Our return to the "great" northeast

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  #1  
Old 04-23-2011, 06:53 AM
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Default Our return to the "great" northeast

Our previous visits to TV have been by plane. This time we were able to spend 4 months so we drove.
We regretfully headed back to upstate NY earlier this week. Everything went well the 1st day. Traffic was reasonable, mostly everyone did the speed limit and road conditions were fine.
The 2nd day on the road wasn't anything like the first. We left North Carolina and traffic got heavier and faster. It was like a free-for-all!
Washinton DC was an eye opener. Most everyone drove over 80 MPH.
Once we got into New Jersey, there were several areas of road construction. The speed limit was reduced to 45 MPH. I gradually reduced my speed to 55MPH or so and heard brakes squeeling behind me. This happened more than once. People were blowing their horns and giving me the "salute." I obviously didn't want to get rear-ended and didn't want to impede the flow of traffic so I sped up even faster.
Here's the question:
Should you do 80MPH in a 65MPH zone that's been reduced to 45MPH in a construction zone or obey the law, do 45MPH and risk a collision?
PS...we're safely home...woke up this morning and there's FRESH SNOW on the ground!!!
WE already miss TV.
  #2  
Old 04-23-2011, 08:32 AM
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Many, many, many years ago, my driving instructor in high school always told us to keep up with the flow of traffic. Slower speeds cause situations like you describe and drivers pull out and around you causing potential problems in other lanes. Faster drivers can cause problems by weaving around other cars.

That said, I think I would have found one of the right lanes and tried to keep a reasonable speed. I don't think the state police or highway patrol buys the excuse that we were only keeping up with the flow when doing 80 in a zone reduced to 45 for construction.

I usually try to bypass DC entirely and go through northern NJ and across to CT, RI and MA when visiting my SIL. Takes more time, but easier on the nerves.
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:28 AM
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And we avoid much of the stress by taking the auto train then stopping to see 1 son in Arlington (about 20 minutes from the auto train) and another son in Baltimore. Once I've gotten my "road legs" back, I can make it to Syracuse without the ever-present sense of impending death. I credit the auto train with both saving my marriage and averting a murder!
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  #4  
Old 04-23-2011, 09:58 AM
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Default Up North...

We too are up North..the drive was great..its all about timing...avoid D.C. & NYC at rush hours.... 20.5 hours on road for a trip who's best time is 20 hours.

For our reward I had to go to the trash transfer station this AM.....the hard rain only made better by the bitter cold (for April) temps!!!

Can I come home soon??? May 5th can't come too soon.
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  #5  
Old 04-23-2011, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philnpat View Post
PS...we're safely home...woke up this morning and there's FRESH SNOW on the ground!!!
WE already miss TV.
I'd give you my condolences, but were already back up here and in the same boat!

BTW, you must have gotten all the snow this morning. Down here in the valley (we're roughtly 20 minutes away from each other) we only got rain!
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  #6  
Old 04-23-2011, 12:00 PM
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you asked:
"Here's the question:
Should you do 80MPH in a 65MPH zone that's been reduced to 45MPH in a construction zone or obey the law, do 45MPH and risk a collision?"

my response: NO!

road raged husband and i make this trip from jersey to various points south [villages, hilton head, family in n.c.] several times a year...we leave jersey on a sat so that we can drive thru the d.c. area with just the shoppers and a few semis rather than the commuters and lots of trucks. on the return trip we plan it so that we are driving thru the d.c. area on a sunday and will only have the sports fans [baseball and football seasons are the busiest times] to contend with.

road raged husband will normally drive the speed limit + 5 to 10 miles per hour in the center lane; and will use the left lane just for passing. when i have to make the trip solo i usually use the truckers as my guide since they have their cb radios and know where the pitfalls are. if i feel that my husband's road rage is escalating, i just tell him that we need to stop at the next rest area - that gets him off the road for a few mins - sorta like a "time out" for kids!

neither of us becomes overly concerned with the drivers behind us since we are not your typical left lane dick or jane and we feel that those drivers can just pass us if they please. we find that once we clear virginia we do encounter more of those left lane drivers; and have decided that they clog up that left lane "just because they can".

i do believe that the frequency of our travel, our lack of youth and the fact that we are both now retired and have nowhere else to go has helped our attitude. we try very hard to just sit back and enjoy the ride. the january drive to the villages is sometimes the hardest due to changing weather conditions along the way.

we have incorporated the 2-day drive as part of out vacation travel. we visit the same rest areas, motels and restaurants; and we enjoy checking things out along the way to see what is new. but deep down we still keep a little bit of that "jersey" attitude - jut in case!
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Last edited by njbchbum; 04-23-2011 at 04:58 PM.
  #7  
Old 04-23-2011, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philnpat View Post
Our previous visits to TV have been by plane. This time we were able to spend 4 months so we drove.
We regretfully headed back to upstate NY earlier this week. Everything went well the 1st day. Traffic was reasonable, mostly everyone did the speed limit and road conditions were fine.
The 2nd day on the road wasn't anything like the first. We left North Carolina and traffic got heavier and faster. It was like a free-for-all!
Washinton DC was an eye opener. Most everyone drove over 80 MPH.
Once we got into New Jersey, there were several areas of road construction. The speed limit was reduced to 45 MPH. I gradually reduced my speed to 55MPH or so and heard brakes squeeling behind me. This happened more than once. People were blowing their horns and giving me the "salute." I obviously didn't want to get rear-ended and didn't want to impede the flow of traffic so I sped up even faster.
Here's the question:
Should you do 80MPH in a 65MPH zone that's been reduced to 45MPH in a construction zone or obey the law, do 45MPH and risk a collision?
PS...we're safely home...woke up this morning and there's FRESH SNOW on the ground!!!
WE already miss TV.
You must have had a bad day. I've made this trip many times and never came anywhere near 80 MPH in or around D.C. Traffic does get wild at times but at other times you could row a boat faster. I always time my trip to avoid rush hour.
Same with Jersey. Don't know what road you were on but the turnpike usually moves pretty well. There's construction here and there and traffic moves along but 80 in a 45? Haven't seen that either. I usually get off the turnpike at exit 11 and onto the GSP. That road can definitely get crazy through the Oranges but it's nothing to really worry about. Just go with the flow. That's the advice I got from a Jersey trooper who's engaged to my niece. He patrols that section of the GSP and he's a whole lot more concerned with people swerving in and out of traffic and driving aggressively than speeders.
Sounds like you're not accustomed to driving in heavy traffic at highway speeds. If you do it enough it's like anything else. You get used to it and don't get all stressed out.
I'm in NY too and it's way too cold. Wet too. No snow here but just generally miserable weather.
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Old 04-26-2011, 03:57 PM
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We drove down on Sunday April 17th, the day after the tornadoes hit NC and it took us about 3 hours to go 15 miles. The reason, everybody rubber-necking to see some torn up billboards laying across a field.

Today, we arrived home in Baltimore at about 11:30 and we left TV about noon yesterday. The difference was the Autotrain. We drove about 45 miles east to Sanford, walked around Seminole Mall for a while and had lunch. Checked in at the station and the train pulled out at 4:00 PM and we arrived in Lorton, VA (about 10 miles south of Alexandria) at 9:30 AM this morning.

Yes, it's more expensive, for two adults and a larger size car it was $750 which included dinner and breakfast, but with the price of gas plus a motel and all the aggravation it was worth it. The only downside, was having to drive around the D.C. beltway and crossing the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:21 PM
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We left TV on Saturday morning to get back to NY. Traffic was fine until South Carolina and it got very heavy, just a steady stream of cars going 75mph! Hit North Carolina and the traffic got worse, and then all of a sudden it stopped and for 20 miles we were crawling. I thought to myself if it was going to be this way all the way to NY we would never get home. But as an earlier post mentioned, everyone was rubbernecking to look at downed trees and signs due to the tornadoes. Once we passed that the traffic picked up to 75 again. I am already looking into the auto train for our trip back in August!
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Old 04-26-2011, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluedog103 View Post

I'm in NY too and it's way too cold. Wet too. No snow here but just generally miserable weather.
We're currently in Canada, way cooler than Florida, but I don't mind it because spring is just around the corner. I do enjoy cooler weather, but I miss my daily swim.

When we travel from The Villages to Ontario, we always take Interstates 95/77/79. We left The Bubble on April 18 and I was amazed at how many snowbirds were on the roads returning North. We always have a great, stress-free drive with the route we take.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:59 AM
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Nothing personal, But not everyone is suited to drive the northeast corridor (I95 from Richmond to Boston) A slower cautious driver on this road is as dangerous as an aggressive driver probably more so. When your running below the speed of traffic it causes other drivers to make unnecessary moves to get around you. Believe it or not a couple of slower drivers running in close proximity of each other will cause a backup, especially if they are in the center or left lanes.

The Auto train will take you to DC but you still have to deal with the rest of the trip

But let me offer a solution. When you reach Richmond take I64 west over to I81 from there you can follow I81 north to Binghamton NY. It will add some miles and time but its a much more relaxed route. I81 does have its moments but they are fewer and farther between
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:18 AM
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Once you reach the Baltimore area, take I 97 S to Rt. 301. Stay on this into Virginia until you can pick up I 95 near Richmond. During the week it is still very busy from Crofton through St. Charles, MD, but if you go through on a weekend it can actually be a pleasant drive. The same applies to coming back N.

We avoid the DC area at all costs. My nervous and digestive systems just won't take it.

By the way, aren't the penalties pretty stiff for speeding through an active construction zone?
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philnpat View Post
Our previous visits to TV have been by plane. This time we were able to spend 4 months so we drove.
We regretfully headed back to upstate NY earlier this week. Everything went well the 1st day. Traffic was reasonable, mostly everyone did the speed limit and road conditions were fine.
The 2nd day on the road wasn't anything like the first. We left North Carolina and traffic got heavier and faster. It was like a free-for-all!
Washinton DC was an eye opener. Most everyone drove over 80 MPH.
Once we got into New Jersey, there were several areas of road construction. The speed limit was reduced to 45 MPH. I gradually reduced my speed to 55MPH or so and heard brakes squeeling behind me. This happened more than once. People were blowing their horns and giving me the "salute." I obviously didn't want to get rear-ended and didn't want to impede the flow of traffic so I sped up even faster.
Here's the question:
Should you do 80MPH in a 65MPH zone that's been reduced to 45MPH in a construction zone or obey the law, do 45MPH and risk a collision?
PS...we're safely home...woke up this morning and there's FRESH SNOW on the ground!!!
WE already miss TV.
I would reduce my speed for the proper road conditions. I have heard the police will keep writing a speeding ticket without blinking if the excuse is, "I was going with the flow of traffic". I would move to the travelling lane and let the faster drivers pass, to hopefully avoid any emergency move that might have to be made when people are in a big hurry and weaving in and out of traffic. Sometimes it's hard to avoid some reckless drivers.

On the Merritt Parkway in CT, I ususally set the speed control at 68 for a 55 zone and there are many drivers who pass me like I am standing still. Some people will say that I drive too fast but I want to follow the laws but still be safe. Another person I know said he hasn't been stopped ever for speeding doing this. My nephew says that I don't drive fast, I just have to be first.

My pet peeve - I have yet to figure out why people drive in the passing lane on a two lane parkway when they have no one to pass. It would be nice for them to move over because if one passes them on the right lane, they are breaking the law.

Since I have never driven to FL, I would tend to obey all the speed limits that are posted. Hopefully, I will get there safe and not stressed out.

Glad to hear your home safe and sound.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:26 AM
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I'm the original poster of this thread. Thanks for all the suggestions!
I think next time we'll take 81 down from Binghamton to mid-Va.and we'll see how it goes.
For 35 years I had a job that required me to be behind the wheel in all types of traffic. I accomplished this without an accident or ticket. I've never seen the abrupt lane changing and speeding that I saw on the Garden State Pkwy on our return trip. I can assure you all that I didn't venture into the middle or left lane either.
I guess being on that road is a lose-lose situation. You can be ticketed for both impeding the flow of traffic and speeding at the same time!
New Jersey should use remote ticket cams ... with what they'd collect, they'd be able to balance their state budget!
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philnpat View Post
I'm the original poster of this thread. Thanks for all the suggestions!
I think next time we'll take 81 down from Binghamton to mid-Va.and we'll see how it goes.
For 35 years I had a job that required me to be behind the wheel in all types of traffic. I accomplished this without an accident or ticket. I've never seen the abrupt lane changing and speeding that I saw on the Garden State Pkwy on our return trip. I can assure you all that I didn't venture into the middle or left lane either.
I guess being on that road is a lose-lose situation. You can be ticketed for both impeding the flow of traffic and speeding at the same time!
New Jersey should use remote ticket cams ... with what they'd collect, they'd be able to balance their state budget!
Balance state budget? They could probably put a dent into the national budget as well! The Villages Florida
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