Terrible Traffic Tuesday: Back to school, work means heavy congestion on DC area roadways

Get ready to spend more time in traffic across the D.C. region as drivers return to the roadways in what is commonly known around the area as 'Terrible Traffic Tuesday.'

The nickname was given to the Tuesday after Labor Day because after a long summer break, nearly all schools are back in session and all vacations are over – which means more commuters on the roads.

This year also marks a return to the office for many workers who had been working remotely since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In years past, AAA Mid-Atlantic reported that D.C. commuters could experience as much as a 15 percent increase in average time sitting in traffic delays on the Tuesday after Labor Day.

Some gridlock hotspots AAA has traditionally warned drivers about include I-270 in Maryland from the Beltway to I-70, I-66 from the Potomac River to US-17, I-395 from the Springfield Interchange to the Third Street Tunnel, I-295 from the Beltway to the Third Street Tunnel and both the inner and outer loops of the Beltway.

AAA predicted more drivers would hit the road over this past Labor Day weekend despite high gas prices and said holiday weekend travel volume could return to near pre-pandemic level as it did for the Memorial Day and Independence Day holiday weekends earlier this summer.