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Author Topic: Waze in Washington DC  (Read 2791 times)

jcn

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Waze in Washington DC
« on: January 20, 2017, 12:16:03 AM »

Being from Philly and being and an avid Waze user, I notice that when I plug in a destination on Waze that's south of Washington DC, Waze makes me drive right through downtown DC as opposed to staying on 95 which goes around DC.  My question is, for those of you that use Waze, has Waze done this to you all as well, and if so, do you listen to Waze and drive right through DC, or do you ignore Waze and remain on 95?
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AlexandriaVA

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2017, 12:38:49 AM »

When you say "right through downtown DC" do you mean on 295 or on local roads? I ask because is 295 is clear, it's the shorter and faster way to get straight south. Plus the Beltway on the east side (95 routing) is just as susceptible to backups.
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jcn

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2017, 01:07:28 AM »

The routes Waze takes me through Washington are 295 to 395 via 695.  And like I said, does Waze have you all go that route as well?
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froggie

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2017, 07:48:24 AM »

From what I've heard from others, I wouldn't completely trust Waze through the DC area.  Instead, based on years of experience, I'd trust a combination of traffic volume maps (Inrix being my preferred) plus radio traffic reports...every 10 minutes on the 8's on WTOP (103.5FM).

Which way to actually go is highly variable and is why one should look/listen to the reports when approaching the area.  I'll typically have WTOP on by the time I reach Laurel and that (plus wherever my destination is) will dictate whether I stay on the Beltway or pop down B-W Pkwy/DC 295.  The traffic situation will also dictate whether to go 695 to 395 as your app suggests or stay on 295 back to the Beltway by the Wilson Bridge.

In the absence of traffic congestion or incidents, I've found that staying on the Beltway is generally faster than going through town.  For out-of-state drivers who are not familiar with DC's speed cameras, I would also suggest staying on the Beltway if the Beltway is clear or at least moving.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 07:51:56 AM by froggie »
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jemacedo9

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 08:09:20 AM »

Here's what I think is a related question...does Waze automatically change routes if one becomes faster?  I routinely drive from Rochester NY to the Philly area, and the suggested route is basically 90 -> 690 (Syracuse) -> 81 -> 476 SOUTH of Scranton.  Several times, I have gotten onto 476 NORTH of Scranton (I prefer it because it has less traffic though yes, I know, more tolls) - and once I switch, my ETA according to Waze jumps 3 or 4 minutes sooner.  Meaning, I picked a route faster than Waze calculated.  And I don't have "avoid tolls" set. 

My guess is...the original route was faster at the time I started, but along my journey, it changed, and didn't update.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 08:37:29 AM »

The routes Waze takes me through Washington are 295 to 395 via 695.  And like I said, does Waze have you all go that route as well?

I have seen Google Maps (which owns Waze) take me via 295 as well.

But remember, as AVA said, YMMV.  It could tell you that now, but by the time you get down into that area, it could route you a different direction.

Personally, I always take the beltway in either direction.
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Alps

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2017, 01:00:11 AM »

If no traffic, Waze's route is fastest. In any traffic, 295 is going to lock down before the Beltway starts aching, so hopefully Waze can sense the delays building and reroute.

jwolfer

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2017, 01:02:23 AM »

I have had waze change directions on me to account for traffic problems.

It is interesting to note that none of us rely blindly on waze

LGMS428

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AlexandriaVA

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2017, 02:04:34 AM »

There's no substitute for actually knowing roads.

If I'm going on a trip in another region where I"ll be driving, I'll crack open a map on the bathroom floor and study the hell out of it while doing my "business".
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2017, 02:05:59 AM »

TomTom also wants to route trips across the District of Columbia and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway when driving the I-95 Corridor, as did the Verizon Wireless Navigator product (I no longer use that).

Northbound I-95 to I-395 northbound at Springfield, Va.; to I-695 eastbound in D.C.; to DC-295 northbound; to MD-201 northbound; to federal Baltimore Washington Parkway northbound; to MD-295; to I-895 northbound or I-95 northbound.

Southbound I-95 to I-895 southbound to MD-295; to federal Baltimore Washington Parkway southbound; to MD-201; to DC-295 southbound; to I-695 westbound; to I-395 southbound and back to I-95 in Springfield, Virginia.

This route is recommended by GPS because the distance is shorter, even though the speed limits in D.C. are lower (and DC-295 in particular is nearly always congested except in the overnights).  I have been told that the results might be  different  if the posted speed limits on  the east and south parts of the Capital Beltway (I-95/I-495) had a posted speed limit of 55 MPH (prior to NMSL it was posted 60, 65 or even 70 MPH in sections - the 85th percentile speed is probably north of 65 now, I have not checked it recently).

Not sure that GPS programs use digital programs that have this capability, but if they were to code the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and DC-295 as expressways instead of freeways, that might also make a difference.
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Alps

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2017, 04:37:37 PM »

There's no substitute for actually knowing roads.

If I'm going on a trip in another region where I"ll be driving, I'll crack open a map on the bathroom floor and study the hell out of it while doing my "business".
Remind me never to leaf through your maps.

1995hoo

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2017, 05:39:12 PM »

I seldom use Waze and I just about never use it for local driving. I think froggie's comments are pretty much spot-on, though, especially as to listening to WTOP's traffic reports.

One other thought about DC-295 is that it's an old road with a very obsolete design, including some sharp turns on exits and entrances that contribute to slower traffic. I believe there is a speed camera near Eastern Avenue and there's also often a mobile speed camera between Pennsylvania Avenue and I-695.
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cpzilliacus

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2017, 08:55:37 PM »

I seldom use Waze and I just about never use it for local driving. I think froggie's comments are pretty much spot-on, though, especially as to listening to WTOP's traffic reports.

Yes, that's right and Froggie is right.

One other thought about DC-295 is that it's an old road with a very obsolete design, including some sharp turns on exits and entrances that contribute to slower traffic. I believe there is a speed camera near Eastern Avenue and there's also often a mobile speed camera between Pennsylvania Avenue and I-695.


The mainline of DC-295 between the 11th Street Bridge, S.E. interchange (DC-295, I-695, I-295) and East Capitol Street (officially called the Anacostia Freeway) is not that bad, though the interchange at Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. is pretty obviously obsolete.  What makes northbound congestion so bad more than anything is the lane drop at the Pennsylvania Avenue interchange (aggressive drivers happily jump the queue by illegally driving on the shoulder, secure in the knowledge that traffic enforcement by the MPD-DC is nearly non-existent here).

DC-295 north of East Capitol Street (where it is Kenilworth Avenue, N.E.) is much more of an  expressway than it is a freeway (in spite of the lack of traffic signals and at-grade intersections).

That is where the ancient nature of the road is really obvious (including near-total lack of shoulders and the 13'9" overhead clearances for the deficient bike/pedestrian bridges between Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, N.E. and the D.C./Maryland  line at Eastern Avenue).  Southbound there's the lane drop at East Capitol Street to make matters worse (like the one on the northbound side at Pennsylvania Avenue, aggressive drivers happily jump the queue here).

There's also the matter of the elderly interchange at U.S. 50/MD-201/Baltimore-Washington Parkway just outside D.C. in Prince George's County.  The ramps there are mostly sharp, and for the most part, the interchange has remained untouched since the 1950's when it first opened to traffic, with the exception of some bridge deck replacements and a widening of MD-201 between U.S. 50 and Eastern Avenue to include acceleration and deceleration lanes when the bridge over the Amtrak Northeast Corridor was replaced some years ago.
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Rothman

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Re: Waze in Washington DC
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2017, 11:30:47 PM »

There's no substitute for actually knowing roads.

If I'm going on a trip in another region where I"ll be driving, I'll crack open a map on the bathroom floor and study the hell out of it while doing my "business".
Remind me never to leaf through your maps.

^This.
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