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Driving in the Nation’s Capital

You are currently viewing Driving in the Nation’s Capital
Driving in D.C. means driving with tons of tourists, commuters, and residents!
  • Post category:Blogs

Washington D.C. is notoriously one of the worst cities to drive in in the United States. The number of tourists, mixed with resident and commuter traffic, creates highly congested streets. According to many surveys, the District of Columbia is the ninth worst city to drive in. So, you can come here and learn all about the history of the United States, while learning about the frustrations of American driving.

If you plan to visit the city anytime soon, these are some things to keep in mind.

Street Organization

The city roads are organized on a grid with a numeric and alphabetical system. Numbered streets are streets running north to south while lettered streets run east to west. This is the most essential and basic rule of navigating the city that will make your driving in the nation’s capital so much easier.


Parking in D.C. is not the best. It is extremely limited and can be quite expensive. The main three parking options are parking garages, street parking, and valet parking. The price varies based on what kind of parking you end up doing, where you end up parking, and how long you are there.

Rush Hour

Rush hour in Washington D.C. averages from 6:00 am to 9:30 am and from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. However, rush hour easily changes based on events in the area. As the nation’s capital and the home of the country’s political powers, there are often events happening that create road closures and chaos for driving. These can affect rush hour as well, depending on the nature of the event. Be sure to be aware of major events that may affect what the roads are like.


Washington D.C. is one of the places that experiences all four seasons. They have cold, snowy winters; calm and breezy springs; warm and sunny summers; and cool and crisp autumns. The driving patterns in the city change with each season. The snow in the winter creates road and vehicle issues. Cars freeze and then have to trek more slowly through ice and snow. In summer, more tourists flock to the city. The streets are more congested with pedestrians, drivers not used to D.C. roads, and people driving distractedly as they view the city.

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