BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA) -- Tuesday's forecast is rough not just for weather. Traffic is likely to be brutal too.
AAA Mid-Atlantic calls it Terrible Traffic Tuesday, the day summer vacations are over and millions of people are getting back on the roads into some of the worst gridlock in the country.
And this year could be even worse because the military's Base Realignment could put tens of thousands more cars on the region's roads.
Set your alarm extra early to deal with it.
AAA says the Tuesday after Labor Day often brings the worst traffic of the year. "It slaps you upside the head," says AAA's John Townsend. "It punches you in the nose, because you've been away from it."
Despite all the efforts to get us out of our cars, three quarters of us still drive to work, and the vast majority drive solo.
Nearly three million workers... nearly three quarters of a million students... and 5634 school buses.
Limo driver Robert Harrison is in it all the time. "Starting tomorrow, schools are open, it's back to bumper to bumper traffic. And you've got to use you ingenuity to get around."
School teacher Amanda Bowman, who commutes from Annapolis to Burtonsville, says her strategy is to pull on the road during one short window -- that or see her commuting time stretch an extra hour. "There's one window... 9 minutes... that's when you hit the road."
AAA says base realignment will add another 40-thousand cars to area roads. And that's going to make a whole lot of days worse. "Not just terrible Tuesday," says Townsend, "but Woeful Wednesday, Tragic Thursday and Frightful Friday."
AAA Mid-Atlantic says there is no way to build enough roads to deal with the traffic. One solution: telecommuting. 600-thousand of us already do it. Now if you can just convince your boss.
Written and Reported by Bruce Leshan
9News Now & wusa9.com