Dear PoPville – Wondering about the Commute to Tyson’s Corner


Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

“Dear PoPville,

Does anyone commute on a daily basis from the North Side of Capitol Hill to Tyson’s–how BAD is bad?”

29 Comment

  • I did this commute for years. From near Potomac Ave to Tysons Corner (near mall). It is not fun.

    The morning commute isn’t bad (especially in the summer) if you leave early enough (around 7). Usually about 45 minutes. Most of the traffic is on 395 which I took to GW Parkway to 495.

    The ride home is far worse. Usually an hour if you leave anytime between 4 and 6. Tyson’s Corner is the seventh circle of he!!. It takes forever just to get to the Beltway or GW Parkway (via 123). I imagine it’s worse now with Metro construction along 123.

    Godspeed.

  • i agree with Big Steve — the real problem in the commute is just Tyson’s itself. just getting from your office to an on ramp to either 66, the Beltway, or down Dolley Madison on to the GW Parkway can take an hour at minimum. the easiest part of the trip is once you get back in the District.

    i did a reverse commute silver spring to tysons for a year. i wouldn’t wish such a terrible thing on my worst enemy.

  • Stick your head between your knees and kiss your ass goodbye.

  • soul crippling.

  • I work across from the mall in Tyson’s. I get on the new hot lanes at 5:30 and head all the way to the end where it meets 395 and come north on it. 395 north is relatively empty at night.

    It is actually about 6 or 7 miles further driving but you can do the speed limit the entire way. It takes 35 minutes door to door. I live at 6th and E.

    The hot lanes Are sparsely used now. The toll has been anywhere from 1.10 to 1.90, but is saves me a solid 30 to 40 minutes a day.

    I still find rt 66 to the rt 7 exit is fastest in the morning but I am always on 66 by 7:15.

  • jim_ed

    I commuted from the South side of Capitol Hill to Merrifield(which is about 2 miles south of Tysons) every day for nearly two years. It stinks, but its manageable if you skip the traffic routes.

    AVOID GW PARKWAY LIKE THE PLAGUE. its awful, all the time. 66 also normally bottle necks in Arlington. However, rt 50 is basically a limited access hwy, and almost always moving at speed. I would take 50 to Gallows rd, and then north on gallows for a mostly traffic free way.

    On the way home, I recommend gallows to 29 E, and then get on 66 in Falls Church. For whatever reason, there is always a HUGE bottleneck on 66 E where the West Falls Church Metro station is, so taking 29 bypasses that, and 66 is then easy driving back to the city, down 110 and onto 395 back to capitol hill.

    • Huh ho, thanks for the tip. I work in Merrifield just past Gallows and you’re right, 50 is a breeze in the mornings. But going home gets bogged down (but it is better than the 66 bottleneck). But I think I’ll try your 29 to 66 in falls church idea, just to see how it works.

  • I commute from Petworh to McLean, just to the northeast of Tyson’s on 123.

    Normally I take Metro from Georgia Ave. to West Falls Church where I catch my employer’s shuttle. If everything goes just right, it’s a bit over an hour on Metro…including the 15 minute walk to “GeorPet”. When it goes wrong…ah well…can be up to 90 minutes either way.

    On the very rare occasions that I drive, I can get to McLean in 35 minutes. Leaving just before 7:00a it never varies. The trip back at 4:00p is usually about 40 minutes, but can vary quite a bit. But, of course, I’m crossing the city from Chain Bridge to Petworth. Capitol Hilll is going to be different.

    Have you considered Metro? Capitol Hill to West Falls Church should be a cinch, then perhaps a bus into Tyson’s. I think the 28T is a straight shot out Leesburg Pike.

  • Did it for a year, too. Absolutely awful. My experience was that taking less trafficked routes meant going faster and with less frustration, but that the longer distances didn’t mean less time taken.

    There will likely be days where you will just sit in your car weeping.

  • I live on the hill and commute to Herndon. It’s the worst thing that has ever happened to me. You should quit your job.

    • +1

      that’s what i did!

      • Don’t quit your job (derp)…move nearby and walk to work.
        It will change your life.

        • You say that as though everyone can just pick up and move.

          If you own your own place, it’s a lot more complicated to relocate than if you rent.

          And what if you have a spouse who works in D.C.? Or what if you don’t feel like having to live in the distant suburbs?

  • I made the commute from near H St to Tyson’s near the mall for 7 years. Not great at all. Easier in the morning however, heading home from Tyson’s is horrible. Any form of precipitation and you’re looking at an hour. During the holidays it’s even worse. I went for a meeting a few months ago left at 2 PM and it took me 15 minutes to make the left turn from Int’l Drive to 123. I would take 395 (D Street entrance) to GW to 495 to 123.

  • I commute from 15th and H NE to Tysons 2 days a week. Luckily I can start working from home first and then head out to tysons at 10am, when traffic is empty. If you have to go in regular time, it will take you about an hour in traffic on 66.

    The afternoons are the worse If you dont leave before 4, it will take about an hour and half to get home on 66. defin soul crusher.

  • I did it for a number of months quite a while ago and only remember thinking reverse commuting wasn’t much better. Sure you could be on 66 without the requisite number of people, but it really backed up just before Ballston – it seems Ballston was a major point to get on 66 for those going west.

  • Ok, so i was making that commute for about 6 months
    sometimes from MD(Mitchellville) and others from H ST. NE

    From Mitchellville it was awful, one hour each way. drove top side in the morning and bottom in the evening. yes, i drove around the ENTIRE beltway every day i left from MD

    From H st it wasnt bad at all, esp in the morning

    i just took k st to north cap made a right a block later on h st. took that to 3rd st tunnel and straight out 66. Was not bad at all

    coming back into the city was a little worse but still not too bad, took 66 to constitution up to 4th made a left on 4th till i got to h st

    id say that commute was about 30-35 mins on average… 25 or so sometimes on a mon or fri when the traffic wasnt as heavy

    the morning traffic i would see would be during some of the commute on 66 (it wasnt bad though, like 5 mins of traffic) and when you get to tysons

    the evening i would see traffic in tysins, as soon as i got on 66 it was bad traffic and other than that it was smooth sailing

  • saf

    My husband used to do this – well, shaw to tysons. (It was quite a while back.)

    He took the orange line to west falls church and then took a bus.

    Slow, but effective and he used the time to read.

  • The morning Commute is not bad for me, also from North side of Capitol Hill. about 30 minutes. I do leave for work around 6:30 am though. The evening can be rough, but if you take Dolly Madison to GW Parkway and over 14th St bridge, it isn’t too bad. Note: I do not go exactly to Tyson’s, but I do go to Herndon every morning, taking 66 to Rte 7 in the morning and the Toll Rd to Dolly Madison to GW parkway in the evening

  • Isn’t the Silver Line supposed to open this year – making it a pretty straight shot from Capitol Hill on the Orange/Silver line?

    I drive from Shaw to Oakton/Vienna (unfortunately too far to walk from Vienna metro) and it’s not too bad in the morning. The return journey, especially on Fridays, where to Toll Road intersects with I-66 is something else though.

  • It’s miserable… I take 395 to GW pkwy to 495 then hop on the hotlanes to the westpark exit… GW is bad if there is an accident, but if not it’s the best route. never take 66. You can also go random back roads but it’s hit or miss

  • I’ve been commuting there from Columbia Heights/U Street for 3 years and it isn’t bad at all… Find a way to George Washington Parkway and either go to 123 or 495 and it’s a breeze. Never takes me more than 45 minutes unless there’s an accident. Usually is around 30. Not sure what people are talking about with it being awful unless there’s like horrible horrible traffic in Capitol Hill?

  • The good news is that in a year to 18 months you can probably Metro from Eastern Market to Tysons, as long as home and work are near metro.

  • I do Logan Circle to roughly where 123 and the dulles toll road intersect. For all the doom sayers, its not a great commute but its not as bad as some make it sound. Its almost exactly 30 minutes in the morning and its 30 in the evening before 5 or 45 after five. I find GW parkway via 123 is by far the best as GW rarely backs up, though when it does, its not fun.

    I do have a friend who works more in central Tysons and it takes her almost 20 minutes to get out of her office area to where I am, so a lot of your commute may depend if you are central tysons or on the outskirts.

  • Wow you guys complain a lot! Try commuting 50 miles one way, every day to NYC or Philly! I use Rock Creek and 66 (to Reston, not Tyson’s) and as long as I leave by 7 am and 4 pm it’s extremely fast, usually 30 min in the am and 45 in the evening.

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