10 worst areas for traffic jams in the DC region

While most commuters around D.C. have their own opinions as to where to find terrible traffic jams, an organization that helps set transportation priorities for the region has released a top 10 list that pinpoints which bottlenecks actually are the worst.

According to the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, the worst bottleneck is in the Woodbridge area of Virginia, in the southbound stretch of Interstate 95 approaching Gordon Boulevard, which is right next to the Occoquan River.

That particular spot is “unrivaled as the region’s top bottleneck in both frequency and severity,” the board said.



The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board released a top 10 list that pinpoints which bottlenecks are the worst in the D.C. area.

Ranked second on the list is the northbound side of that same stretch of I-95 by the Occoquan River.

The third worst bottleneck, according to the board, is in the District along DC-295 heading south at East Capitol Street where the number of lanes is reduced from three to two.

Ranked fourth is northbound in Maryland on the Baltimore Washington Parkway approaching Powder Mill Road in Beltsville. Fifth on the list is northbound I-95 at Backlick Road in Springfield, Virginia.

Other top bottlenecks cited by the list are in Maryland including U.S. Route 301 at McKendree Road in Brandywine; the Inner Loop of the Capital Beltway at Interstate 270 in Bethesda; and both northbound and southbound sides of I-270 at Old Hundred Road in Clarksburg.

Also in the top 10 was Interstate 66 westbound in Virginia at the Prince William Parkway in Manassas.

The results were gathered using traffic data over a 12 year period from 2010 through 2021.

According to the board, the data came from vehicle speeds tracked by Inrix, a private company that provides location-based data and real-time and historical traffic conditions.

The report defines a bottleneck as an area that has a “beginning point for a queue” and “free flow traffic conditions downstream of the bottleneck that have returned to nominal or design conditions.”

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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