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Driving in Richmond
I-95, I-195, I-295 and I-64 pass through or around Richmond.
I-95 runs north-south from Alexandria, Virginia through Richmond and Petersburg, then into North Carolina. It passes over downtown Richmond on bridges elevated high above Shockoe Slip.
I-64 runs from Norfolk in the southeast, through Richmond and Charlottesville then into West Virginia. Through central Richmond, I-64 and I-95 share the same roadway for about six miles, just north of downtown.
Interstate 195 is a short toll spur from north of downtown Richmond, south into downtown.
Interstate 295 is a bypass to the east of Richmond, from I-95 south of Petersburg, across Interstate 64 east of Richmond and I-95 north of Richmond to I-64 west of Richmond. This road is also known as the Richmond Beltway.
Parking can be tough in Shockoe Slip on weekends or busy hours of the work day. On some occasions I've had to pay a small amount to park in the local garages rather than walk a few blocks. On other occasions, I've parked right on the main street, and the spots were so tight, a local homeless guy spotted me then asked for a tip. He helped me out for a minute so I gave him a buck. He stood there and asked for more. I walked away and found a $30 lunch.
Taking a Toll
Ever since 1958, when I went through Richmond, I had to pay a toll to use the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike. This highway, which paralleled U.S. Route 1 and U.S. Route 301 between the northern edge of Richmond, Virginia and the southern limits of Petersburg, Virginia, pre-dated the creation of the Interstate Highway System. Although tolls were removed completely in 1992, I still think of this as a toll road and often take the beltway/bypass (photo 3, 4, and 5) instead of going through the city.
When I went to a training meeting in Richmond in 1997, I had to pay a 15 cent toll to get to the hotel.
Today, the following toll roads exist in the Richmond area, and their tolls can all be paid for using Smart Tag/EZ Pass. (EZ Pass lane in Maryland shown in photo 2)
* Downtown Expressway in Richmond.
* Powhite Parkway and Powhite Parkway Extension in Richmond and Chesterfield County.
* Boulevard Bridge (the "Nickel Bridge", though it costs 25 cents now) in Richmond
* Pocahontas Parkway in Chesterfield and Henrico County.
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Getting around by car
Even those new to the area will find getting around Richmond easier than most places. True, or mass transport is almost nonexistent, however except for some weekday rush hour delays, traffic is fairly light and parking is better than most places. It might be easier to travel around the West End with the new Route 288 which connects Southside to West End and Goochland. Here are a few miscellaneous tips I hope you will find helpful:
- Right turns are allowed on red unless posted otherwise.
- Left turns on red are only allowed from a one-way street onto another, unless otherwise noted.
- With the exception of Broad Street, downtown streets are generally one-way.
- Tolls from 20¢ to $2 are found on Downtown Expressway, Powhite Parkway, and Pocohantas Parkway.
- Many parking lots are dispersed throughout the city for prices from less than $1 to $6 per hour.
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