Aug 31, 2023 - News

How to avoid Labor Day traffic nightmares in D.C.

Illustration of a steering wheel as a clock with a highlighted portion in red

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Friday afternoon before Labor Day is projected to be the busiest time on the road in D.C. this holiday weekend.

Why it matters: Planning to drive during off times could save you hours in the car.

Zoom in: The peak congestion period is expected from the District to Baltimore via the Balt/Wash Pkwy at 1:45pm on Friday, according to INRIX, a provider of transportation data that works with AAA.

  • That route is expected to take an hour and 9 minutes — 33% longer than the typical travel time.

INRIX reports that overall the times with the least amount of traffic this holiday weekend are:

  • Thursday before 7am.
  • Friday before 11am.
  • Saturday after 6pm.
  • Sunday anytime (minimal traffic is expected overall).
  • Monday after 7pm.

What they're saying: "The best times to travel by car over Labor Day weekend are early in the morning or in the evening," says Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX.

  • "If you must travel during heavy traffic, navigation apps and local departments of transportation can help steer drivers around long delays."
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