How To Survive Orlando Traffic

It's (kinda) possible
By
Christian Huerta
lake eola at sunset. Photo by Cody Board

Stuck in traffic, again? How shocking…

Orlando’s traffic is likely formed by the beautiful combination of Florida having 3 of the fastest growing cities in America, a giant lack of effective public transportation, and the construction project I4 Ultimate.

 

Breaking news

If you’re IN traffic, you ARE traffic. Our public transportation options are weak. And, many roads are unsafe for bikers and pedestrians. So I don’t blame you for driving. However - if you can, try these tips:

  • Avoid driving from 7:30am-9:00am and 4:00pm-6:00pm

  • When safe, walk or bike as much as possible

  • Make social plans during slow hours of the day

  • If that’s not possible, head to the area of town before peak traffic times and maybe run errands/take those business calls close to where your plans are
  • Check for road closures before you leave

  • Call your city government and demand a better rail system

 

When traffic is unavoidable, be the best driver on the road

  1. USE YOUR BLINKER. Contrary to popular opinion, they do exist, and work, in Florida.

  2. Don't block intersections. This is not hard. Can't see over that giant truck in front of you? Leave more space ahead to help you see. When you see someone waiting to turn, and you block that path for them, that wastes their time and patience. I promise, stopping 15 yards closer to the light will not get you to your destination faster. It will, however, make someone's turn a lot more difficult.

  3. Get out of the left lane. If you're not passing someone, it is illegal to drive in the left lane. Highway or not. There will likely always be a faster car than you, even if you are going the speed limit, so let them by! If you think you're going the maximum speed anyone should go on the road, guess what? It's not your job to patrol traffic. We have police for that. By sitting in the left lane, you're forcing cars to go around you in other lanes, which is incredibly dangerous. So move on over.

  4. Find your patience. It may seem lost, deep in the Bermuda Triangle, but try to breathe through the pain of traffic. Deep breaths, deep breaths. It's beyond frustrating, but you'll get through it. Remember that everyone on the road is probably just as frustrated as you. Spread patience through your actions: if you let someone over, maybe karma will return the favor the next time you need to switch lanes.

  5. Watch the video at the end of this article on how traffic starts and how you can better prevent it. You might even get a good laugh out of it. When you’re distracted and delay the flow of traffic, it leads to what’s called a traffic snake. Most important takeaway of the video: leave plenty of room in front of you for unexpected stops and to keep traffic moving (even when it slows in front of you).

  6. Stay off your phone. I know this you hear this 30x a day. Yeah, there’s a reason for that. Even if you think you’re just glancing to read that text or briefly clicking to change the song. Don’t do it.

  7. Stay alert! Use 👏 that 👏 peripheral 👏 vision 👏. Especially in construction zones (all of Orlando), you should be extra alert for changing traffic patterns and workers’ safety. School zones? There’s a slower speed limit. Don’t be the driver scaring kids on their walk home simply because you think the flashing light doesn’t apply to you.

  8. Did I mention you should watch the video?

  9. Can we make carpooling great again? Riding with your friends or coworkers can be fun! You'll save on gas, tolls, and carbon emissions. Not only are you helping traffic by reducing the amount of cars on the road, but you can NAP while commuting. That's a win-win if I've ever heard of one. 

 

i4 construction at sunset

 

Best of luck in this Orlando war zone, sí se puede.