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One stretch of I-95 'unrivaled' for traffic jams, new report finds

The National Capitol Region Transportation Planning Board released a new report that ranks the DMV's worst bottlenecks.
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WASHINGTON — A new traffic analysis by the National Capital Region Transportation Board ranks some of the DMV's worst traffic spots. While the report offers a top 10 list of the region's worst areas for bottlenecks, Interstate 95 in Woodbridge, Virginia, reigns supreme. 

According to the report, Southbound I-95 at VA-123/Exit 160 (near the Occoquan River) is "unrivaled as the region’s top bottleneck in both frequency and severity."

The northbound side of that same stretch of road is ranked No. 2 on the list. 

Other top bottlenecks include Southbound DC-295 at East Capital Street coming in at No. 3, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway northbound at Powdermill Road.

The analysis looked at traffic data over 12 years from 2010 to 2021. The particular stretch of I-95 appeared in the top 10 worst bottlenecks every year. Several other locations appeared in the top ten bottlenecks seven or more times in the 12-year period. 

READ: The full presentation can be found below:

Elements that define a bottle neck for the purposes of the board's report are:

  • A traffic queue upstream of the bottleneck 
  • A beginning point for a queue 
  • Free flow traffic conditions downstream of the bottleneck that have returned to nominal or design conditions 
  • As it pertains to an operational deficiency, a predictable recurring cause 
  • Traffic volumes that exceed the capability of the confluence to process traffic

Credit: Transportation Planning Board

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