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I-395 named most congested section of D.C. traffic

Friday - 12/2/2011, 1:58pm  ET

Adam Tuss, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - It's not your imagination, traffic congestion really is getting worse in the D.C. area.

A new survey by the region's Transportation Planning Board confirms what local commuters are well aware of: it's a tough ride on our roads.

The slowest stretch for commuters right now according to the 2011 Aerial Traffic Congestion Survey is Northbound I-395 between Washington Boulevard and Route 110, from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The average speed along that stretch during that time is five miles per hour.

Also on the list:

  • 2. (tie) Inner Loop I-495 (from Va. 193/Georgetown Pike to George Washington Memorial Parkway) from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., average speed is 5-10 miles per hour

  • 2. (tie) Southbound I-395/Southwest Freeway (from 4th Street to 12th Street) from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., average speed is 5-10 miles per hour

  • 4. Eastbound I-66 (from Va. 7/Leesburg Pike to Dulles Access Road) from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., average speed is 7-10 miles per hour

  • 5. (tie) Inner Loop I-495 (from Md. 355/I-270 to Md. 185/Connecticut Avenue) from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., average speed is 10-15 miles per hour

  • 5. (tie) Outer Loop I-495 (from Va. 267/Dulles Toll Road to Va. 123/Chain Bridge Road) from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., average speed is 10-15 miles per hour

"Congestion is worsening because the economy has improved since the last survey (in 2008)," says Ron Kirby, Director of Transportation Planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, in a news release.

"Depending on which part you focus on, there's good news and there's bad news," Kirby says.

While overall congestion is up in recent years, there are some success stories. The report says congestion has actually improved around the Wilson Bridge on the Inner Loop during the morning rush.

According to the report:

What was previously a location of hours-long congestion during the morning peak on the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway (I-95) from St. Barnabas Road in Prince George's County to Telegraph Road in Alexandria has been completely eliminated.

The report also says congestion in the areas has vastly improved: Eastbound Dulles Toll Road (Va. Route 267) between Centreville Road and Hunter Mill Road in Fairfax County, Southbound Md. Route 295/I-295 approaching and beyond the U.S. Route 50 interchange, and Westbound and Southbound Southwest Freeway/I-395 across D.C.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)