Updated: 10:45 p.m., May 2, 2013



After a series of high-profile retirements and departures, the Baltimore Ravens have a few important slots to fill going into the 2013 season. Many of Ravens coach John Harbaugh's early offseason moves reflect his desire for a younger team. Last week's draft should further cemented the look of the new Ravens team.

— Candus Thomson, The Baltimore Sun



  • No. 1: Baltimore Washington Parkway North (I-295) at Route 175

  • No. 2: The Baltimore Beltway West (I-695) at Route 147, Exit 31 (Harford Road)

  • No. 3: The Baltimore Beltway East (I-695) at Route 372, Exit 12 (Wilkens Avenue)

  • No. 4: Interstate 95 North at Route 100, Exit 43

  • No. 5: Baltimore Washington Parkway South (I-295) at Route 193

  • No. 6: The Baltimore Beltway West (I-295) at Stevenson Road, Exit 21

  • No. 7: Interstate 95 South at Route 24, Exit 77

  • No. 8: Interstate 95 North at White Marsh Blvd, Exit 67

  • No. 9: The Baltimore Beltway West (I-695) at Route 41, Exit 30 (Perring Parkway)

  • No. 10: The Baltimore Beltway East (I-695) at Edmondson Avenue, Exit 14


Average time: 2 hours, 32 minutes ( 9.49 miles )

Between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., northbound Baltimore-Washington Parkway stacks up as employees at Fort Meade and the National Security Agency head for home on MD 175. They run smack into co-workers who used MD 32 to access the parkway. The resulting weaving and merging can cause a 10-mile backup. During the fourth quarter of 2012, the bottleneck developed on 118 weekdays.

Average time: 2 hours, 39 minutes ( 10.84 miles )

This long-standing bottleneck begins early -- about 3 p.m. -- and hangs on until 7 p.m. While the Harford Road interchange gets the blame, severe congestion stretches back to I-83 southbound. The Baltimore Metropolitan Council said the culprits are merging and weaving at each interchange and a decrease to three lanes at the York Road interchange.

Average time: 1 hour, 58 minutes ( 10.02 miles )

Baltimore Beltway (Outer Loop) at Wilkens Avenue. Construction with lane closures was responsible for this clog. The bottleneck was an equal-opportunity headache, causing problems in the morning and evening rush hour that extended 10 miles. State officials say completion of the project will make the Wilkens Avenue bottleneck a memory on the next Top 10 list.

Average time: 1 hour, 54 minutes ( 7.86 miles )

Interstate 95 northbound at MD 100. Take the Eastern Seaboard's Main Street, add evening rush-hour commuters from MD 175 exiting at MD 100, garnish with a half-mile uphill grade and you create a bottleneck of eight miles that happened 115 times during the fourth quarter. This bottleneck, transportation officials said, is not likely to go away any time soon.

Average time: 2 hours, 46 minutes ( 11.98 miles )

Not everyone leaving Fort Meade and the National Security Agency heads north at night. A large number of federal workers head south, where they quickly encounter -- more federal employees from the Goddard Space Flight Center and the National Agricultural Research Center. This bottleneck is owned by the National Park Service, which is reluctant to widen a four-lane road that opened in the 1950s.

Average time: 1 hour, 50 minutes ( 4.81 miles )

Baltimore Beltway (Inner Loop) at Stevenson Road. Another long-standing evening bottleneck, the stretch of road backs up an average of five miles. The State Highway Administration would like to add an auxiliary lane in each direction to smooth transitions.

Average time: 2 hours, 33 minutes ( 14.09 miles )

Interstate 95 southbound at MD 24. This is the odd duck of the bunch, a Harford County bottleneck that pings the radar only during the holiday travel days in November and December. But what a snarl, lasting on some days from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and extending an average maximum length of 14 miles. It falls off the charts the rest of the year, usually replaced by another Baltimore Beltway interchange.

Average time: 2 hours, 14 minutes ( 9.01 miles )

Interstate 95 northbound at White Marsh Boulevard. Some day, this bottleneck will be but a memory. But until more than $840 million in bridge and express toll lane construction is completed in fall 2014, expect delays, as the message sign blinks. Afternoon traffic creeps along under flyways and long, wide stretches of smooth concrete that tease commuters of what will some day be.

Average time: 1 hour, 26 minutes ( 5.53 miles )

A close relative of bottleneck No. 2, the Perring Parkway interchange in the afternoon suffers from the same merging and weaving and the same lane drop at York Road. The state would like to add an auxiliary lane in each direction to help smooth the flow and reduce accidents.

Average time: 1 hour, 29 minutes ( 4.09 miles )

This bottleneck is versatile, able to snarl traffic morning or evening. The state hopes to make a number of improvements at Edmondson, U.S. 40, Wilkens Avenue and Interstate 70 to smooth lane changes and ramp acceleration and deceleration.

Each trip around the spiral represents one day. The center represents Oct. 1, 2012 and the outer edge represents Jan. 1, 2013.

NOTE: When ranking bottleneck locations, traffic queues that overlap one another are merged together to form a representative count of the how often each location was the source of a particular bottleneck. The time spiral visualization uses the uncombined traffic queues to form a more realistic presentation of conditions over time at each location. As a result, there is typically a difference between the number of congruent arcs on the time spiral and the calculated number of occurrences.

Source: Maryland Department of X

TIM SWIFT AND DANA AMIHERE / BALTIMORE SUN GRAPHICS