Getting Around Tampa Bay
TomTom, a company that produces GPS devices, ranked Tampa as the 5th worst traffic city in the US in 2012. According to the national Census, the average time for people to commute to work in Tampa is about 52 minutes, one minute less than the national average. That being said, it’s imperative that you know about some tricks of traffic in Tampa. Although the chances for driving on uncongested roads are slim, the chances of avoiding any major traffic issues or times can be greatly increased with these helpful tips.
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- Don’t get stuck in Rush Hour traffic. Rush Hour times are between 7:30 and 9:30 am and again from 3:30 to 7:30 pm. During these times, avoid Hillsborough Ave and popular I-275 exits.
- Follow the speed limit. The City of Tampa is in the midst of an enormous project to relieve the congested traffic areas outside of Downtown Tampa. This means heavy construction along I-275. Fines are doubled when workers are present, so let off the gas and save yourself some cash. We recommend watching your speed closely when driving through the area surrounding the University of South Florida, as speeds change quickly through hospital and pedestrian zones.
- Drive safely through construction. The roads around Downtown Tampa are peppered with construction and can get tricky during busy times. A lane switch to get out of what you think is the “slow lane” can easily put you in an exit only lane. Stay calm and be patient.
- Take the right bridge. Do some research and figure out which bridge combined with local roads will take you to your new home most efficiently. The shortest route may not always be the best route in Tampa.
- Keep an eye out for big events! The Tampa Bay Times Forum and local amphitheater host massive events you won’t want to miss. These events produce traffic you will want to miss. If traveling during popular event times do your research first.
- Travel the right roads at the right time. If you’re trying to avoid Rush Hour at 7:45am it might pay off to take a back road past the local Elementary School. If you find yourself on the same road when school lets out it could be a time wasting mistake. Get to know traffic patterns in your area and know when to take the road less traveled.
- Take advantage of traffic reports. A two minute search of the day’s traffic warnings before your drive at 5:00 could save an hour. Make a habit of checking traffic reports before you drive during busy times.