Greater Greater Washington

Roads


Do you call roads by names or numbers?

Which roads do you refer to by their names, and which by state or US highway numbers? This question came up while we were editing some posts in recent days.


Wootton Parkway. Photo from Google Maps.

MD-355 changes names several times along its route, from Wisconsin Avenue to Rockville Pike to Hungerford Drive to North/South Frederick Road/Avenue to Urbana Pike to North Market Street (did I miss any)? Though most people I know who live in Montgomery County still talk about Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda, or say they're headed to Rockville Pike for stores.

What do you call the main roads in Tysons? Are they Route 7 and 123 or Leesburg Pike and Chain Bridge Road?

Let's put aside freeways for a moment, which people almost always (but not totally always) refer to with numbers. What about major roads that serve through traffic while also having businesses and homes?

I've never heard someone talk about Route 1 instead of Rhode Island Avenue in the District, but it's usually Route 1 and not Baltimore Avenue in College Park, right? Some people refer to Richmond Highway and some to Route 1 in southern Fairfax. What about in Old Town Alexandria?

Greater Greater Wife, who grew up in Montgomery County, speaks of Georgia Avenue, Norbeck Road, Veirs Mill Road, Connecticut Avenue, University Boulevard, Old Georgetown Road, River Road, and so on rather than MD-97, MD-28, MD-596, MD-185, MD-193, MD-187, and MD-190. I've driven them all many times and still had to look up most of those numbers.

I have heard more references to MD-410, perhaps because it isn't always East-West Highway between New Carrollton and Bethesda. But MD-193 is Greenbelt Road east of about the railroad tracks in College Park and then has other names as it winds through Prince George's County.

Is it Arlington Boulevard or US-50? King Street or VA-236? Glebe Road or VA-120? Columbia Pike or VA-244?

Often, people seem to use the number more when talking about places they're mostly passing through, and the name for places they're going to. Rockville Pike is not just a road, but an assemblage of shopping centers that you go to on purpose. Columbia Pike (the Virginia one) is a corridor of neighborhoods, whereas Route 50 more bypasses neighborhoods and moves commuters. It's Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring, a destination, and becomes Route 29 somewhere north.

If this is right, maybe Tysons' main roads will gradually evolve from Routes 7 and 123 to Leesburg Pike and Chain Bridge Road as Tysons becomes more of a walkable place.

Still, this isn't an absolute; Veirs Mill Road is not that much of a destination, or at least I've rarely gone somewhere on Veirs Mill versus using it as a conduit to or from Rockville.

When do you use names, and when do you use numbers?

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

Comments

Add a comment »

Technically in part of Tysons Route 123 is called Dolley Madison Boulevard, then changes to Chain Bridge Road after International Drive I believe.

Hence why I always call Route 7 and 123, by their numbers because in fact, if you say Chain Bridge Road McLean, that refers to a completely different road (which happens to run parallel to Dolley Madison Boulevard). Same thing happens to Route 7 where it goes from Leesburg Pike, to Harry Byrd, to King St, to etc etc etc

by Tysons Engineer on Jul 30, 2013 2:20 pm • linkreport

I think that whatever designation has the most continuity is how it gets dubbed, with preference to name in most cases.

MoCo kids call it Georgia Avenue because it is Georgia Avenue from Howard U all the way up to the Patuxent River. 355, on the other hand, changes names almost arbitrarily. If it were Wisconsin Avenue all the way to Frederick County, no doubt that would be the preferred monkier.

Out at Fort Meade, it's all route numbers. I believe that lends to this theory, because 32, 198, and 175 all change names as you travel from the base to the various suburbs served by it. 295, however, is still often referred to as "the B-W Parkway" and that name sticks the duration of that road's length in Maryland.

by Dave Murphy on Jul 30, 2013 2:20 pm • linkreport

I've never heard Glebe Road called VA 120 or route 120 and I've lived in Northern Virginia since time immemorial.

King Street is VA 7, though not really signed as such past Braddock Road. The designation may have actually been been removed on the two-lane section. VA 236 is Duke Street.

In Vienna, VA 123 and Maple Ave. are used interchangeably. VA 243 has always been referred to as Nutley Street. Generally speaking, secondary route numbers are not used in speech by most Northern Virginia residents in my experience. VA 7 is usually called "Route 7" in my experience. In fact, most higwhays other than perhaps interstates seem to be called "route."

The Beltway, 495, and whatever loop seems to be interchangeable.

Also, VDOT and local jurisdictions do such a poor job of posting actual route markers in Northern Virginia that street/road names usage is understandable.

by WFY on Jul 30, 2013 2:24 pm • linkreport

To me it depends on how often the road changes names. University Boulevard has the same name from Kensington to College Park, so most people that live along it (like me) call it that, not 193. Route 29 however, changes from Colesville road to Columbia Pike around Burnt Mills, in my experience most people simply refer to it as "29" to avoid name change confusion. In downtown Sliver Spring however, most people say Georgia Avenue, not US29/MD97, probably because it is a walkable place and because the name does not change for miles, but the route number does. Nice thought provoking article.

by Sean on Jul 30, 2013 2:25 pm • linkreport

It's completely arbitrary to me.

123 is just more fun to say than "ox" or "chain bridge" or "maple" or "Dolley Madison Blvd" or "Gordon Blvd".

7 is 7 except when it's king street once you're in alexandria.

50 is 50. Not Arlington Boulevard.

However, I noticed NOVA natives are more disposed to say the real name than I am.

by drumz on Jul 30, 2013 2:29 pm • linkreport

This is a subject that has always perplexed me as well. I can't even begin to articulate why I call some roads by name and others by number. It's a bit different in MD than in VA, because in MD, only interstates, and state highways are numbered, and County/City roads generally just have names (there may be a locality numbering system but it's never posted on a sign). In VA, all roads are state roads, and there is the primary highways (numbers 1-599), they have the white coat of arms shaped shield with black letters, and are only used once within the State (the road my cross into multiple Counties, but it's the same road), numbers 600 through to who knows how high, and are white circles with black numbers. They are tricky because they repeat in each County. Generally numbers that are in the 600's are the more major 'local' routes, with numbers that increase in size. Remember when they renumbered the Fairfax and Prince William Co Parkways recently, taking away their local number and giving them a primary number.

I almost never refer to a VA route greater than 600 by number because it could apply in every County. I'd also say routes that are more major corridors, and especially US highways (1, 29, 50) that cross state lines are more often number reference, because the local name changes too much. Roads (even the numbered MD routes) that are not more than a few miles long (16th street is actually MD 390, not MD 16), or that keep the name the entire length (MD 650 is always New Hampshire Ave) I think I use the name more.

Using numbers is a safer bet when giving directions as the name may change on you and you could tell someone to turn at the wrong named road, but was the correct number. A tricky one is Colesville Rd/29. They are one and the same north of Georgia Avenue, however 29 becomes Georgia Avenue south of the intersection with Colesville (sorry MD 97), and Colesville Rd is a County road south of the intersection with Georgia Avenue. That may in part be why people use Colesville Rd instead of 29, because it's not always a numbered route, but the name is the same.

by Gull on Jul 30, 2013 2:30 pm • linkreport

I've lived in the area for 40 years as a Virginian. I have always called Ox Road, Dolly Madison Blvd., etc. "Route 123", mostly because it changes names every seven or so miles. It's just easier to refer to it under one label, especially since it a four-lane thru route for most of its length.

But I think such name/number usage depends on the roads and their common labels in media and amongst friends. I never refer to Rte. 267 as anything other than the Fairfax County Parkway.

The only one that I switch back and forth on is Lee Highway. I call it Lee Highway inside the beltway, and Rt. 29/211 once I am west of Fairfax. That's how my parents referred to it when I was a child, and I just have never changed my label for that road. (It hasn't been officially designated as part of Rt. 211 in 30 years, from what I understand.)

by NoVa Commuter on Jul 30, 2013 2:31 pm • linkreport

Either way, I never preface it with a "The".

by ah on Jul 30, 2013 2:31 pm • linkreport

Where I grew up (central va) numbers went to the roads that really went outside the county (state roads and U.S. Highways) while names stayed for local roads that didn't cross any borders.

by drumz on Jul 30, 2013 2:35 pm • linkreport

I think it mostly depends on where you enter and exit a road.

VA-123 is Ox Rd, turning into Gordon Blvd to me.
US-50 is Constitution Ave, the John Mosby Highway or the Lee Jackson Mem Highway. Or, the road to Annapolis.
I come by both ends of Braddock Rd regularly. One end, I sit in metro in Alexandria, on the other I can see cows in a pond in Aldie (look it up).

I generally think there is no convention. I tend to think that road names are more local than road numbers. There are tens if not hundreds of crossings of US-1 and I-95, but everybody (in the DC area) knows that the intersection Richmond Highway and the Capital Beltway is in Alexandria.

by Jasper on Jul 30, 2013 2:37 pm • linkreport

@ ah:Either way, I never preface it with a "The".

I think that's a westcoast thing. I've noticed that in NCIS, they sometimes refer to 'the I-95'....

by Jasper on Jul 30, 2013 2:40 pm • linkreport

"Either way, I never preface it with a "The"."

Except for MD 355, which can only be "The Pike." As in, the thing that you impale yourself on.

by Crickey7 on Jul 30, 2013 2:40 pm • linkreport

I agree with your division that it seems that it changes whether a road is a destination or a way to get someplace ... and I have a personal example that highlights that: Rt. 1. I live just off Rt. 1 (Richmond Hwy Section). If I am using the road to travel someplace, say to cross the 14th Street Bridge, then I will say "Let's take Rt. 1" but if I am going someplace, I will say "Let's go to the Target on Jeff Davis" or "When will the new Costco open on Richmond Hwy?". The only explanation is that it is clearer way to say where something is located (and is directly related to its postal address) to specify the road name, but not a necessary when giving directions that may require travelling farther than the current (from where you start) road name allows.

by Thad on Jul 30, 2013 2:42 pm • linkreport

Just out of habit I've always refered to Route 123 as toute 123 and call Route 7 by its name, Leesburg Pike. I'm not sure why other than 123 changes names so many times, including the Chain Bridge Rd vs. Dolley Madison Blvd. example above.

As for Route 236 - I think everytime I hear the number designation used people seem to be referencing the wider and more suburban Little River Tpk in Fairfax County vs. the more urban Duke Street portion. I use the Duke and Little River names when talking. I've never realized how inconsistent I am with the name vs. number use, ha.

by Transport. on Jul 30, 2013 2:43 pm • linkreport

I thought 267 was the Toll Road?

I agree with the others. Names where they make sense and numbers where they make sense.

Make sense?

by William on Jul 30, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

Rt.1 in College Park is almost universally referred to as "Rt.1" by students at Maryland. I wouldn't be surprised if most kids didn't even know it was called Baltimore Ave.

by Terp on Jul 30, 2013 2:44 pm • linkreport

What I find frustrating about this topic is how often my GPS app (Google Maps, but I sometimes use others) will tell me to turn onto a road with a name I don't recognize -- I just know it by the route number. Just as often the opposite occurs, too: the GPS will tell me to turn onto Route XXX for a road I know only by name. I guess I'd like to have the GPS tell me both the name and the number, although I recognize it's a lot more info that has to be programmed in, and there isn't always time for the voice to read out both designations.

I do spend a fair amount of time arguing out loud with my GPS when I drive -- saying things like, "You mean River Road, not Route 190! Everyone calls it by its name!"

by Peggy Robin on Jul 30, 2013 2:48 pm • linkreport

Names.

And I think 'Rockville Pike' starts too close to Bethesda. It should begin outside the Beltway. It's MUCH more clear to people to say that NIH and Bethesda Naval/Walter Reed are located on Wisconsin Ave.

by Capt. Hilts on Jul 30, 2013 2:48 pm • linkreport

@ah / @Crickey7 -- it's actually an LA thing, for the most part, but it's also a Lake Ontario region thing? Like, I grew up in Buffalo and always use "the" with route numbers unselfconcsiously, and apparently they do it in Toronto too. Then I moved to San Francisco and everyone thought I was from LA.

by jfruh on Jul 30, 2013 2:48 pm • linkreport

Route 1 in VA is interesting. In Old Town Alexandria, it's definitely Patrick or Henry St (north or south). In Crystal City, Jefferson Davis Hwy, but between (around Potomac Yard) its Route 1.

South of Old Town, I think Richmond Highway and Route 1 are pretty interchangeable.

by Andrew on Jul 30, 2013 2:49 pm • linkreport

I think it's interesting that MD 193 is University Boulevard between Kensington and College Park, and then, though the next section is often called Greenbelt Road, most of the rest of the route is referred to as "193" as it is Greebelt Road, Glenn Dale Road, Enterprise Road, and Watkins Park Drive. I think that this is an excellent example of my theory above, that it depends heavily on whatever moniker has more continuity

Interestingly, in Silver Spring, "Colesville Road" is US 29 and MD 384, as US 29 turns down Georgia Avenue. So again, "Colesville Road" has more continuity than the route moniker. But once you cross the Beltway, it's 29 all the way to the end. Even though most of it is called Columbia Pike, part of it is also Colesville Road, meaning that "29" has more continuity as a moniker.

by Dave Murphy on Jul 30, 2013 2:57 pm • linkreport

When I was a student at U-Md. back in the day, I always preferred "Baltimore Avenue" over "Route 1," mainly because it sounded classier (and that corridor is definitely in need of some class). But Route 1 still tends to be the go-to name for just about everyone else.

by Petworth dude on Jul 30, 2013 2:57 pm • linkreport

You wouldn't hear of someone referring to Rhode Island Avenue in the District as Route 1 because it isn't. If you know where Franklin's Restaurant is in Hyattsville, then you know that there is a bridge that crosses the railroad tracks. That is where Rte 1 changes to Rhode Island Avenue, which continues south past the County Service building, the jail, the old Marche Florist shop, into Mount Rainier, and then into the District. Route 1 crosses the bridge behind Franklin's, goes to Peace Cross, and then on to Bladensburg Road through the District.

by JohnnyReb on Jul 30, 2013 3:07 pm • linkreport

Another factor in MD is how recent the route number was assigned. MD-193 southeast of Greenbelt Rd had a different number until a few decades ago. Glenn Dale Rd (MD-953) was MD-193 for a few decades, and something else before then but it has always been Glenn Dale Rd. MD-450 was US-50 until the 1950s, but it was a Annapolis or Bladensburg Rd. in 1789.

by JimT on Jul 30, 2013 3:07 pm • linkreport

Dave Murphy,
I live near Four Corners, and for some reason (I don't know why, I do it to) what my neighbors and I call that road also changes based on the direction you turn on from University. If you're heading south, we all call it Colesville. If north, it's always 29.

Also, can we have a thread about what we call Silver Spring and what we call by its neighborhood name?

by Ian on Jul 30, 2013 3:07 pm • linkreport

I grew up in Calvert County, MD and learned to drive on Rt 4, Rt 2, Rt 260 and Rt. 301 - I only vaguely recalled that they had a "real" name besides their route name. In undergrad at College Park, we always referred to "Rt 1" and "193", although when I lived in Silver Spring I was more likely to refer to Colesville, Georgia, and East-West Highway by their names rather than route numbers, but when giving directions to others I may have fallen back on referring to routes 29, 97, and 410. So, maybe my tendency to use route numbers has something to do with growing up in a (formerly) rural area where the major roads were referred to by their route #s, or as Gull pointed out, maybe it's more of a Maryland thing.

by dc_chica on Jul 30, 2013 3:10 pm • linkreport

@Johnny Reb

US 1 splits. The route that goes down Bladensburg and Maryland Avenue is US 1-A. The route that uses Rhode ISland Avenue and 6th Street NW is US 1. Rhode ISland Avenue from Baltimore Avenue to 6th Street NW is US 1.

by Dave Murphy on Jul 30, 2013 3:11 pm • linkreport

You can tell the NoVa old timers, because we're the only ones who still call I-95/I-395 by its given name, Shirley Highway. There's no signage using that name that I'm aware of, and I don't think the radio traffic reporters use it so much any more.

That said, @NoVa Commuter above takes the cake if he really does still say 29/211. I haven't heard anyone say that in decades.

I haven't heard it in a long while, but the locals in the "Alexandria section of Fairfax County" (as the Post calls it) used to refer to the main road in those parts as "Number One Highway."

by c5karl on Jul 30, 2013 3:11 pm • linkreport

When I grew up in the New York suburbs, no one ever used route numbers for anything in or near the city. It was the LIE and BQE, never Interstate 495 or 287. We were aware of someplace called Route 66 where cowboys rode horses.

by Ben Ross on Jul 30, 2013 3:20 pm • linkreport

I'm still mad that they changed Fairfax County Parkway from 7100 to 286. We already have enough three-digit numbered roads; I can't keep 286 straight from 267 and 234. Was it really necessary for Richmond to change it just for some funding scheme?

by Rich on Jul 30, 2013 3:28 pm • linkreport

@ Ian

I live in Four Corners as well and everyone in my neighborhood (Woodmoor) does the same thing. If your gong towards Burtonsville its always "29" but if you say your going to DTSS people say "Lets take Colesville Road".

Interesting idea about Silver Spring neighborhood names. I get annoyed when people from places like Olney and Burtonsville say "I live in Silver Spring". People should be proud of their individual communities like Four Corners, Hillandale, Colesville, Kemp Mill, etc. and not go with what is now the generic/anywhere in east MoCo "Silver Spring"

by Sean on Jul 30, 2013 3:28 pm • linkreport

I didn't grow up in the area, but in my part of South Jersey we used to refer to almost everything by the number. I'm only vaguely familiar with the written name in some cases. Of course there were only about three numbered routes that went through my town and another half dozen or so in the area that we ever used. There are a few old roads (I think mostly over 100 years old) that we called by name eg White Horse Pike. Also sometimes the name of the road changes by jurisdiction so its just easier to use the number.

by Alan B. on Jul 30, 2013 3:28 pm • linkreport

I almost exclusively go with names (e.g. Georgia Ave, The ICC, Viers Mill, Rockville Pike, Norbeck, University, Powder Mill, etc.) but will often say 212 for Powder Mill, use 29/Colesville interchangeably, and always say Rt. 1

by JessMan on Jul 30, 2013 3:32 pm • linkreport

Ben Ross; Yeah, after living there 5 years I still wasn't really sure where I-287 was and wasn't.

The equivalent here is probably DC's freeways. I-395 crosses the 14th Street bridge and then gets off the physical freeway to make a 90 degree left turn and go under the mall. The road you were on, if you stay on it, turns into what's now I-695 before reaching the intersection of I-295 and DC-295.

When I give people directions via the freeways I ignore the numbers because I don't think they make it any clearer. I just say "go through the tunnel, stay left and follow the signs that say Anacostia, then get off at 7th Street" or whatever.

by David Alpert on Jul 30, 2013 3:33 pm • linkreport

@Ian-

I also grew up not far from Four Corners, I agree with the distinction.

And furthermore, I think that the "Silver Spring" agglomeration has gotten out of hand. Though I would consider Four Corners an area of Silver Spring, I can't say the same for Wheaton, Kemp Mill, White Oak, Colesville, Cloverly, Forest Glen, Spencerville, Hillandale, Norbeck, Glenmont, Aspen Hill...

by Dave Murphy on Jul 30, 2013 3:33 pm • linkreport

@ Rich:Was it really necessary for Richmond to change it just for some funding scheme

Do you enjoy the nice new smooth asphalt on VA-286 and 289, as opposed to the porous, bumpy, pothole row of VA_7100 and 7900? If so, then yes.

Also, VA-3000 became VA-291...

by Jasper on Jul 30, 2013 3:41 pm • linkreport

@Dave Murphy:

Why so exclusionary on "Silver Spring?" Those other areas have always been a part of the Greater Silver Spring metropolis. Leisure World or Bust!

by Crickey7 on Jul 30, 2013 3:43 pm • linkreport

The roadgeek in me loves this post and comments. Even though I have most route numbers in the DC area memorized ("MD 186", anyone?), I pretty much call streets by name for clarity unless they're basically freeways (MD 100, VA 28, the former VA 7100) or they change multiple times in a short distance like MD 355.

@ Capt. Hilts, Dave Murphy

Speaking of 355, I have always been perplexed as to why SHA signs the Beltway exit as "Wisconsin Avenue" when it technically is called Rockville Pike all the way south to Woodmont Ave? Anyway, I'm totally in favor of renaming 355 as Wisconsin Avenue all the way to the Frederick County border. Let's rename MD 500 (Queens Chapel Road) Michigan Avenue and

by Reza on Jul 30, 2013 3:44 pm • linkreport

@ Dave

It has gotten way out of hand. Maybe Silver Spring should incorporate, but that will probably never happen. Even if it did it would become what Hyattsville is to PG County, both an incorporated city and the broad areas surrounding it that happen to have the name "Hyattsville" assigned to their zip codes.

by Sean on Jul 30, 2013 3:45 pm • linkreport

I can't keep 286 straight from 267 and 234. Was it really necessary for Richmond to change it just for some funding scheme?

Basically, yes. The numbers are there so that you could put all the roads in a database and recognize which roads are which. Much like how Interstates have even numbers when they travel east-west and odd when they go north-south. It's easier to change the numbers than it is to try and remember all sorts of exceptions to the numbering formula.

by drumz on Jul 30, 2013 3:47 pm • linkreport

Nobody calls the Columbia Pike Route 244. In my experience everyone in Crystal City says Jeff (or Jefferson) Davis Highway. I personally refuse to call it that, but I have a problem with things being named after the president of the Confederacy. But that's just me.

by Sayne on Jul 30, 2013 3:58 pm • linkreport

I say "Wisconsin Avenue" and "Rockville Pike" but everything north of Viers Mill is "Route 355".

I say "Route 1" for everything outside of DC and Old Town.

"Route 97" only for north of the Patuxent.

I'm much more likely to call east-west routes north of Rockville and Aspen Hill by their numbers - 28, 108, 198, 118.

by Frank IBC on Jul 30, 2013 3:58 pm • linkreport

Rhode Island Avenue in DC is largely Route 1. Route 1 in Maryland is Rhode Island Avenue from Mount Rainier to Hyattsville, and then Baltimore Avenue from Hyattsville northward through College Park and onwards towards Beltsville. It's not a road change, actually - the old Rhode Island Avenue was the alignment for the streetcar that went to Laurel/Beltsville/Branchville, and it still exists - discontinous at many points - as both a neighborhood road and as a bike/walk path at points too.

by Jarrett on Jul 30, 2013 3:59 pm • linkreport

@ Reza:"MD 186", anyone?

I raise you VA-233.

@ drumz:The numbers are there so that you could put all the roads in a database and recognize which roads are which.

I thought the change was just a different numbering system for secondary roads and primary roads in VA, where secondary and primary roads roughly equate to what most states call county and state routes.

Quite frankly, they should rename and upgrade the Fairfax County Parkway to what it is: a spur between I-66 and I-95. I'd prefer to call it I-666 (because I-195, I-295, I-395 and I-495 are already taken in VA, and I-295, I-595, I-695, I-795 and I-895 are already taken nearby (not to forget VA-895). I-995 would be cool too, that would be the highest numbered highway in the system (an honor now taken by I-990 near Buffalo).

by Jasper on Jul 30, 2013 4:03 pm • linkreport

"Colesville Road" below Northwest Branch, "Route 29" above.

by Frank IBC on Jul 30, 2013 4:06 pm • linkreport

@ Frank IBC

That's true about some of those E-W MoCo routes: "108" definitely rolls off the tongue more than "Olney-Laytonsville Road" or "Olney-Sandy Spring Road". Also, MD 118 used to be known as "Darnestown-Germantown Road" and MD 28 west of I-270 was "Darnestown-Rockville Road".

I always call MD 28 by its name, even though it changes four times in downtown Rockville alone.

by Reza on Jul 30, 2013 4:09 pm • linkreport

Route 108 in Maryland is another. Although I spent years and years driving it from Gaithersburg(ish) to Columbia(ish), passing through Olney, Sandy Spring, Clarksville, and who knows where else, I cannot tell you a single name name for that road. It's just "108." As in "I hate driving on 108."

by Birdie on Jul 30, 2013 4:14 pm • linkreport

Jasper,

Basically. It's the consistency. There's got to be a way to quantify which roads are which so that mr. brand new engineer from Kansas or California knows why this road is getting more money than that one. Oh, because it's in range 1-500.

by drumz on Jul 30, 2013 4:21 pm • linkreport

Having grown up in Northern Va (the Falls Church section of Fairfax County) and moved to Four Corners, errrrr...Silver Spring, as an adult, I'll throw my 2¢ all around.

Nothing in the District has a route number. 295 is either Kenilworth Avenue or the Anacostia Freeway.

In Virginia:
US 50 is 50 (we used to laugh at a clearly out of town traffic reporter on a local NPR station very low on the dial that reads "Lee Jackson Hwy" off the computer screen for his reports)
123 is 123 (name changes, plus Dolley Madison/Chain Bridge Confusion)
7 is 7 except when it's King St. or, for some real Falls Church partisans, Broad St.
267 is "The Toll Road"
495 is 495 if you're not from around here, it's the Beltway to everyone else
236 is 236 unless it's Duke St. or Main St.
620 is always Braddock Road (never mind the Alexandria Braddock Road, I still have memories of driving out past Centreville with my parents in the 80s, looking for Fort Ward)
Rt 1 is Rt 1
234 is 234, except where it's "the bypass" around Manassas
244 has NEVER been 244, always Columbia Pike
120 has NEVER been 120, always Glebe Road
237 is Washington Blvd, but 27 (also Washington Blvd) is just 27
28 is 28,
95 is 95 and 395 is 395, but both should be Shirley Hwy,
if it's not in the above list, it goes by its name (did I miss any?)
And you can tell a true local because they know that the Mixing Bowl and the Springfield Interchange are two different places.

In Maryland:
355 has been adequately addressed, above :)
193 goes by name
The earlier commenters were dead on about 29 "changing" at Four Corners
28 is a tossup, but it turns into 198, which goes by number.
Virtually none of the roads inside the beltway go by number.
118 & 109 go by number
117 & 124 are Clopper and Quince Orchard (or Mont. Village.)
108 is 108
450 is 450
The radial roads in southern PG seem like tossups to me - 4, 5, 210, 214... I hear both name and number. 301 is always 301.
424 is Davidsonville Road, but 50 is still 50.

Any I missed?

by Joe in SS on Jul 30, 2013 4:23 pm • linkreport

One other side note - many of these rules may change (or the local custom does) if you're speaking in a language other than English. I've routinely heard roads referred to in Spanish by their route number that you wouldn't hear in English...

by Joe in SS on Jul 30, 2013 4:24 pm • linkreport

301 has a name? Who knew?

by Crickey7 on Jul 30, 2013 4:26 pm • linkreport

I share @Sayne feelings about keeping Jeff Davis's name on anything anymore, but I don't want to take this thread in a political direction.

Instead, I'll raise an even more controversial topic: Is "route" pronounced ROWT? or ROOT? In my Fairfax County dialect it's ROOT 50 but PAPER ROWT.

by c5karl on Jul 30, 2013 4:30 pm • linkreport

236 in fairfax county is Little River Turnpike, or Little River, or LRT. Its never 236 unless I'm describing a route into City of Alexandria (if I'm discussing it in a purely Alexandria context its Duke Street). If I'm describing a route into City of Fairfax I usually forget about the name change to Main Street.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 30, 2013 4:30 pm • linkreport

FYI, Veirs Mill Road is 586 for its whole length. It ends at 28 in Rockville.

As a native Silver Springer, I use "29" to refer to Colesville/Columbia, "355" for Rockville Pike et al. and "410" to refer to that road. (In the space of three blocks in Silver Spring, it's East-West Highway, Burlington Road, and Philadelphia Avenue - why bother with the name?) I use "University" for 193 since I normally only travel on the University Boulevard part.

by Lindemann on Jul 30, 2013 4:32 pm • linkreport

Georgia Avenue 4IFE

by John Muller on Jul 30, 2013 4:44 pm • linkreport

"Root 50".

"Rowting slip".

"Root 50 is the best rowt to take to get to the beach."

Either "eyether" or "eether".

by Frank IBC on Jul 30, 2013 4:56 pm • linkreport

It's all over the board. Having lived in Gaithersburg, we generally called it 355, but if you're in Rockville, it's Rockville Pike and if you're in Bethesda or DC, it's Wisconsin Ave. Hardly anyone called it Frederick Rd. unless they were giving directions to someone who didn't know where they were. I think the neighborhood has a lot to do with it. Close-in or central areas (like Rockville) tend to use road names (I doubt anyone ever called Connecticut Ave. Alt-240 in the old days). Outside the Beltway in the "country," more of a tendency to use route numbers.

In Silver Spring, where I live now, the Colesville Rd. and Georgia Ave. portions of US 29 are referred to by name. Once you get out to where it becomes Columbia Pike, it's 29. (Personally, I think the whole thing should be Columbia Pike, since neither US 29 nor Colesville Rd. have gone to, through or near Colesville, Md. in more than 50 years, but we can save that for another topic.)

And yes, you missed one: Rt. 355 is Worthington Blvd. where it bypasses Urbana Pike for a stretch.

by Mark on Jul 30, 2013 5:01 pm • linkreport

I am grossly inconsistent when it comes to this. First off, as a Marylander, I don't call Virginia roads by their names, by and large; most of the time, Lee Hwy is 29 and so forth. Of course, I rarely know what road I'm on in Virginia, since the signs on the GW Parkway are so small and don't tell you where you're going till you're already there, knowing that you'll either be in Richmond, Tysons, or on Chain Bridge Road - somehow.

As for Maryland:

97 is Georgia Avenue, all the way until the Pennsylvania border.
29 is just "Colesville" until you get up to about Cherry Hill Road, at which point it simply becomes 29. It is DEFINITELY 29 by the HoCo border.
Connecticut Avenue is always just Connecticut Avenue; same with Mass Ave. Wisconsin Ave, Rockville Pike, and 355 are used interchangeably, and I seldom call it Hungerford Drive/go to that part of Rockville anyways. River Road is its name, not 190. Forest Glen is only 192 for like 2 seconds, so it stays "Forest Glen" through and through. Layhill is never 182. 28 is either Norbeck or W Montgomery. The ICC is never 200. I'm surprised Randolph is not numbered, but if it were, I'd probably still call it Randolph.

Generally, I refer to roads by their names in MoCo or DC, and then their numbers once their names change in P.G., e.g. "East-West," "Philadelphia," or "Ethan Allen" for 410 until it becomes Veterans Parkway, at which point it's just called 410; by the same method, 193 is "University" until it becomes Greenbelt Road. On that note, I call Riggs Road (212) "Riggs" because that's what it is in D.C.

495 is "the Beltway," obviously; the B/W Parkway is "295," the Baltimore Beltway "695," and the Southwest Freeway "395." As there is no number for the Whitehurst Freeway, I just call it "Whitehurst."

by Adam Maisto on Jul 30, 2013 5:08 pm • linkreport

@David,

I think you hit on the lynchpin in DC: I-695. Almost without fail, the day that my newcomer friends discover this bizarre little appendix hidden within the Southwest/Southeast Freeway is the day that they gave up on using Route or Interstate numbers for anything inside the District. If even I-395/I-295/DC-295, with its bevy of signage, can't be trusted, then why would you rely on 1, 29, or 50, which DDOT seems to have stopped installing signs for in the mid-1950s?

by Tom Veil on Jul 30, 2013 5:10 pm • linkreport

Randolph Road between Rockville Pike and what's now Gaynor Road used to be Montrose Road. And so did Gaynor. Randolph didn't exist between Gaynor and Georgia Avenue before the 1950s.

by Frank IBC on Jul 30, 2013 5:15 pm • linkreport

Oh, don't get me started. Back in the Mapquest days, I got lost in McLean once for nearly an hour - mainly because I had no clue that Rt 123 and Chain Bridge Road are two separate roads. I kept staring at the map and couldn't figure out how I got so far off track until I stumbled on my destination by accident.

by JackRussell on Jul 30, 2013 5:31 pm • linkreport

Back in 2000 I used Mapquest to create directions from Reagan National Airport to our office, for a visiting official.

It directed me to a parking lot near one of the Senate Office Buildings. I guess one of the employees of Mapquest back then didn't care for the name of the airport.

by Frank IBC on Jul 30, 2013 5:36 pm • linkreport

Randolph Road used to be MD 183 between MD 355 and MD 650 but was decommissioned in the 1970s. Some of the recent ones have not stuck at all, like I never call Great Seneca Hwy "MD 119" or the ICC "MD 200".

by Reza on Jul 30, 2013 6:01 pm • linkreport

@ Adam Maisto:As there is no number for the Whitehurst Freeway, I just call it "Whitehurst."

Actually, the Whitehurst Freeway is US-29, just like Key Bridge is. Since DC and VA generally do a horrible job with road signs, this is hard to figure out, however, if you come from Canal Rd/ M St to the Whitehurst Freeway you'll see signs indicating this.


View Larger Map

It is a pet-peeve of mine that nothing on the VA side of US-29 (north) tells you to turn left onto Lynn St/Key Bridge if you want to stay on US-29. In typical VA/Arlington style, you can only find out after you make the turn.

by Jasper on Jul 30, 2013 10:05 pm • linkreport

Actually, I have heard a local traffic reporter refer to "the Shirley Highway." Which I interpret as 395 inside the Beltway.

by Capt. Hilts on Jul 30, 2013 10:44 pm • linkreport

Streets are named inside urban areas, but highways are numbered in rural areas.

by Zmapper on Jul 30, 2013 11:19 pm • linkreport

I absolutely love this post, and the comments on it.

by Justin..... on Jul 30, 2013 11:21 pm • linkreport

As some here probably know, Sand Box John has for most of the last 35 years been employed as a contract courier. That being said virtually all state roads are identified by their name.

I absolutely despise the use of word "route" when identifying a numbered US, Interstate or state highway. To me it Maryland US-50 or MD US 50, Maryland 355 or MD-355, Virginia I-395 or VA I-395, same applies everywhere in the country.

I generally only use numbers when identifying a road that does not have street address on it, examples would be controlled access highways. Controlled access highway that also have names that are commonly used will most of the time be identified by their name. Dulles Toll Road, Baltimore Beltway, Shirley Highway.

Another pet peeve, The Baltimore Washington Parkway is not and I repeat is not Route 295. MD-295 begins at MD-175 in Howard County and becomes Russell Street at Bush Street in Baltimore City. The given name for MD-295 is The Baltimore Washington Parkway Expressway.

Here is a little trivia for you, MD US-50 in all counties on the eastern shore is named Ocean Gateway, Within the city limits of Cambridge it is named Sunburst Highway. The controlled access segment of MD US-50 on north and east sides of Salisbury is the Salisbury Bypass, Business MD US-50 through Salisbury is named Salisbury Parkway.

I often get the dear in headlights look from folks over here when calling Business MD US-50 in Salisbury, Salisbury Parkway.

by Sand Box John on Jul 31, 2013 12:40 am • linkreport

I always call everything by its proper name; if I'am in DC I say Wisconsin Ave, in Bethesda Wisconsin Ave, North Bethesda Rockville Pike and so on. I was always taught to adapt to whatever city I'am in and that means going by the given name in that area and if I go to an area up the street that has a different name I use that one when speaking about that place.

@ Zmapper

Thats not true; by defintion there is no area that is not urban around here for atleast 200+ miles. I have been in rural areas and the highways are also named. Streets are named every single place you go Route XXX or Rural Route XXX are names.

by kk on Jul 31, 2013 1:27 am • linkreport

Except when passing through a really, really major city like DC, Baltimore, or Philadelphia, it seems to me like everywhere along its 1500 mile route, US-1 is called "Route 1" and everywhere along "Route 1" seems to spring up the iconic strip malls of suburbia. I've always considered it America's Main Street. It's the only road around here I've ever referred to as "Route".

by Dave Murphy on Jul 31, 2013 3:32 am • linkreport

At least when referring to road by the number we don’t add the useless “the” as is the practice in Los Angeles, e.g. “the I-10” or “the 10 freeway.” You know that a TV writer has never visited DC when a character in a supposedly Washington based show says “We’ll take the I-66.”

by Frank S on Jul 31, 2013 8:17 am • linkreport

Outside of the West Coast, Washington DC, Charlotte, Milwaukee and several cities in Michigan are the only ones that use the nomenclature "freeway".

by Frank IBC on Jul 31, 2013 8:28 am • linkreport

@Frank S.: You know that a TV writer has never visited DC when a character in a supposedly Washington based show says “We’ll take the I-66.

Nor is this problem of screenwriter myopia isn't limited to DC: I've heard the same complaint in New York, Chicago, Kansas City, Miami, etc.

What's surprising is that the habit hasn't caught on anywhere else based on the cultural influence of southern California.

by Bitter Brew on Jul 31, 2013 8:37 am • linkreport

@Lindemann

Viers Mill Rd from MD 911 (First St) to MD 355 (Rockville Pike) is MD 28.

As for what I call roads, it depends. Near where I live (downtown Silver Spring) they are all refered to by name. The same applies for roads in my hometown, Cincinnati. However, in Anne Arundel County they are all numbers to me, with the exceptions of the former bane of my existence known as Ridge Rd and also Mountain Rd. Those two roads have history behind them at work. The latter road's name is also quite pecuiliar in that Mountain Rd is one of the flattest state routes in AA County.

by Murn on Jul 31, 2013 8:40 am • linkreport

@ Bitter Brew:What's surprising is that the habit hasn't caught on anywhere else based on the cultural influence of southern California.

What's really surprising is that there is apparently nobody in Hollywood that has noticed this and put out a note on it. Despite the fact that the entire visual industry is located in LA/SoCal, the people that work there come from all over the place. You'd think that Goldie Hawn, Sam Jackson, Sandra Bullock, or any writer or producer not from SoCal at some point would notice.

It's rather an oversight for an industry that's rather anal about continuity errors.

by Jasper on Jul 31, 2013 8:55 am • linkreport

c5karl: Funny you mention the Shirly Highway name not being used on any roadway signs. Where you can find the Shirley Hwy designator is on Metrobus route maps, including the current Virginia bus service map. The older version of the VA bus service map even had a call-out box noting something along the line of "Shirley Hwy Exrpess Lanes" with all the routes listed serving the Pentagon and the District.

Here is an example: http://www.wmata.com/bus/timetables/VA/7b-x.pdf?n

by Transport. on Jul 31, 2013 8:56 am • linkreport

I live between Pentagon City and Crystal City and I tend to say "Route 1" in Arlington and Alexandria, though sometimes I'll say "Jeff Davis" for the Arlington segment, and "Patrick" or "Henry" in Old Town where each individual street intersects with another street if the cross-street is more relevant.

Partly I just don't like saying "Jefferson Davis Highway", which I suppose is not unlike people not wanting to say Reagan National Airport. (Caveat: my mother's side comes from old plantation money, but I still think it's both an awkwardly ironic and fairly inappropriate street name.)

by J.D. Hammond on Jul 31, 2013 8:59 am • linkreport

Someone mentions Alt-240 above for Conn. Ave. I think Wisc. Ave. in the District and Bethesda (maybe went further north) used to be (up to the '60s,'70s?) U.S. Route 240, not State Route 355, but I don't remember it ever being called anything other than Wisconsin Ave.

by Ethan on Jul 31, 2013 9:06 am • linkreport

Interesting discussion. For me it depends. I'm at least somewhat familiar with nearly every major arterial route in DC and Central MD (from Frederick County to Southern PGC to eastern Baltimore County) and once in a while I might forget a route number, but that's usually how I refer to them.

The only exceptions would be the "state" avenues that extend from DC into MD which I refer to by their actual names (the only exception is 355/Wisconsin which, as mentioned, changes names 10 million times). Of course in DC, 295 is the only "state" route (in addition to US Rtes 1, 29, & 50) so I always use names.

South of the river I'm familiar with all the interstates but only a few routes (US 1, 29, and 50, and VA 28 and 267). I'll refer to the Dulles Toll Road/267 as just the Toll Road, but I'll never use the names of those celebrating the Confederacy (Lee Hwy, Jeff Davis Hwy, etc.).

by King Terrapin on Jul 31, 2013 10:30 am • linkreport

@Jasper & @drumz

I'm just surprised that VDOT's database isn't robust enough to include a seperate identifier for roads to fund improvements. From VDOT's press release:
"As primary roads, the routes can receive federal funding for paving, guardrail, bridge improvements and other projects. Federal funding typically covers 80 percent of the cost to maintain interstates and primary roads, with the remaining 20 percent from state funds."

Fine, so now they're "primary" roads. I don't understand why - again, using 21st century database technology - that the route numbers themselves need to change.

Seperately: it might make for a good history project: at what point did roads first get assigned numbers? (Was ancient Rome's "Appian Way" ever designated a route number?)

by Rich on Jul 31, 2013 10:30 am • linkreport

Funny, just the other day I was complaining to a friend about having to ditch 95 for Route 1 on our way back from Richmond due to traffic. (I say "rowt.") The friend, who is, like myself, a transplant here from the South, pointed out that I still pronounce it like a Southerner, while somewhere along the line she succumbed and now says "root." After reading this thread, I just asked a few people here in the office with me, all of whom are natives to this area, and apparently my friend is right; more folks from this neck of the woods say "root."

by Sunny on Jul 31, 2013 10:33 am • linkreport

Maybe it's Root One in New England, Rowt One in Virginia and the Carolinas, and Root One again in South Florida.

by David Alpert on Jul 31, 2013 10:39 am • linkreport

Well, my partner is from NOVA and he says "Root." I'm from Memphis and my aforementioned friend is from Georgia, so maybe it starts "routing" somewhere between central VA and NC? :)

by Sunny on Jul 31, 2013 11:04 am • linkreport

As mentioned, naming practices are probably strongly influenced by how close one lives to the roads/highways in question. If you see the road signs on a regular basis and are often trying to find addresses on them, you will probably be very familiar with and use the road names. If on the other hand you rarely go to a place or only drive through it, you will probably know its road network more from looking at maps than from firsthand exposure, and thus are more likely to use route numbers.

"I share @Sayne feelings about keeping Jeff Davis's name on anything anymore, but I don't want to take this thread in a political direction.

Instead, I'll raise an even more controversial topic: Is "route" pronounced ROWT? or ROOT? In my Fairfax County dialect it's ROOT 50 but PAPER ROWT."

I'm not so particular about the pronunciation of "route", but I'm not a big fan of this bizarro usage of "anymore."

by Chris S. on Jul 31, 2013 11:11 am • linkreport

@Jasper: What's really surprising is that there is apparently nobody in Hollywood that has noticed this and put out a note on it.

Good point. Particularly given that, as a matter of course, they go to the trouble to pick out an authentic local highway to use. So they've figured out it would be hinky if characters elsewhere in America talked about driving I-5 or US-101, but they can't recognize this almost nationwide issue.

by Bitter Brew on Jul 31, 2013 12:40 pm • linkreport

As I was reading this post, I took a phone call for a coworker. The message: "Tell her we're crossing the big road now." They were supposed to meet for lunch, and we work in Skyline. So is the big road Leesburg Pike? Columbia Pike? Whatever. Never mind names and numbers, just say "the big road" or "the little road." :-)

by Steve Dunham on Jul 31, 2013 12:45 pm • linkreport

My partner says "anymore" in most circumstances where someone would say "these days". He was exposed to a lot of Appalachian dialect in far southwest Virginia.

by J.D. Hammond on Jul 31, 2013 1:40 pm • linkreport

Back in PA we called every 3-digit State road by its number (with only a few rare exceptions), all the 4-digits by their names. In many cases I wouldn't even know the 3-digit routes' actual names without looking them up, despite having grown up there and always being pretty transportation-minded.

In MD I'm a bit biased... work had me dealing with numbers, which fit well with growing up in PA. So every state route is a number to me first and foremost; non-state routes I go by their names. I tended to call all of BW Pkwy as 295, though, and very rarely referred to applicable parts of 50 as 595.

And in DC the only things I call by number are 295, 395, and 50 EOTR. I drop 695, never find myself dealing with 66 to think about it, and despite living on both 1 & 29 I never really think of them as such.

by Bossi on Jul 31, 2013 1:56 pm • linkreport

A few thoughts:

Even the federally-maintained part of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway (between U.S. 50 and Md. 175 at Odenton) has a "secret" route number assigned by Maryland SHA - Md. 295.

Silver Spring (IMO) is what the Postal Service defines as Silver Spring, since it is not incorporated. My place in Silver Spring is near the Burtonsville Fire Station, but it has a Silver Spring ZIP code, so I call it that.

I prefer numbers over names, though it is important to qualify that when speaking of route numbers that are repeated around the region (U.S. 50/John Hanson Highway/New York Avenue/Constitution Avenue/Arlington Boulevard/Lee Jackson Highway; Md. 650/New Hampshire Avenue, Va. 650, Gallows Road; Md. 193/University Boulevard/Greenbelt Road/Enterprise Road/Watkins Park Drive, Va. 193/Georgetown Pike; Md. 28/Darnestown Road/Montgomery Avenue/First Street/Norbeck Road and a few more/Va. 28/Sully Road/Centreville Road/Nokesville Road).

by C. P. Zilliacus on Jul 31, 2013 2:33 pm • linkreport

At least we don't put a "the" in front of freeways like those guacamole-and-botox sodden Californians. If anyone around here calls it "the 495 freeway", I'm a-gonna hurl.

by daveb59 on Jul 31, 2013 4:44 pm • linkreport

You also have something similar in music where it is not routes that are being discussed with the in front of them but area codes.

by kk on Jul 31, 2013 5:58 pm • linkreport

I am still waiting for the first post referencing I-595 - the official FHWA designation of John Hanson Highway. :) It still shows up, in all places on *aviation* GPS's, when designating freeways that you are flying over.

by Joe in SS on Jul 31, 2013 6:10 pm • linkreport

@ Joe: I am still waiting for the first post referencing I-595

The wait has been over for 26h. Jul 30, 2013 4:03.

by Jasper on Jul 31, 2013 8:32 pm • linkreport

Interestingly, around here we distinguish Interstates ("I-95") but not usually between US and state routes (US-50 is "Route 50," and VA-7 is "Route 7").

In Michigan, locals always distinguish between state and US federal routes. For example, Michigan Highway 15 is always "M-15", while US-23 is always "US-23", never "Route 23". This is reinforced by state highway shields that contain a black block M above the route number. (North Carolina used to do the same thing with an interlocking "NC" on its highway shields, and state routes there still tend to be called "NC-86.")

In Texas, they have the odd habit of calling Interstates "IH-35" instead of just I-35. Seems superfluous to me.

by DC-Nate on Jul 31, 2013 8:43 pm • linkreport

@Jasper, @Joe: Here's a post from 2008 by Dave Murphy referencing I-595:
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/1511/traffic-is-poisoning-ivy-city/

by David Alpert on Jul 31, 2013 9:34 pm • linkreport

@Joe

It would be nice if the SHA actually signed the John Hanson Hwy as with its primary signed designation of I-595 like DC DOT did with the SE Freeway/I-695. I have a feeling that many people not from the area assume that US 50 a "normal" US route with low speed limits and traffic signals. Other dual US routes/interstates (eg. I-70/US 40 between Ellicott City and Frederick) show both Route designations.

Interesting side note: On a past trip on MD97 from Montgomery to Carroll County I realized that for a significant segment in Howard/Carroll counties the route actually had no name, and road signs would label it "MD Rte 97." This is especially interesting because a number of homes/businesses have addresses on the route (which starts at the DC border as Georgia Ave and ends at the PA border where it continues to Gettysburg as PA 97). Even expressway state routes (MD100, MD200, MD32, MD295) have names...

by King Terrapin on Jul 31, 2013 10:25 pm • linkreport

Up here near Bawlmore it does seem like the road name is FAR more prevelant that the route number. Just thinking about highways going north on the beltway from where I'm at you have:

MD-372, but everyone calls it Wilkens Ave
MD-144, but everyone calls is Frederick Rd
US-40, probably the only one that gets called by route number
MD-122, again everybody jsut calls it Security (the Blvd part gets dropped often as not)
MD-26, always Liberty Rd
MD-140, but almost always Resiterstown Rd
MD-129, I actually had to look up the route number because its just Park Heights Ave
MD-25, always referred to as Falls Rd
MD-139, again always Charles Stree and another I had to look up the number because I couldn't recall
MD-45, York Rd again road name only
MD-146, Dulaney Valley Rd again name only
MD-542 another one that I had to look up the number since its just Loch Raven Blvd to everybody I know
MD-41, always just Perring Pkwy
MD-147 I can't even think I've ever referenced it but I'd put money on Hartford Rd over number
MD-43 is always White Marsh Blvd
and
US-1 is Route 1

So all of the Maryland highways from 95 to 95 on my side of the lawn are referred to by name rather than number except for US-1 and -40 which have their numbers as the titles.

by Greg on Aug 1, 2013 12:16 am • linkreport

MD-117 is West Diamond Avenue to the east of Quince Orchard Rd , but becomes Clopper Rd to the west of Quince Orchard Rd. Or is it to the east/west of I-270?

I think that for a new transplant trying to figure out the roundabouts and streets/avenues in D.C. that do not follow a straight line (e.g., Pennsylvania Ave., 17th St.) is worse than figuring out the names/numbers of the different roads.

Also, during the last 1 ½ year, I have never listened to a radio report about traffic on Clara Barton Hwy./Canal Rd., which seems to me a preferred route for I-270 commuters driving to/from D.C. Reports are exclusively about traffic on the Beltway, the I-270 Spur, the American Legion Bridge, the GW Parkway and the Roosevelt Bridge.

by Kikito on Aug 1, 2013 9:56 am • linkreport

@Jasper: fairfax county parkway can't be an interstate because it doesn't meet the standards (specifically, it has a lot of at-grade intersections). VDOT is removing some of those, but it would be prohibitively expensive to get rid of all of them.

by Mike on Aug 1, 2013 12:07 pm • linkreport

@Reza the address of NIH is Rockville Pike while new Walter Reed, across the street, is Wisconsin Avenue. Go figure.

@Sunny
For me, it's "root" when naming a road, but "rowt" when talking about a router tool or networking router. Also I would say, "Which 'root' did they take?" and "How were they 'rowted'?"

by Wilson on Aug 1, 2013 7:47 pm • linkreport

@ Mike: fairfax county parkway can't be an interstate because it doesn't meet the standards

I know. But give it time, and all at-grate intersections with disappear. The road was designed as the outer Beltway, and you can see that the ROW is there to have on- and off-ramps at the bigger intersections.

The biggest problem at the FFX Parkway is traffic lights, not volume.

by Jasper on Aug 5, 2013 1:25 pm • linkreport

"In Texas, they have the odd habit of calling Interstates "IH-35" instead of just I-35. Seems superfluous to me."

It is, kind of, but TxDOT tries to keep everything as 2-letter codes. IH, US, SH (state highway), CR (county road), RR (ranch road), LP (loop), FM (farm-to-market), etc.

And having lived in New Orleans, they say "the I-10" just like Californians.

by Houston Dave on Aug 5, 2013 1:58 pm • linkreport

Add a Comment

Name: (will be displayed on the comments page)

Email: (must be your real address, but will be kept private)

URL: (optional, will be displayed)

Your comment:

By submitting a comment, you agree to abide by our comment policy.
Notify me of followup comments via email. (You can also subscribe without commenting.)
Save my name and email address on this computer so I don't have to enter it next time, and so I don't have to answer the anti-spam map challenge question in the future.

or

Support Us

How can our region be greater?

DC Maryland Virginia Arlington Alexandria Montgomery Prince George's Fairfax Charles Prince William Loudoun Howard Anne Arundel Frederick Tysons Corner Baltimore Falls Church Fairfax City
CC BY-NC