The District is notorious for its agonizing traffic, and most of it can be concentrated to two major highways: I-495, also known as the Beltway, which encircles the city in one big, slow loop, and I-395, which connects Northern Virginia and downtown D.C. Washingtonians spent an average of 40 hours in traffic last year, which is actually a decrease of an hour from 2012.
“Washington, for the most part, revolves around government," reasons Bak. "When the government is humming, the city thrives, but the government shut for a month in October and government hiring in Washington dropped 2 percent last year. Yes, it’s a small drop, but it’s enough to cause a shift in commuter behavior. You could argue that without the sequester, the traffic numbers probably would have stayed the same.”
Worst Corridor: I-395/I-95 between Franconia Road and Russell Road, a stretch of nearly 24 miles.
Worst Hour: Fridays at 4 p.m.
Travel Tip: Use the Metro. There are Metro stations peppering the suburbs outside the District, many with large parking lots. It's highly recommended to drive, park and ride.