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Traveling South I-95/85 versus Rt 29
Old 08-17-2011, 12:00 PM   #1
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Traveling South I-95/85 versus Rt 29

I am getting ready to drive to Charlotte. NormallyI-95 to I-85.

Google suggests alternative taking Rt 29 from Charlottesville down to Charlotte, using VA3 to get from Fredrickburg to Charlottesville.

Shows it 5 minutes longer and 7 miles shorter.

My only expereince with RT 29 is up in the DC/MD area where it is more of a local road.

Anyone familiar with Rt29 in the VA/NC area - is it an expressway or traffic lights through towns etc?

Thanks
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Old 08-17-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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I've driven 29 from Danville, Va to just south of Charlottesville. It alternates between 4 lane, divided (kind of hilly) and 4 lane interstate quality. Very few traffic lights. Actually, I can only remember 1 light near Lovingston, Va.
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:26 PM   #3
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Driven 29 C'ville to DC (Dulles, usually) more times than I care to remember, also the Rt. 3. It can be a PITA for sure, but 95 seems to be getting worse every day, with the prospect of creeping along at walking speed, or even stopped, at a number of choke points.

You don't say where you're coming from, but if you have some time & would enjoy a more relaxed drive that's maybe not much longer, you might consider Rt 3 from F'burg, south on 20 thru Orange, VA, then South on 15 thru Gordonsville, then 215 south to 22 to 250 to I64 to 29 at Charlottesville, then South. Really a nice drive through some very pretty country.

At this stage of my life I avoid prolonged interstate travel if possible.

Good luck!
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Old 08-17-2011, 04:42 PM   #4
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I live just off I-95 in northern Va. and we drive to Durham N.C. frequently. I can tell you that you should not use I-95 South to get to I-85 unless you have flexibility as to when you leave. On Fridays I-95 South, until you get past Fredricksburg, Va. backs up starting in early morning and remains horribly slow until late in the day on Saturday.

We always travel to N.C. on Thurs. morning, leaving after 10am and take I-95 to I-85. Pretty much 70mph all the way.

Any late morning during the week (except Fri.) you should be OK on I-95. But other times I recommend you try one of the mentioned alternatives
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:02 PM   #5
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I've driven that way many times. It's a pretty pleasant road, much as rgarling says, only there are a few more lights south of Lynchburg and north of Danville. South of Danville I think it is mostly freeway type access until near Greensboro.

BOBOT has the right route down to Cville, and it bypasses Cville and all of its lights north on 29. South of Cville is rural. Lynchburg and Danville are both bypassed as well. Really there are no towns you drive through, just a few places where the speed limit drops to 45. Mostly it is 60, or 65 where it is limited access.

At times it's pretty well patrolled, and sometimes I don't see any troopers. Nelson County (where I live) south of Cville has a rep for being pretty bad. I actually don't drive that stretch too often because I'm on the western edge of the county and have other routes to get north or south.

If you want to avoid interstates, this is a good way. If you don't care, it's probably whichever is easier to get to, I-95 or 3. Personally, I know I-95 is a mess around DC and Richmond but if you're leaving in the morning you're going against traffic, and 85 never seemed bad. My memory is that there is a string of lights on 3 near I-95 but I've only been that way a time or two. I actually don't know the stretch around DC too well so what Grumpy says is probably more accurate.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:08 PM   #6
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starting in delaware early on a thursday morning. Normally head towards annapolis and use 301 to avoid DC - has some lights but usually beats the beltway traffic.

Thanks for the suggestions I'll look at them

Definitely hate 95
Thanks
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:29 PM   #7
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I used to live in Maryland just off of 301. When we went to N.C. from there we took 301 south thru Waldorf and LaPlata (a few lights through there) and across the Potomac River on 301. Then pick up 207 which is a pretty rolling 4 lane through rural countryside. That brings you into I-95 just north of Kings Dominion (well south of the bad traffic area of I-95 and just a half hour north of Richmond. Then its an easy drive on I-95 to I-85. I-85 never has much traffic and I set the cruise control at 80 until crossing into N.C. then 75 the rest of the way.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
My memory is that there is a string of lights on 3 near I-95 but I've only been that way a time or two.
Route 3 has gotten very developed over the years and there are a lot of lights near 95. It is the main shopping destination for the area, and the lights keep pushing out from 95. It can get pretty crowded, but if you will be there midday on a Thursday you shouldn't have any problem.

I second BOBOT's back route to 29. My family takes this route regularly from Fredericksburg to Cville. The speed limit does get pretty low going through the towns and there are a lot of 2-lane roads, but at least you are moving, which is more than can be said for 95 at times!
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Old 08-18-2011, 06:27 AM   #9
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Take the road less traveled (29), except through Northern Virginia/ DC. Get on 29 @ I-66, in Virginia and head south. You will enjoy it more than I-95. There are more lights, but also more life! Drive safely.
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