Worst traffic merges in D.C. metro area

Southbound GW Parkway to Northbound I- 395/14th Street Bridge: After rounding a tightly-curved clover leaf, this ramp leaves motorists with no acceleration room once they arrive at Interstate 395. Arlington motorists must wait at the top of this ramp for breaks in the relentless inbound traffic flow just south of the 14th Street Bridge. Accidents frequently occur as motorists jackrabbit from the ramp into the northbound lanes, forcing oncoming traffic to veer wildly to the left.
Firth Sterling Ave. to Northbound I-295: In the Anacostia area, the ever-changing landscape of the 11th Street Bridge construction site has motorists throwing caution to the wind as they merge off Firth Sterling Avenue into the northbound lanes of Interstate 295. Those who seek access to the inbound 11th Street Bridge from Firth Sterling Avenue and Howard Road are forced to weave across three lanes of I-295 in less than 1,500 feet. Project planners hope that the opening of the new Anacostia Local Bridge will give motorists from Anacostia a more desirable option to access the Navy Yard and Capitol Hill rather than taking their chances with I-295.
Third Street Tunnel to the Westbound Southwest Freeway: One of the worst interstate weaves in the Washington area occurs when southbound travelers from the Third Street Tunnel encounter westbound through traffic on the Southwest Freeway. Commuters from the tunnel who are headed into Virginia must wrestle their way leftward into the through lanes while dodging motorists merging right onto the Maine Ave and Seventh Street exits. Major delays result from this phenomenon on the Southwest Freeway. (WTOP/David Dildine)
Outbound Pennsylvania Ave to Northbound DC- 295: The merge onto northbound DC-295 (Kenilworth Avenue) from outbound Pennsylvania Avenue ranks high on the list simply because of the chronic delays that plague this afternoon commuting route. After crossing the John P. Sousa Bridge, motorists are funneled into a double left-turn lane and forced to wait at a long traffic signal. Once beyond the light, traffic is compressed from two lanes to one on a pothole-ridden ramp that leads onto Kenilworth Avenue.
Waterside Dr./Mass. Ave. to Southbound Rock Creek Pkwy: Drivers face a daunting merge in the District of Columbia when they exit Waterside Drive onto southbound Rock Creek Parkway. Waterside Drive provides a connection between Massachusetts Avenue and the Rock Creek Parkway. Waterside ends at Rock Creek, depositing traffic onto the left side of the parkway. This left merge is preceded by a bend in the parkway's southbound lanes, which decreases line-of-sight.
P St. NW to Northbound Rock Creek Pkwy: In Northwest D.C. a large number of property-damage crashes occur on the ramp from Dupont Circle's P Street NW to the northbound lanes of the Rock Creek Parkway. The angle of approach makes this merge especially difficult. The sharp curve in the northbound lanes of the Rock Creek Parkway leading up to this ramp adds further complication. During times of increased volume, very few breaks in the traffic flow make this merge a headache for motorists. (WTOP/David Dildine)
Northbound DC-295 to Eastbound US Route 50: DC-295's northbound lanes routinely back up outbound from the Anacostia River bridges during the afternoon commute. Outbound commuters headed into Maryland must endure rush-hour congestion caused by a merge onto eastbound Route 50 -- a one-lane ramp that carries a large amount of afternoon volume into Prince George's County, Md. Anxious and selfish motorists are often seen cutting in near the beginning of the ramp, further slowing everyone else waiting in the line. Rear-end collisions leading up to the merge are a routine sight.
Ninth St. Tunnel to EB SE/SW Freeway: In Southwest D.C., wrecks at the bottom of the ramp from the Ninth Street Tunnel to the eastbound Southwest Freeway are a common occurrence. The left on-ramp plants traffic into the fast lane of the freeway and there is no merge room between the end of the ramp and the left through lane. Rear-end crashes are most common here as it is often necessary to stop altogether to wait for a break in traffic flow. In other cases, motorists can be seen barreling down the ramp unaware that there is no continuation of the ramp lane at the freeway, forcing oncoming traffic to veer wildly into the center lanes.
Memorial Circle/Washington Blvd to SB GW Parkway: Many motorists, residents and those from out of town alike have trouble maneuvering through D.C.'s traffic circles. Memorial Circle is particularly difficult to navigate around, especially when travel volume is high. From the circle, those travelers who are destined for I-395, Reagan National Airport or Old Town Alexandria must first merge into the southbound lanes of the George Washington Parkway. The ramp, an offshoot of Washington Boulevard, injects traffic onto the parkway on the left side. Left merges are particularly perilous. Additionally, there is very little acceleration area between the downhill side of the ramp and the fast lane of the parkway.
NB GW Parkway to Inner Loop: Afternoon commuters who use the northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway to get to the Beltway expect a long line of traffic in the right lane waiting to merge onto the Inner Loop. These motorists also must endure the added frustration of queue jumpers, many with Maryland license plates, who zoom down the left lane and cut in line at the last moment. Fender-benders can worsen outbound delays that often form well before Route 123/Chain Bridge Road. This ramp is also a hotspot for rollover accidents, especially when it rains.
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