closest view on foot to get the most detail. thanks 1995hoo and froggie. I use a simple iPhone to get pics.
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2014, 12:03:58 PM »

There is a sidewalk that runs up along the top of the retaining wall between I-66 and 25th Street NW (the street that runs between I-66 and the Saudi Arabian embassy and connects to the Kennedy Center). If you walk down that sidewalk, you should be able to get close enough to avoid any graininess issues with the iPhone zoom feature.

In this satellite view, the I-66 assembly is towards the bottom where the four strange green dots are. The building to the left is the embassy.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8978495,-77.0533376,109m/data=!3m1!1e3

Here's a Street View showing the sidewalk in question (you can see the sign assembly beyond the bushes):
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.897722,-77.053327,3a,75y,86.38h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sw6DlknCBEXWKiVZlwlTMEw!2e0
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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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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2014, 06:40:27 PM »

There is a sidewalk that runs up along the top of the retaining wall between I-66 and 25th Street NW (the street that runs between I-66 and the Saudi Arabian embassy and connects to the Kennedy Center). If you walk down that sidewalk, you should be able to get close enough to avoid any graininess issues with the iPhone zoom feature.

In this satellite view, the I-66 assembly is towards the bottom where the four strange green dots are. The building to the left is the embassy.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8978495,-77.0533376,109m/data=!3m1!1e3

Here's a Street View showing the sidewalk in question (you can see the sign assembly beyond the bushes):
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.897722,-77.053327,3a,75y,86.38h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sw6DlknCBEXWKiVZlwlTMEw!2e0

great! thanks 1995hoo!  I will def check it out.  Where is that famous "CT Avenue" button copy sign?
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2014, 08:22:40 PM »

1995hoo

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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2014, 09:39:09 PM »

There is a sidewalk that runs up along the top of the retaining wall between I-66 and 25th Street NW (the street that runs between I-66 and the Saudi Arabian embassy and connects to the Kennedy Center). If you walk down that sidewalk, you should be able to get close enough to avoid any graininess issues with the iPhone zoom feature.

In this satellite view, the I-66 assembly is towards the bottom where the four strange green dots are. The building to the left is the embassy.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.8978495,-77.0533376,109m/data=!3m1!1e3

Here's a Street View showing the sidewalk in question (you can see the sign assembly beyond the bushes):
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.897722,-77.053327,3a,75y,86.38h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sw6DlknCBEXWKiVZlwlTMEw!2e0

great! thanks 1995hoo!  I will def check it out.  Where is that famous "CT Avenue" button copy sign?

This is the first I've heard of it. I suggest you ask froggie, via PM if needed. Sorry I can't help!
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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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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2014, 01:16:39 PM »

Probably referring to the sign on westbound Military Rd within Rock Creek Park.
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2014, 10:32:16 PM »

OK, getting ready to leave on this trip.  Any changes? all the mentioned signage still there? Any updates on I-170/US-40?
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2014, 09:37:49 AM »

OK, getting ready to leave on this trip.  Any changes? all the mentioned signage still there? Any updates on I-170/US-40?

There were two remaining button copy signs at the Boston/O'Donnell Street interchange with Interstate 95 in Baltmore last August.



This one is along O'Donnell Street Cutoff west ahead of Interstate Avenue.



And this is posted along O'Donnell Street Cutoff east at Interstate Avenue.

The other button copy signs and a state-named shield for I-95 here were replaced by October 2012.

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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2014, 09:30:08 PM »

OK trip is done and taken, here's some ramblings in no particular order at all:  :bigass:

Took I-95 all the way down to Baltimore until I-895 and took US-1 to US-40/I-170.  Then, onto MD-295 to I-495 in DC.  Milled around DC and onto VA Beach via I-95 and US-1 (b/c of construction) to I-295 to I-64 and back again.

One thing that struck me was how run down Baltimore is outside of the port area.  We visited the B&O RR Museum and it was rundown all around it.  What was with the people selling water on every street corner!?!  :pan:

In Baltimore, I didn't get as many pics as I wanted b/c the wife was along and wasn't into road-geeking at all. 

US-1 from I-895 was like CT, 4-lanes and no turn lanes with badly timed lights with no arrows.

US-40 was a dream. 



I was able to walk down it as it was closed b/c of construction.  One thing I noticed that if somebody tried to rob me as I walking down it, I was kinda trapped as it was below grade.  My only choice was to run down the road....but of course that didn't happen.



It was like a time-warp, original concrete and signage and the classic 1970s depressed grade through a poor neighborhood type of highway.





and for some reason US-40 brought back memories of this in RI:



Onto DC it was and I really didn't care for it, except for the road-geek stuff.  I thought the streets were hard to navigate and signage was lacking in spots. 



I really wanted to crawl onto the I-66 gantry and peel off the wood to see what the signs under it said.   Hard to believe 96% of all button copy is gone. 



Actually except for a couple signs on the NJ TPKE around X12 and the Baltimore signage around I-83 and US-40 and the DC I-66 stuff there wasn't any button copy at all.

I wasn't a big fan of the way VA groups their sign salads together on a black background.  I prefer seperate signs for each.



On US-60 in VA,

the Yellow Flasing Arrow was in abundance, I thought was neat, but really isn't needed.  In fact, I had to remind myself to yield when the YFA was in play.

I didn't see any old signage in VA at all.  I was impressed with their strip mall roadage.  6-lanes, double turn lanes and channeled traffic at intersections along US-17 in Newport News was great.  Also in MD on US-40 north of Baltimore, it seems the DOTs down south really planned ahead when doing their road construction.

On the way back north on the NJ turnpike, I was suprised b/c I never really thought of it, after the Vince Lombardi Service Plaza, I-95/NJ Tpke narrows down to 2-lanes up towards the GWB on the express-lanes.  Backup was awful. 
I did get to this and it made the traffic worth it....I have to get a better pic



More to come....
« Last Edit: June 29, 2014, 10:57:17 PM by doofy103 »
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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2014, 08:00:16 AM »

That Virginia sign salad thing seems to depend on where you are in the state. Signs here in Northern Virginia aren't usually grouped on a single sign like that (though I've seen a few exceptions for state routes—Fairfax City uses a white background).

DC can definitely be a hassle to navigate, and it's one place where a sat-nav often causes more hassle than necessary due in part to roads that change direction at different times of day. Glad you found your way around.
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—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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Re: CT to D.C. to Virginia Beach
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2014, 11:23:26 AM »

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Actually except for a couple signs on the NJ TPKE around X12 and the Baltimore signage around I-83 and US-40 and the DC I-66 stuff there wasn't any button copy at all.

You must've missed the button copy that still exists on some I-395 signs.

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I didn't see any old signage in VA at all.  I was impressed with their strip mall roadage.  6-lanes, double turn lanes and channeled traffic at intersections along US-17 in Newport News was great.  Also in MD on US-40 north of Baltimore, it seems the DOTs down south really planned ahead when doing their road construction.

You must be talking about a different Virginia than the one I lived in for 7 of the past 10 years.  They don't do all that great with the "planning ahead".  Nevermind that the results are often worse traffic sewers than what they started as…
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