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View Full Version : Going around the G.W. bridge


LovinPooh
12-27-2008, 05:55 PM
We are driving from NH. We normally go from I91-I95 all the way down. We are planning on hitting NY around 7pm ish. We both hate driving through NY (being small town folk lol) Someone told DH that we should take an alternate route that would let us skip the GW and the NJ turnpike. We are hoping to get to the VA border by midnight ish... would this route be a time saver? Or would we be better off just going straight through 95 through NY City?

drew64
12-27-2008, 06:15 PM
I usually pick up the Merritt Parkway in CT - over the Tappan Zee and onto the Garden State Parkway to the NJ Turnpike at Woodbridge and avoid the Bronx Thruway, GWB, etc this way.

DisneyWalker44
12-27-2008, 06:23 PM
If you want to completely avoid NY/NJ, you can take the Newburgh-Beacon bridge, skirt around NJ and pick up 95 South of Philly. Google says it adds 60 miles and 80 minutes. But you'll save a minimum of 30 minutes avoiding NYC traffic (you could save even more). So avoiding NYC will add some time, but less than an hour of driving time. Is it worth it?

If you just want to avoid driving in NYC, you can take the more direct route of the Tappan Zee Bridge to the Garden State to the NJ Turnpike. You'll still hit plenty of traffic, but at least it won't be driving in the city. Again, only you can decide if it's worth it.

Unfortunately, there is no magic route. Good luck!

LovinPooh
12-27-2008, 06:48 PM
The northeast is a general pain in the rear no matter what. It was the Teppan Zee that his friend told him to take. We just couldnt figure out if it was worth the time to navigate that route, or just go for the GW and grin and bear it lol. We just get flustered driving through there, and coming off the bridge getting onto the turnpike and all that. Got plenty of time to play around with some maps and stuff thankfully. But like you said, its all about time and it being worth it all. Right now I just want to get to the VA border that night, so we can head out in the morning for the straight shot to FL.
I certainly appreciate all tips everyone has. If only there was a magical way to just jump over the hell of it all lol. Or if only DH wasnt scared of flying:laughing:

hockeygirl
12-27-2008, 06:57 PM
I would normally agree that it may be worth it to take the Tappan Zee Bridge to the Garden State Parkway...however, they are doing construction on the Tappan Zee Bridge and the traffic has been AWFUL lately! Although, I think the construction might be on hold for a few weeks, so it depends on when you are going. There has been raised plates on the Tappan Zee Bridge for weeks, and they totally slow down the traffic. They recently removed them, but I heard that there may be more after the holidays. So, as I said, it really depends on when you are going.

KPtoys
12-27-2008, 10:00 PM
It's really not that bad! The section of the GW is short (unless of course there is a traffic jam:lmao: ) Since shooting down 95 is the most direct way I would probably push back my trip by say an hour or so. Around 8-9pm it's usually a breeze! It's not as bad as you may think, even small town folk like my inlaws can handle it!

ETA: I am about 1 1/2 hrs from NYC on Long Island. It is about 5 hours from my house to DC down 95. I would stick with the major roads.

Tozzie
12-27-2008, 10:13 PM
It's really not that bad! The section of the GW is short (unless of course there is a traffic jam:lmao: ) Since shooting down 95 is the most direct way I would probably push back my trip by say an hour or so. Around 8-9pm it's usually a breeze! It's not as bad as you may think, even small town folk like my inlaws can handle it!

ETA: I am about 1 1/2 hrs from NYC on Long Island. It is about 5 hours from my house to DC down 95. I would stick with the major roads.

I am going to Disagree with you on this, it really is that bad to get to the GWB I work in the Bronx and pass that mess every day, there are times that at 9pm it is backed up to the throgs neck bridge. That is more the norm than the rare occurence. I leave work between 730 and 830 pm and it is by no means a breeze maybe on the weekends but during the week I would avoid if I could. While it is true that the Tappan zee is under major construction at the moment and for the foreseeable future that traffic is a piece of cake compared to getting to the GWB from 95.

KPtoys
12-28-2008, 07:26 AM
I am going to Disagree with you on this, it really is that bad to get to the GWB I work in the Bronx and pass that mess every day, there are times that at 9pm it is backed up to the throgs neck bridge. That is more the norm than the rare occurence. I leave work between 730 and 830 pm and it is by no means a breeze maybe on the weekends but during the week I would avoid if I could. While it is true that the Tappan zee is under major construction at the moment and for the foreseeable future that traffic is a piece of cake compared to getting to the GWB from 95.

We go upstate to visit the IL's monthly. We ALWAYS leave at night to avoid the traffic in the city. The earlier we leave the more traffic. 90% of the time we leave or come home around 9ish the traffic is flowing. If we go during the middle of the night we hit the road construction there. It's a no win LOL! With construction on the Tap. I would risk some GW traffic!

LovinPooh
12-28-2008, 08:30 AM
ughh... if only DH would fly:lmao:
going to have to run all this by him. He drives. I would be a mess driving through any of this. The Carolinas I can handle, but thats about it lol.
We are leaving in February. So we are also hoping for good weather as well.
Are there huge tolls for the Teppan Zee route?

I cant thank everyone enough for all the help!

TheWog
12-31-2008, 09:07 AM
The northeast is a general pain in the rear no matter what. It was the Teppan Zee that his friend told him to take. We just couldnt figure out if it was worth the time to navigate that route, or just go for the GW and grin and bear it lol. We just get flustered driving through there, and coming off the bridge getting onto the turnpike and all that. Got plenty of time to play around with some maps and stuff thankfully. But like you said, its all about time and it being worth it all. Right now I just want to get to the VA border that night, so we can head out in the morning for the straight shot to FL.
I certainly appreciate all tips everyone has. If only there was a magical way to just jump over the hell of it all lol. Or if only DH wasnt scared of flying:laughing:

We too live in NH and when we head south take the Tappan Zee.

TheWog
12-31-2008, 09:09 AM
ughh... if only DH would fly:lmao:
going to have to run all this by him. He drives. I would be a mess driving through any of this. The Carolinas I can handle, but thats about it lol.
We are leaving in February. So we are also hoping for good weather as well.
Are there huge tolls for the Teppan Zee route?

I cant thank everyone enough for all the help!

If I remember correctly the toll is only coming back.

ktpc2005
12-31-2008, 11:46 AM
If I remember correctly the toll is only coming back.

You are correct. The tolls are one way.


Other tolls that are one way on the trip down South:

Delaware Memorial Bridge
Tydings Bridge in Maryland

ruadisneyfan2
12-31-2008, 12:09 PM
The northeast is a general pain in the rear no matter what. It was the Teppan Zee that his friend told him to take. We just couldnt figure out if it was worth the time to navigate that route, or just go for the GW and grin and bear it lol. We just get flustered driving through there, and coming off the bridge getting onto the turnpike and all that. Got plenty of time to play around with some maps and stuff thankfully. But like you said, its all about time and it being worth it all. Right now I just want to get to the VA border that night, so we can head out in the morning for the straight shot to FL.
I certainly appreciate all tips everyone has. If only there was a magical way to just jump over the hell of it all lol. Or if only DH wasnt scared of flying:laughing:

I just discovered a new feature on mapquest.com. Once you enter your start and end addresses, it will show the recommended route on a map highlighted in purple. You can click on the purple line and drag it to the road that you'd rather drive on. It will recalculate a new route and directions. You may have to do this a few times to get around all of NYC but it may be worth it. I agree with you on avoiding NYC traffic and I'd always prefer driving 2 hrs. south than 2 hrs. north. I think I'd rather have root canal. :laughing:

artesian
12-31-2008, 12:11 PM
Tappan Zee all the way I avoid the GWB like the plague.

ruadisneyfan2
12-31-2008, 12:14 PM
The northeast is a general pain in the rear no matter what. It was the Teppan Zee that his friend told him to take. We just couldnt figure out if it was worth the time to navigate that route, or just go for the GW and grin and bear it lol. We just get flustered driving through there, and coming off the bridge getting onto the turnpike and all that. Got plenty of time to play around with some maps and stuff thankfully. But like you said, its all about time and it being worth it all. Right now I just want to get to the VA border that night, so we can head out in the morning for the straight shot to FL.
I certainly appreciate all tips everyone has. If only there was a magical way to just jump over the hell of it all lol. Or if only DH wasnt scared of flying:laughing:


http://www.takingflight.us/

good luck!!:goodvibes

Donna M
12-31-2008, 12:31 PM
We just returned from PA. and live in NH. We never take 95 over the GW bridge and we're on the road a lot with family down there. We pick up the W.Cross Parkway then called Merritt, then called Hutchison River Pkwy.(15) south of Hartford then 287 over the Tappan Zee to the Garden State and NJ Turnpike. 287 is much better now that a lot of the construction is complete (not all!) The bridge was fine. The NJ tpk was a parking lot but this was at Christmas.

Good luck!

Do you have an E-Z Pass? Well worth it with all the tolls. You should be able to use the NH one down there too.

LovinPooh
12-31-2008, 12:32 PM
http://www.takingflight.us/

good luck!!:goodvibes

:rotfl2:
DH is such a baby:lmao: I told him to take a sedative, but no go:rotfl: so we will enjoy the 20 hour ride:laughing:

Thanks for the tips. I run them all by my scaredy cat DH.
I have used Mapquest on our last trips, but I didnt know they had added that feature. I will go check that out now. We were able to suck it up and get through the GW in past trips. But when someone got rear ended right beside us on the bridge, he got a bit nervous. I am not a bridge person to begin with. I hate hate HATE bridges. And I actually close my eyes through the tunnel in Baltimore. The Delaware bridge freaks me out too, but I manage lol.

I dont have an easy pass. We are in southwestern NH. Very rarely do we go where we need one. Doesnt stop me from griping from having to scrounge up change when we go to Maine though.

HeatherC
12-31-2008, 07:00 PM
You could also come down and take the Mass Pike to Route 84 west to Rt. 684 to 287 which will take you over the Tappan Zee. Then you can pick up the Garden State Parkway and avoid all the city traffic.

When we went to Williamsburg from Central MA (outside of Worcester) it took us about 9 hours. That's a couple hours south of DC if that helps give you an idea.

Have a great trip!

Kira G.
12-31-2008, 08:00 PM
You could also come down and take the Mass Pike to Route 84 west to Rt. 684 to 287 which will take you over the Tappan Zee. Then you can pick up the Garden State Parkway and avoid all the city traffic.

We drive between Philly and New England many times a year and that's always the route we take. Sometimes you run into a bit of traffic on the 84 in Connecticut, but NOTHING like what you hit if you take the GWB.

When I was growing up we always stayed on 95, but starting about 15-16 years ago we started hitting such awful traffic on the Cross-Bronx expressway that we gave it up for good. It didn't seem to matter what time of day it was, we were stopped dead there for ages! Never again.

Debbie Jean
12-31-2008, 08:51 PM
We drive between Philly and New England many times a year and that's always the route we take. Sometimes you run into a bit of traffic on the 84 in Connecticut, but NOTHING like what you hit if you take the GWB.

When I was growing up we always stayed on 95, but starting about 15-16 years ago we started hitting such awful traffic on the Cross-Bronx expressway that we gave it up for good. It didn't seem to matter what time of day it was, we were stopped dead there for ages! Never again.

You could also come down and take the Mass Pike to Route 84 west to Rt. 684 to 287 which will take you over the Tappan Zee. Then you can pick up the Garden State Parkway and avoid all the city traffic.

When we went to Williamsburg from Central MA (outside of Worcester) it took us about 9 hours. That's a couple hours south of DC if that helps give you an idea.

Have a great trip!

This is the route I drive between Boston and north Jersey... did it yesterday, in fact, and breezed through...

However, I left at 6:30AM and I think no matter which route you take, if you anticipate hitting NYC at 7 PM, there are really no alternatives that will be traffic free.. the plates were up on the Tappan Zee, but if they go back after the holidays, backups around the bridge especially going into Rockland have been horrific :scared1: I also think you may run into traffic on 84 going through Conn... Danbury at rush hour can also be nasty :headache:

But, if I had to make the trip at the time of day, I would go 84-684-Tappan Zee to GSP rather than the GWB... just be prepared for traffic... I personally always stop at the rest area just past Katonah on 684 in anticipation of the delays! :rolleyes1

BTW, I always say that when you die, if you're bad, God doesn't send you to hell, he makes you drive the Cross Bronx forever! :lmao:

Tozzie
12-31-2008, 11:46 PM
This is the route I drive between Boston and north Jersey... did it yesterday, in fact, and breezed through...

However, I left at 6:30AM and I think no matter which route you take, if you anticipate hitting NYC at 7 PM, there are really no alternatives that will be traffic free.. the plates were up on the Tappan Zee, but if they go back after the holidays, backups around the bridge especially going into Rockland have been horrific :scared1: I also think you may run into traffic on 84 going through Conn... Danbury at rush hour can also be nasty :headache:

But, if I had to make the trip at the time of day, I would go 84-684-Tappan Zee to GSP rather than the GWB... just be prepared for traffic... I personally always stop at the rest area just past Katonah on 684 in anticipation of the delays! :rolleyes1

BTW, I always say that when you die, if you're bad, God doesn't send you to hell, he makes you drive the Cross Bronx forever! :lmao:

Drive it, I didn't know people could drive it, usually the traffic is just at a Standstill.

ProudMommyof2
01-01-2009, 07:39 AM
We live in RI and frequently drive south to see family/friends in NJ and PA. The Tappan Zee is definitely longer mileage wise but can be the best bet traffic wise.

We start listening to traffic reports on 95 South starting at like exit 30 or so and see what they say. They do not always report on both bridges at each cycle so you may need to listen to 2 or 3 cycles. The am station is 880am and it is "Traffic on the 6s" , meaning every ten minutes, 1:06, 1:16, 1:26, etc. If you are going on the GW be sure to listen if the top or bottom is the best way!

I used to be scared to death of the Cross Bronx Expressway approaching the GW- but it seems less scary now. Also, it is cool to go that way and see all the planes landing at the airport- coming right over the highway!

ClarabelleCowFan
01-01-2009, 10:10 AM
http://www.takingflight.us/

good luck!!:goodvibes

I totally agree!

Get your DH over his fear of flying and get on a plane. No more traffic! :thumbsup2

ruadisneyfan2
01-01-2009, 11:29 AM
I totally agree!

Get your DH over his fear of flying and get on a plane. No more traffic! :thumbsup2

I think it's easier said than done. I have a very close friend (since kindergarten and we are 40 something) who has fof. She has family in Greece and flew many times as a kid in huge planes and was used to it. At 18 she flew to St. Thomas in a much smaller plane and it just freaked her out. She hasn't flown since. They actually bought a motor home so they could comfortably drive everywhere.

I keep telling her take some meds and she'll be fine but honestly who knows? She's afraid of heights so bad she couldn't sit in 2nd level concert seats to see Keith Urban. I told her close her eyes and hold my hand til we get seated but quick turned away once she got a view of the whole arena.

For my mom: driving/riding over bridges, overpasses, along cliffs.
For me: being a passenger in a car. period. I can't stand even taking van service to Philly airport. I joke to dh that I'd like to fly to PHL from home. :laughing:

I guess we all have our own fears, rational or not. :headache:

eta: That just reminded me of a funny story. Same friend invited us to go to Myrtle Beach with them in their motor home many years ago. The thought of 10 hours (or 7 with her dh driving) on the road and my children unrestrained and walking around while doing 80 mph would make me physically ill. :faint:
I told her I'll ride down with them if she flies back with us. Of course we never went and still laugh about it.
We're a bunch of Neurotic Nellies. :lmao:

meriface11
01-01-2009, 01:28 PM
i live in CT but grew up in NJ and my parents are still there, so i have to make that dreaded trip over the Hudson River quite often. I know you said you don't like driving in the city, but if you are planning on doing it late in the evening, I would also recommend driving down the West Side Highway straight to the Lincoln Tunnel--you don't really have to do any city street driving to do this. Hook up to the Merritt Parkway in Milford CT from I95 (I think it's exit 37), take the Merritt all the way into NY when it becomes the Hutchinson Parkway. Then connect to the Cross County in Westchester, to the Saw Mill, which turns into to the West Side Highway (rt 9S). Takes you straight to the Tunnel and then you can get back onto 95 once you get to Jersey. Or you can take 95 straight through CT and connect to 287 East once you pass Greenwich and connect to the Hutchinson South about 2 miles into 287 East and follow the same directions I stated above once you are on the Hutch. I would recommend taking this route to the West Side Highway even if you decide to take the GW--you bypass all the Cross Bronx Expressway traffic. I NEVER take the Cross Bronx unless it's early on a weekend morning--these local highways through Westchester and the Bronx are a much better bet. If it sounds complicated, I promise it's not, and there are many signs stating "to NYC" to "GW Bridge" that will keep you confident that you are on the right path. PM me if you want more detailed directions.

Tomh
01-01-2009, 01:54 PM
I'm in New York, in the Mid Hudson Valley, about halfway between the Newburgh Beacon bridge, and the Bear Mountain Bridge. For us, the easiest route is South to the Bear Mountain, where we pick up the Pallisaides, and then work our way down to 95.

For the OP, I would probably go 84/684 and cross the Tappan Zee. I don't much like dealing with the GWB either, nor the rest of the cruddy traffic in / around NYC.

ClarabelleCowFan
01-01-2009, 10:38 PM
I'm in New York, in the Mid Hudson Valley, about halfway between the Newburgh Beacon bridge, and the Bear Mountain Bridge. For us, the easiest route is South to the Bear Mountain, where we pick up the Pallisaides, and then work our way down to 95.

For the OP, I would probably go 84/684 and cross the Tappan Zee. I don't much like dealing with the GWB either, nor the rest of the cruddy traffic in / around NYC.

Your post brought back fond memories of when DH was stationed at West Point. I LOVE the Bear Mountain Bridge - so picturesque. We would cross the river there and take the train from Garrison or Peekskill into the city. We actually almost named our son Hudson after the Hudson River!

ruadisneyfan2 - I am a recovering fearful flyer and used to co-moderate a fear of flying site (www.takingflight.us/forums). I went from not flying at all for a dozen years after a really bad flight to flying over 100,000 miles a year on biz. I started with a small dose of xanax to take the edge off the anxiety but after educating myself on how planes fly and talking with pilots and other recovering fearful flyers I didn't need the meds anymore. Good luck to your friend. If they truly WANT to fly then the people at Taking Flight can help (free of charge!).

ruadisneyfan2
01-02-2009, 04:18 AM
ruadisneyfan2 - I am a recovering fearful flyer and used to co-moderate a fear of flying site (www.takingflight.us/forums). I went from not flying at all for a dozen years after a really bad flight to flying over 100,000 miles a year on biz. I started with a small dose of xanax to take the edge off the anxiety but after educating myself on how planes fly and talking with pilots and other recovering fearful flyers I didn't need the meds anymore. Good luck to your friend. If they truly WANT to fly then the people at Taking Flight can help (free of charge!).

Me too! I had a really turbulent flight once and I was certain we dropped 1000 ft. :scared1: I ended up buying the book written by Capt. Stark from SWA. It was so helpful and I found the whole thing fascinating. I loaned it to my brother when we all went to WDW last year and he left it in the van that took us to the airport. :headache:
I tell her to just try it and she'll see how easy it is. Well, fast anyway... Last March we all took a cruise together out of FLL and they drove the whole way for a 4 nt. cruise but added a few days after w/o us to make it worth driving.

ClarabelleCowFan
01-02-2009, 09:05 AM
Me too! I had a really turbulent flight once and I was certain we dropped 1000 ft. :scared1: I ended up buying the book written by Capt. Stark from SWA. It was so helpful and I found the whole thing fascinating. I loaned it to my brother when we all went to WDW last year and he left it in the van that took us to the airport. :headache:
I tell her to just try it and she'll see how easy it is. Well, fast anyway... Last March we all took a cruise together out of FLL and they drove the whole way for a 4 nt. cruise but added a few days after w/o us to make it worth driving.

That book by Ray (Stark) is THE best book I have ever read about FOF. It is available on Amazon if you need another copy. :)

Good luck with your FOF.

Kira G.
01-02-2009, 09:06 AM
I personally always stop at the rest area just past Katonah on 684 in anticipation of the delays! :rolleyes1

We always stop at exit 2 on the 84 (almost the first/last stop in CT) where there is a really nice Starbucks and a fun Mexican restaurant. There's also a Trader Joe's and a good liquor store. It's practically a tradition with us to stop there in both directions!

Debbie Jean
01-02-2009, 11:37 AM
We always stop at exit 2 on the 84 (almost the first/last stop in CT) where there is a really nice Starbucks and a fun Mexican restaurant. There's also a Trader Joe's and a good liquor store. It's practically a tradition with us to stop there in both directions!

Thanks for the tip! :thumbsup2

huskies90
01-02-2009, 11:42 AM
You could also come down and take the Mass Pike to Route 84 west to Rt. 684 to 287 which will take you over the Tappan Zee. Then you can pick up the Garden State Parkway and avoid all the city traffic.

I live right off 84 in Western CT and this is the route we'll be taking on our first road trip to WDW. 84 to 684 is a better ride than 91 to 95.

OceanStateKelly
01-05-2009, 11:41 AM
We always just went right over the GW (95) but planned it in the middle of the night or very late, worked out great, kids sleep for most of the trip - makes it easier.
good luck

linzbear
01-05-2009, 11:57 AM
Yeah, we always go over the GWB now - DH's family is in south jersey so we've done it a number of times, and I think I've taken every route around it to try to avoid traffic and get there faster. I finally determined that even sitting through the crappy traffic it's shorter timewise to just deal with it than try to figure out how to get around and save time.

Though there have been times that I've actually broken the speedlimit on the cross bronx! Those were exciting days (usually around 9PM at night, or 6AM in the morning).