The Roads in DC: Epic Fail

I wanted to go to class tonight. I did. We were talking about a book that I had strong opinions about, that I spent a lot of time thinking about. However, the 7-mile drive from home to the Virginia Tech campus was not to be. I knew I was in trouble when the intersection of Route 7 and my street was backed up and not moving. I gave it my all, but when after 80 minutes in the car I wasn’t a mile from home, I gave up and turned around.


The roads are downright awful out there tonight. Parts of the Beltway are closed. Several major interchanges are closed due to horrific ice, there are 20 car pileups and there’s an ice storm warming until tomorrow morning at 7, it’s just pretty freakin’ awful out there.

I know you’ve probably got awful stories, please relay them in the comments.

5 Comments so far

  1. Sonny Hashmi (unregistered) on February 12th, 2008 @ 9:13 pm

    I got acquainted with the devil ice as I was carrying my 18 month old son down some concrete steps outside my apartment and next thing I know I am sitting sitting on my back-side wondering how I got there. Still hurts.

    It took us 1.5 hours to go 1.2 miles to the polling station in Alexandria. Ive never seen traffic just stopped. Not moving at all. All the back roads, big arteries, small roads, back alley shortcuts, were standstill in Alexandria around 6:00pm or so.

    Never seen anything like it before

  2. Max (unregistered) on February 12th, 2008 @ 11:27 pm

    My commute from Falls Church home to DC normally takes 20-25 minutes, but today it took an hour and I saw three accidents, one where a car was turned over on its side.

    Thanks, Mother Nature!

  3. Ben R (unregistered) on February 12th, 2008 @ 11:43 pm

    I left at 4, as usual, from Vienna. Heard that the Mixing Bowl was turning into the Great Icicle Slide, so hit my alternate route, Gallows Road.

    And sat.

    And sat.

    Flipped to Lee Hwy after sitting and moving less than 100 feet in 50 minutes and worked my way west and slowly, south. Every single road was jammed with slowly-crawling cars. And the asphalt wasn’t icey at all, it was just jammed with traffic as people bailed from the Beltway. I was floored – only those roads with ‘no outlet’ had no traffic on them; every single residential, back alleyway, pass-through and even mall through-ways were just packed end-to-end. I’ve never seen such a thing.

    To top it all off, the Fairfax County Parkway was a solid line of headlights from Braddock Road to Beulah Road on the westbound side, which is (IIRC) roughly 12 miles. Fortunately, I was headed eastbound, which had a bit more room thanks to the four ambulances that drove through in the span of 25 minutes.

    Ended up at home at 6:30. Heard that every single ramp on and off the Springfield interchange had at least 2 accidents on it. And that parts of the Beltway were closed – not because of any official act (that I knew of), but because no cars were moving.

    My wife left via carpool from DuPont Circle at 5. Got home at 8. She reported that the HOV was a solid wall of cars not moving; they worked their way through the morass of Old Towne and down Telegraph Road.

    By far the worst traffic I’ve *ever* seen, and that includes the Valentine’s Day blizzard in Chicago back in ’92.

  4. latinainVA (unregistered) on February 12th, 2008 @ 11:50 pm

    word, my man got stuck coming home from work, we live in virginia, so thank god he voted in the morning or else he’d have totally missed the opportunity to vote.
    polls closed @ 7 here.
    he turned off the car off the 1 close to the 95, i don’t know how that makes sense but that’s what he said, and basically he luckily is a man and could relive himself into a cup every now and then, but he was in traffic for over an hour, without moving. coming north.

  5. The Blonde (unregistered) on February 13th, 2008 @ 7:12 am

    It took me over two hours to get home and I took the metro! Basically, I have to take bus from the Pentagon to my neighborhood, but since 395 was completely shut down, there were no buses running. I had to get back on the metro, go to another stop and call a friend to come and pick me up … and it took her over an hour to go 3 miles.

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