Morning Poll: ‘Terrible Traffic Tuesday’ Takes its Toll

by ARLnow.com September 6, 2011 at 8:54 am 2,560 28 Comments

The Tuesday after Labor Day in Washington is traditionally known as ‘Terrible Traffic Tuesday.’

The monicker, which comes from AAA Mid-Atlantic, refers to the sudden, jolting return to heavy traffic that occurs when Washingtonians return from their summer vacations and head back to work — while students in Virginia, at the same time, head back to school.

Among other traffic jams, nearly the entire length of northbound I-395 was slow this morning, from the 14th Street Bridge through Alexandria.

How was your commute, either on the roads or on transit?

  • Stanely

    My commute was great. The traffic on the GW bike path was light, as I went buzzing past the bumper-to-bumper, full stop, traffic trying to make it over the 14th St bridge.

  • JamesE

    The rain didn’t help when people are incapable of driving the speed limit due to fear of wet roads.

  • Josh

    All I wanted to do was drop my fiance off at Pentagon City Metro, and we ran into slow traffic on the short stretch of Washington Blvd that crosses under 395.

    At least 395 south was fine getting to Bailey’s Crossroads.

  • Lou

    No problems whatsoever. It’s called getting to work by 7:30, slackers.

    • Novanglus

      Exactly. Now the kids take the school bus instead of needing rides to camp, so I can leave for work 90 minutes earlier. Great commute up GWP and 270 this morning. Tonight will probably suck, though.

      • CW

        Wow, sounds exciting. I’d be chomping at the bit too. Wait, no, that sounds horrific.

  • Wm S

    Watching residential street traffic today – very heavy – and 70% of drivers should be ticketed for exceeding safe speed – kids on the street, school buses, no one has slowed down, stop them and ticket them please APD.

  • Josh S

    Train was actually even slightly less packed than usual. Roads to station were about the same, maybe even a little on the light side overall. I have to say, I was surprised.

  • Surprisingly lighter than expected this morning for me. But, when I thought about it, I’m now expecting it to be horrible tomorrow instead. Today is the first day back to school, and I bet a lot of parents still took today off after the long weekend or coming back from vacations. Tomorrow will be the real heavy day.

    • TinkerBell

      You’re right, Wednesday is the ‘normal’ heaviest day for traffic anyway. People telecommute or work abbreviated weeks around the weekends, so Mondays approximate Fridays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are heavier, and Wednesday is the thickest.

      Years ago I took a series of Wednesdays off, and it was absolutely wonderful — mini 2-day work weeks and doing errands mid-day Wednesday didn’t run into a lot of others doing errands.

      • HP2000

        In my experience… next week will be the real test. There are still people taking this week off for vacation. Everyone will be back next week.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    My commute from Arlington to Tysons was about the same – 15 minutes. I’ve done the early bird commute for years at various jobs. Get to the office by 6:45 and leave by 3:45. Except for Friday afternoons, when rush hour backups seem to start by 2:30, I manage to avoid the worst of the traffic (except for when snow/earthquake/butterflies burping funny cause every office in Tysons to release people all at the same time!)

  • CW

    Cycle commute was as usual time-wise, but the Key Bridge was jammed more than normal. Conversely and paradoxically, however, Lynn St. in Rosslyn seemed almost empty compared to the normal chaos.

  • JimPB

    My commute to the home office for teleworking was the usual smooth and quick.

    How “up” are the creeks and the Potomac?

    Have the wind bursts toppled more trees, their roots having lost traction in the soggy soil.

    • shirley

      JimPB: Major flooding is coming. More than we’ve seen in the last 20 years. I know. We are about to flood out Georgetown.
      here is water at Little Falls and what it is projected to do over the next 72 hours — these figures are based on uprvier spikes that have already occurred in WVA.

      • yequalsy

        Ugh. Something tells me the Nations Tri this weekend is about to become the Nations Duathlon, again. Blech.

        • shirley

          rain predictions have been lowered and thus flooding.
          BUT the water is going to be SUPER YUCK on Saturday.
          Time to race the dead cows.

  • shirley

    and today is this big day for BRAC moving to i-395.

  • Steve

    How would any of us know? Aren’t we all supposed to be progressives here in Arlington living a car-free diet? I took the metro this morning. How would I know if traffic is bad?

    • drax

      You’re starting to get it, Steve. Even if you don’t realize it.

  • steve85

    No problems on the !6Y heading into DC. The usual backups on Route 50 and that’s it. Still made it to work on time. We will see about that tomorrow!!

  • DB

    Took the Memorial Bridge due to the accident on the 14th St. Bridge. Coming from Col. Pike it was totally backed up until I squeezed onto the exit for Wash Blvd/Mem Bridge. Then I surprisingly sailed into DC.

  • Garden City

    I couldn’t tell if my commute from Arlington to IAD was a little slower this morning due to more cars or the rain. I’ll have to wait until the next pretty morning to figure it out.

  • rachel

    I had a fabulous commute – working from home today.

    • Me, too! The commute was pretty quick!

    • R.Griffon

      My first thought when reading the survey…

      • Alex


  • Pablo Hector Ortiz-Diego

    Our car pool was great!!!!!


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