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Summer Vacations Over, AAA Declares ‘Terrible Traffic Tuesday’

by ARLnow.com September 7, 2010 at 5:37 am 1,062 9 Comments

The way AAA Mid-Atlantic tells it, the Tuesday after Labor Day is one of the year’s most “mind-numbing, soul-robbing” days traffic-wise.

The automobile association says that DC-area drivers should “brace themselves” for the one-two punch of kids going back to school and workers returning from summer vacations today. After a two-month respite from the worst of the area’s traffic, things should be back to gridlock-as-usual — a “dreadful day of reckoning” known as “Terrible Traffic Tuesday.”

AAA notes that about 1.5 million local commuters drive to work solo on any given workday. The group says that despite the increasing number of people working from home, Metro’s recent troubles and the new peak-of-the-peak fare may be putting more cars on the road.

“With the recent fare increases and number of breakdowns, more and more people could be shying away from some of the area’s mass transit alternatives,” said AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson John Townsend.

  • Traffic actually seems to be running unusually smoothly this morning. That might change, but it seems like “Terrible Traffic Tuesday” actually was much the opposite, at least in Arlington.

    • Let’s Be Free

      I thought the AAA warning a bit alarmist.

      Traffic has been noticeably down since the recession started two plus years back. Because this economic slump is systemic and nothing has been done (other than mindlessly throwing money at politically favored groups) to take on the structural issues that have to be addressed to get the economy moving again, it may be many years before we get back to peak traffic levels again.

      I look forward to insufferable traffic being once again our most vexing problem, but am not optimistic that day will come soon.

  • charlie

    no problems on my commute. all lights properly timed. milling of Washington Blvd isn’t done, but people now know they can drive in that lane. Columbia Pike fine. Maybe I go too early and all the parents are still taking kids to school.
    now that sun in the eyes thing is another story…

  • Doug

    Next week will be worse when Congress is back in session. A lot of parents in NoVa may take the day off to see their kids off to school as well.

    • HP2000

      Exactly. It is the first full week after Labor Day that is the worst. There are still people on vacation now, taking advantage of the short work week. Next week everyone will be back + Congress… ouch, babe.

  • I biked to work. Great commute!

    • Same here. Of course, I left the house at 5:30am. Riding your bike is even more awesome when there are ZERO cars on the road.

  • SharonTB

    I also biked to work! The trails were surprisingly light. The traffic did seem to be back to heavy fall traffic in Falls Church and on 66.

  • Katie

    16Y–bit slow on Rte 50 by Rosslyn but not too bad.

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