KIRKLAND, Wash., May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- INRIX®, a leading provider of traffic information and driver services, released its annual Memorial Day weekend getaway traffic forecast estimating a significant increase in DC traffic this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year, particularly on Friday, May 23. The upswing in congestion is consistent with data from the INRIX Traffic Scorecard Annual Report released in March, which ranked Washington, DC as the 10th most congested city in the U.S. where drivers wasted on average 40 hours last year in gridlock.
The combination of an improving economy and a desire to do more than just a 'staycation' after one of the toughest winters of recent memory is expected to translate into more traffic over the holiday weekend. However, DC-area drivers can avoid bumper-to-bumper traffic with INRIX's help. Based on analysis of current traffic trends, economic trends and historical traffic patterns from previous holidays, INRIX recommends the following to drivers looking to avoid the worst delays heading out of town:
- Depart between 10-11 a.m. on Friday. INRIX's analysis predicts the ideal window to get out of town will be right after morning rush hour. This could be drivers' golden opportunity to escape the worst of the holiday traffic before the late afternoon rush ensues, which will start earlier than usual on Friday.
- Alternatively, leave by 12 p.m. or after 7 p.m. to avoid the worst delays. Rush hour on Friday afternoon is expected to be its worst between 3-5 p.m. when the average trip will take nearly 40 percent longer than normal. If drivers cannot leave right after the morning rush hour, ideally between 10-11 a.m., they should depart before 12 p.m. to avoid the worst traffic. Otherwise, traffic heading out of Washington, DC should be relatively clear by 7 p.m.
- Download the INRIX XD™ Traffic mobile app. INRIX's app provides real-time traffic information covering arterials; city streets and other secondary roads that will help drivers avoid congestion with minimal delay.
Route Insights for Nearby Holiday Destinations
Additionally, INRIX examined traffic flow to popular destinations within driving distance from the Washington, DC area. INRIX recommends leaving before 12 p.m. if traveling to these areas on Friday, May 23.
Richmond, VA (for drivers headed to Virginia Beach, VA)
- Peak Travel Time: 2-4 p.m.
- Anticipated Drive Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes via I-95. Drivers are expected to experience at least 1 hour and 20 minutes of delay due to traffic at this time.
Harpers Ferry, WV
- Peak Travel Time: 4-6 p.m.
- Anticipated Drive Time: 2 hours, 55 minutes via I-270. Drivers are expected to experience at least 1 hour and 40 minutes of delay at this time.
Ocean City, MD
- Peak Travel Time: 2-4 p.m.
- Anticipated Drive Time: 5 hours, 25 minutes via US-50. Drivers are expected to experience at least 2 hours and 40 minutes of delay at this time.
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