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Old 08-28-2009, 03:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Anyone want to map an efficient road trip for me?

I figured I'd open this up to the forum to see what driving routes you might take when making the trip I'm planning next week...I typically use google maps to chart my course but feel free to provide a route using any mapping service (preferably with graphic map and directions)...

25 Royal Crest Drive North Andover, MA 01845 TO 20 Main Street, Towanda, PA 18848

A little info. on my trip that might help you out. I'll be leaving around 9-10 pm on a Wednesday night so traffic for the trip should be light. I commonly use the 495 to 90 to 88 to 220 to 6 route which I have driven numerous times (in the interest of time). My normal route is 378 miles and I usually average around 58 mph for the entire route (about 6.5 hours of travel time).

In the interest of mpg I wouldn't mind taking an alternate route to conserve mpg (by staying off 65 mph highways and on 45-55 mph roads) but I'd like to stay under the 9 hour mark for the trip (I have a 9am tee time at my destination).

The last time I took this trip I had just bought my Prius and I was not up to par with my driving techniques so I averaged a miserable 51 mpg down and back. I'm tempted to do the same route just to see how much I've improved but I also want to max out my mpg on the trip so an alternate route would be nice to try.

I plotted what I thought was the most economical course staying off highways for 66% of the trip (my old route is only off highways for 19% of the trip). The trip mileage reduces by 12 miles but also adds 2+ hours to the route (which keeps it at about 8.5 hours). I also have another route I plotted that stays off highways for 56% of the trip, reduces the distance by 13 miles and only adds 45 minutes to the route.

What can you come up with in the 7-9 hour range that keeps the mileage near 378 miles (without sacrificing driving too many extra miles for the additional mpg gain).

Thanks for any routes that are offered!


Last edited by Matt Herring; 08-28-2009 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 08-29-2009, 03:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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With my DeLorme mapping software I have a 340 mile 8:39 shortest route. But after looking at it for a while the direct approach looks like the best option, 366 miles at 7:03. I did the route to avoid toll roads.

On the Interstates park yourself in the right lane set the cruise control at 60 mph and let them cruise on by you.

I-495 to I-290 into Worcester
Worcester follow I-290 to US 20
US 20 to Sturbridge and onto I-84
(You can also take I-90 to Sturbridge exit 9 and get on I-84)
Take I-84 to Scranton where it runs into I-81
On I-81/Rt 6 about 3 miles get off at exit 194 onto Pa. Rt 6 west
Take Pa Route 6 to Main st.
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I found a similar route (365 miles at 7:08) that goes 495 South to Route 2 East (parallel to I-90) through MA before turning south onto 88 West (where it picks up my old route). This route is 44% highway which is better than the 81% highway I usually go.

The route you are describing I mapped on google and it looks good too. I'll have to compare the routes and see which one looks more appealing...thanks for checking in with your route...I'll let you know which one I decided to use! Hopefully both of our routes save fuel vs. my old route.

I don't have cruise in my Prius which isn't a bad thing as I can usually pull 60+ mpg in the right lane by following IGN, RPM and GPS on my SGII. On most 65 mph highways I'll be pulsing between 55-63 mph using this method. But, the more I'm on 45-55 mph the better off I am for overall mpg.
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Sometimes I wish google maps had an option to minimize stop signs and lights. Maybe some day we can plan the perfect stopless route
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Old 08-30-2009, 02:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That would be sweet!

The route I'm toying with runs parallel to I-90 on Route 2 (2A) West...it cuts out alot of highway travel on I-90 so it could help with the mpg (plus it only adds about 45 minutes to the total route). It would change my highway mileage on the trip from 307 to 180 so that could be big mpg savings on this route). This would be kind of a similar route to the AMEC run as it's about 100 miles on Route 2 on non-highway roads. I wouldn't be driving an average of 35 mph but probably 45-50 mph for that segment of the route.

I got to thinking about a new route a month ago when you and Darin said you were taking a different route than highway to get to Fonda, NY for the AMEC run. What's an extra 45 minutes to reduce 127 highway miles...sounds like a plan to me!
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I decided on my route to take home to PA tonight...

The new route is 363 miles (16 miles shorter than my old route) and google estimates it will take 7 hours (45 minutes longer than my old route). The new route is 44% highway (55-65 mph roads) compared to my old route of 81% highway.

Ill be leaving North Andover, MA going down 495 South until I get to Route 2 West (where the majority of my non-highway driving begins compared to my old route). Route 2 West parallels I-90 but is mostly 55mph and under driving so hopefully I can get better mpg results on this stretch compared to driving on I-90. The route twists and turns though MA but eventually gets me back to my old route on I-88 W and down to Towanda, PA via Route 220.

My first road trip in April with my Prius put me in the 51 mpg range so I hope to improve on this with the new route (only adding 45 minutes to my total trip time). I'm setting a goal of 60 mpg for the trip tonight (maybe a little optimistic but something I want to accomplish).
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Herring View Post
I decided on my route to take home to PA tonight...

The new route is 363 miles (16 miles shorter than my old route) and google estimates it will take 7 hours (45 minutes longer than my old route). The new route is 44% highway (55-65 mph roads) compared to my old route of 81% highway.

Ill be leaving North Andover, MA going down 495 South until I get to Route 2 West (where the majority of my non-highway driving begins compared to my old route). Route 2 West parallels I-90 but is mostly 55mph and under driving so hopefully I can get better mpg results on this stretch compared to driving on I-90. The route twists and turns though MA but eventually gets me back to my old route on I-88 W and down to Towanda, PA via Route 220.

My first road trip in April with my Prius put me in the 51 mpg range so I hope to improve on this with the new route (only adding 45 minutes to my total trip time). I'm setting a goal of 60 mpg for the trip tonight (maybe a little optimistic but something I want to accomplish).
Checking in a little late, but have a safe trip, Matt!

Look forward to meeting up with you when you get up this way.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Results from road trip...

Approximately 800 miles total (700 highway miles)...total mpg 58 mpg.

Inbound trip I used my new route bypassing about 30% of the highway miles I usually take to get to Towanda, PA. My new route was extremely efficient through most of MA until I hit the Berkshire Mountains (wow...straight uphill)! If I take this route again I will probably head south bypassing the Berkshire Mountains to save some more mpg. Prior to hitting the mountains I was running about 8 mpg higher than my normal trip mpg but after the mountains that was reduced to about 4 mpg better. So the route is still better...just needs some tweaking.

If you have ever driven up Route 2 over the Berkshire Mountains it is really nice country out there...worth a trip if you have time to check it out. Some nice mountain lodges and the scenery is outstanding. While it was fun coasting back down the mountain I didn't make up the mpg I lost going up the 15 mile stretch at a ridiculous uphill grade. And...I was driving up the mountains at around 2am with no cell service with nobody else on the road...if I had car trouble I would have been sunk!

On the trip from Elysburg, PA to MA I just took the 99% highway route home and I did pretty good...around 58 mpg. Still have about 100 miles left in my tank so those results will be posted in a few days.

It was fun to map a new route, get better mpg and see different parts of the country I don't normally get to see on my trip back to PA...highly recommend it!
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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rotaries?

Sounds like great trips that I have taken in the far far past.

Are there still "rotaries" on Mass state routes? I always thought they were cool though my NH father cursed them. He said our NH "traffic circles" were better. LOL

Seriously, are there still circles in Massachusetts and how do they work in the new millineum?
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Old 09-09-2009, 03:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The Rotary's are still in place all over MA and they are "OK" in some places and "not so good" in others. The biggest problem seems to be people entering the rotary without yielding to the traffic that is already in the rotary...not fun when that happens.

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