Local lingo: outer loop / inner loop

9 Sep

When you first drove into DC you most likely used interstate 495, aka “the beltway.” Why is it called the beltway, you ask? Because it goes around the District and the local suburbs in a 64-mile-long loop. The bad news is, it’s easy (at least for me) to accidentally get onto the beltway going the wrong direction. The good news is, if you don’t realize that you’re going the wrong way, you can just keep going and eventually you will end up where you want to go (I’ve done this … more than once).

But  anywho, this brings me to outer loop / inner loop. The inner loop is closest to DC and the outer loop is farther away. What I find interesting about the whole thing is that a lot of people find it very confusing. You wouldn’t know this by how radio traffic reporters talk — they constantly talk about inner loop and outer loop. And I guess if you have a commute on 495 every day you would eventually figure it out. And it’s not like they can say north or south because that wouldn’t make any sense either. I’ve read that the outer loop goes counter clockwise and the inner loop goes clockwise, but that doesn’t seem very helpful.

So basically, as my roommate / assistant blog editor concludes, you need to buy a GPS.

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